By on November 12, 2013

Doug Scott

Once upon a time, one man rose from the realm of sales to helm Ford’s truck division. With his iron fist, he divided the F-150 range into several specialized units, reaping the rewards as his dominion over the light truck market expanded.

That man is Doug Scott, and this is the tale of how he came to be the Sovereign of Truck Mountain.

Though his title is humble, Ford’s Truck Group marketing manager has brought in $22 billion in revenue over the years, bettering his competitors through offering an F-150 for everyone. For example, contractors and landscapers just starting out could have the STX for just over $26,000, while businessmen making the big bucks off the Bakken could opt for the top-of-the-line Limited for around $54,000, and hardcore off-road prerunners can feel like a reptile in their Raptor beginning at $45,000.

This strategy has not only paid off for Ford, but has inspired General Motors and Chrysler to play follow the leader, with the Italo-American alliance spinning off the Ram brand from Dodge for greater focus while GM’s bowtie has unveiled their own luxury pickup to go up against the F-150 Platinum Edition. Meanwhile, the F-150 has lived at the summit of Truck Mountain since 2010, picking up $4,000 per truck than GM per Kelley Blue Book.

With 2013 sales on track to hit 700,000 units, and recording the best October since 2004, Scott aims to keep his competitors on their toes. His latest from the F-Series is a sport truck dubbed the Tremor, whose 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 will push the superbeast from zero to 60 in 6.4 seconds, just over one second slower than the V6 version of the Mustang.

The Tremor, like the King Ranch, the Raptor and all of the other F-150s, were born from the collaboration between the marketers and engineers within the truck group, who, in turn, gathered their information on what customers want from the customer relationships built through events and organizations, such as the Professional Bull Riders Association and the Future Farmers of America. The result: a 34.6 percent share of the truck market through September 2013, with the Chevy/GMC tag team a close second at 30.7 percent, and Ram a distant third with just 16.3 percent.

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28 Comments on “The Legend of Ford’s Truck Czar’s Rule Over Truck Mountain...”


  • avatar

    Tremor. The whole idea seems terrifying. After having a Ranger, I’ve learned to give these things a pretty wide berth as I know how PUs can’t brake or make curves.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    “Ford’s Truck Group marketing manager has brought in $22 billion in revenue over the years,…” Hell No! A team of skilled and dedicated people were involved too, at all levels. Possibly, maybe, fixing some dumb ideas this guy had. I’m not saying that happened in this case, but often: that happens.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Is this an advert or an actual article? Hard to tell. Sounds like there is some BS’ing going on here.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Doug Scott is the most powerful exec @ FoMoCo.

      The F Series is Ford’s salvation. Every resource available to Ford must be prioritized in such a way that the P/U division gets first dibs, leaving other department & divisions, and even storied marques such as The Lincoln Horseless Carriage & Coach Company, to fight over whatever remains.

      This is no joke, and the math doesn’t lie.

      We’re back in the lat 1990s again in terms of Ford, GM’s & Fiatsler’s milk cows.

      All three would be much more profitable in N.A. to cease production of all vehicles that are not pickups, SUVs a d CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I know this is a broad enough question to require an entire article but precisely why are the trucks and CUVs so profitable vs cars? Could it be because they all cost roughly the same to develop/produce but the floor price on a CUV or truck is artificially higher or is it because trucks are just bone simple to produce in comparison to today’s turbo’d golf cart cars?

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          I don’t follow CUVs closely enough to comment but the trucks do so well for three reasons.

          A relatively uncompetitive market – mostly due to intense brand loyalty – has kept price wars to a minimum.

          Two and a half players in that stagnant market mean long cycles with development costs amortized over millions of units. The F-150 is a powertrain and a facelift away from the same truck it was 10 years and 4 or 5 million units ago and it won’t be changed for another year. We’re on the third Accord, Altima, Camry, etc. in that time.

          And the domestic cars that their trucks are so much more profitable against are less bad than they used to be but, with a few recent exceptions, still aren’t very good.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    This is why pickups are great, because you can equip them just how you want them and the big three compete for your dollar.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “GM’s bowtie has unveiled their own luxury pickup to go up against the F-150 Platinum Edition?” Sorry, no they haven’t! I’m assuming that the new High Country trim level is what’s being addressed here, and it’s meant to compete with Ford’s King Ranch and Ram’s Laramie Longhorn. If anything is to go up against the F-150 Platinum, it’s the GMC Denali line.

