You have probably heard Ford's justifiably proud claim that for 43 years, the F-150 series pickup has been and continues to be the number one selling truck in the United States with 2019 sales of just under 1 million pickups. Fiat Chrysler's Ram followed the F-150 at 633,694. Chevy's was third at 575,569, followed by the Toyota Tacoma at 248,801. GMC's Sierra finished 2019 at 232,325 in the fifth spot.
Ford Medium Duties Lead Their Market
Now, 900,000 vehicles are a significant number of pickups on any sales department's spreadsheet. Also, another year at the top of the sales charts is excellent news. But, here's the thing, pickups aren't the only sales leaders on Ford's sales boards though you don't usually hear about the other leaders.
That's right. There are other trucks in the Ford lineup that are also sales leaders. The Ford F-650 and F-750 Medium Duty trucks and the E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis models lead the commercial world for the 35th consecutive year. My colleague John Goreham discusses the why's and how' sof Ford's F-150 sales dominance.. Meantime, Torque News reporter Jimmy Dinsmore discusses F-150 continuing dominance of the Ford F-150.
"We are just as passionate about the success of our customers' businesses as they are," says Mark Buzzell, Ford's director of fleet, lease, and remarketing operations. Ford has devoted "decades to developing deep insights into" the wants and needs of customers. "This focus has led us to create a winning portfolio of commercial vehicles that our customers love and rely on every day."
Ford Introduces Chassis Cab Innovation
Take one of Ford's latest innovations, the all-new F-600 Super Duty chassis cab. It is now available to order. The F-600 option gives buyers the ability to receive a Class 6 truck in a familiar Class 5 package. The result is that fleets and customers, who need larger payloads or who want to mount heavier upfits, without moving into a bigger truck, can do so. The F-600 chassis will be available for delivery in the summer.
For customers who prefer alternative fuels, Ford is offering a gas fuel prep package for the new 7.3-liter V-8 engine. The automaker uses the engine in the Super Duty F-450, F-550, and F-600 chassis cab, Medium Duty, E-Series, and F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis vehicles. The package includes upgraded valvetrain components. The valvetrain components can withstand higher operating temperatures and lower fuel lubricity so that a truck owner can change to an alternative fuel such as CNG (compressed natural gas) or propane.
Ford Medium Duties Have A Great Year
In 2019, Ford had a great year in its Medium Duty line. The automaker sold more of its biggest work trucks last year than it had since 1997. Sales of F-650 and F-750 ended with a total volume of 16,510 trucks for 2019. Building on this momentum, Ford has added a new option for the available 7.3-liter gasoline engine.
For the first time, an integrated air compressor will be available for the 7.3-liter engine. The compressor can handle several functions: air brakes, air suspension, and other options like air horns or air ride seats. Currently, air brakes are only available on diesel-powered trucks.
Ford is the only maker offering a choice of gasoline or diesel engines for Class 6-7 conventional cab trucks – its 7.3-liter gas V-8 or the updated 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V-8. Medium Duty trucks equipped with the 7.3-liter gas engine are money-savers, averaging $9,245 less than trucks fitted with the 6.7-liter diesel. However, there may be an issue. Usually, gas-engined vehicles take on lighter duty cycles, annual mileage, and torque requirements than comparable diesel-driven trucks. A good workaround may be to consider adding the air pressure option to the 7.3-liter engine. The option allows combining the cost savings of a gasoline powertrain with the stopping power of air brakes.
Ford Expects Offering To Be Popular
"We expect this new offering to be popular in several vocational segments including propane delivery, municipalities, utilities, and tree service," explains Nathan Oscarson, Ford commercial truck brand manager. "Many customers have told us they'd like to take advantage of the cost savings provided by a gas truck, but they also want the peace of mind provided by air brakes."
Fleets looking for an affordable solution to meeting alternative fuel goals will also see new choices with 2022 E-Series cutaways and stripped chassis. Ford plans to add flex-fuel capability to the 7.3-liter V-8 gasoline engine for premium and economy models.
Ford Offers Flex-Fuel Alternative
E-Series chassis with flex-fuel capacity can run on gasoline or blends of up to 85 percent ethanol or E85. Federal and state fleet officials are likely to see this as a popular option. Next year's new models will feature a scalloped engine access cover. Customers find that this type of cover is less intrusive for those aboard an E-Series vehicle. This type of engine cover results in added legroom in the E-Series vehicle (E-Series vehicles are typically full-sized vans). Ford made the engine cover change in response to customer requests primarily from the recreational vehicle industry. The E-Series chassis is the most popular platform of Class C motorhomes. The E-Series chassis holds 58 percent of the motorhome market.
Production of 2022 Ford F-650, F-750, and E-series has already begun.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.