8/25/2010

Fuel economy standards forcing Ford to take "high-stake" risks on its best selling F-150 pickups

This is one way for government to try to mess up Ford's success in the large pickup truck category.

This fall, Ford will introduce a 300 horsepower V-6 engine and a new six-speed transmission in its F-150 pickups—the No. 1 seller in a market where eight cylinders now rule. And for the first time, Ford will offer a V-6 in its popular crew cab model, which accounts for 60% of all F-150 sales, says F-150 marketing manager Mark Grueber. . . .

Why is Ford pushing this strategy? The company is hedging the risk that its highly profitable vehicle line could get battered by another run-up in gasoline prices. It also must meet federal fuel economy rules that will steadily ratchet up the minimum mileage required for all vehicles.

In the past, Ford has offered V-6 engines only in its most basic, two-door F-150 trucks, primarily purchased for farms or work crews.

Ford sold more than 500,000 F-series trucks in 2009, and sales are up nearly 35% through the end of July this year. The F-series has been the best-selling model line in the U.S. for 28 years—ahead of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and rival pickups such as the Chevy Silverado.

That means that in the heart of Ford's pickup lineup, there will be two V-6 engines on offer and just one V-8 – setting aside a few limited production models that will come with a king-size, 6.2 liter V-8. . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger TooMuchTime said...

If the V-6 isn't mandatory, the buyer will probably just plunk down a few more bux for the V-8 that the socialists are trying to kill.

Of course, once the V-6 does become mandatory, the gov't will just change the rules again and Ford will have to go to a 4-Cyl.

Ain't socialism wonnerful?

8/25/2010 11:55 AM  
Blogger FightinBluHen51 said...

Exactly why the manufactures were looking at light duty diesels prior to the economic downturn. With big diesel torque, v-8 like horsepower in smaller displacement engines, it meant sometimes as much as 30% better fuel economy, longer engine life, and unfortunately higher consumer initial costs and slightly higher maintenance costs (with longer maintenance intervals).

I have not seen any new news regarding the light duty diesels however, but I keep hoping I will be able to buy one in any of the three domestic brands (despite the Government Motors debacle)

8/30/2010 4:30 PM  

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