    Here’s a rundown of which trim compares with what for the Big Three + Toyota:

    Ford——Chevy/GMC—Ram————-Toyota
    XL——–WT/Sierra—-Tradesman——–Tundra Grade/SR
    STX——————Express
    XLT——-LT/SLE——SLT/Big Horn——-SR5
    FX2/4—–Z71———Sport/Outdoorsman
    Lariat—–LTZ/SLT——Laramie———-Limited
    King Ranch-High Country-Laramie Longhorn—1794
    Platinum—-Denali——-Laramie Limited—–Platinum
    Limited

    At least, that’s what it seems like to me.

    [EDIT: Aw, geez, that didn\'t turn out at all! It was supposed to be all nice straight columns...I hope somebody can understand what I\'m trying to say.]

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Geez, I really need to go look at fords, after the dismal quality, back breaking ride/seats, and 20 second 0-60, 05 I drove; I haven’t even given them a second thought.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Did my comment inspire you to do so? That wasn’t really my intention, even if I prefer Fords over everything else. I just tried (and failed, it looks like) to make a nice little chart of comparable trim levels.

        As for the remainder of your comment: I’ve logged many thousands of miles in both the driver and passenger seats of an ’06 F-150, very similar to the ’05 you tested, and I realize that although I’m just one person, I feel my experiences may be representative of the whole.

        The dismal quality? Well, nothing really popped out to me as seeming ultra high-quality, but nothing has broken down in the 5 years we’ve had it, and I

        Back breaking ride/seats? Compared to what, a land yacht? Perhaps it’s all a matter of perspective, since compared to some of our other vehicles (mid-1970′s F-250′s and a ’76 L-700 truck), the pickup rides like a Cadillac.

        20-second 0-60 time? With all due respect, since when does the 0-60 time have anything to do with how a pickup truck does its job? More power is always good, yes, but if you will recall, most pickup truck owners got along just fine with a sub-200 hp 6-cylinder engine until the mid-60′s, even into the 90′s. Chevy’s 4.3 V6 was the last really good 6-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup truck.

        However, I presume the model was equipped with either the 4.6 or 5.4 V8s. Both of those were amazing engines when they were introduced…in 1997. (Even earlier for the 4.6.) And yes, I will say that by 2005, they were outpaced by everyone save Toyota (no 5.7 in the Tundra until ’06). If you were to compare apples to apples, a newer F-150 with the 5.0 is much better than any with the 5.4.

        In short: Yes, do go look at Fords. You might find something else that suits you better, but they certainly deserve at least a second thought.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          It was a base work truck, I can’t remember the engine, but it had to be the smallest.
          Vinyl seats
          If the bed had some weight in it, the ride was acceptable, otherwise, it sucked.

          And I used the 0-60 to point out how severely underpowered it was, it had to be the most miserable vehicle to get up to speed, and any load… Forget about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Ah, the 4.2 V6. My condolences, that thing is a DOG. Sure, it’s slightly more powerful and fuel-efficient than the Venerable and Most Blessed 300 Straight-Six, but even a 240, a “300 Jr.”, has it beat for actual truck work. Let’s face it–they ain’t never put a 4.2 in a medium-duty straight truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The 5.4 was a half assed kludge of a truck motor even in 1997.

          Among Nasser’s other idiot ideas, he decided Ford was only going to have one V8 family. The new V8 they had furthest along at the moment was intended for the Lincoln Taurus, a car they sold 30,000 of in a good year, and the trucks they sold 30,000 of in a week would just have to make do.

          Fitting in a FWD engine bay meant tight bore spacing (90mm bores, cf GM smallblock 96-102mm, Hemi 100mm) such that the 2 valve versions that went in 8 years of trucks (and worse, 8 more years of Panthers) had terrible air flow issues. The 3 valve was better but only the DOHC 4V heads really performed well – the configuration the motor had been designed for in the first place before it was decontented to go in cheap Fords.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            After he left Ford he went back to Australia and managed to get a job on a Mining Company’s board and continues to make stupid statements.

          • 0 avatar
            grinchsmate

            Rob

            Yeah but BHP wouldn’t be BHP without a massive idiot on the board. How do you think Kloppers got a job?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Grinchmate. Your right. He should have stayed on the assembly line at Broadmeadows. He was a disaster as Ford’s CEO and now BHP has to wear him.

  • avatar
    wmba

    What is this super fluffy article doing on TTAC? I read the Friday local broadsheet to get the crossword, and glance over the rubbish rewrites of car manufacturer bumph to see what’s being foisted off to joe average. This “article” belongs there, not here, especially if the “author” likes all expenses paid trips to “events”.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      She said nothing positive or negative about the trucks at all. Just that Doug Scott has done a hell of a job selling them, which is a factual statement which she backed up.

      Saying it happened because they listened to customers might sound a little warm and soft for some folks, but you think they’re going to claim success through ignoring customer needs?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I am amazed at how many of those expensive Raptors I see on MN roads.

    So what does 34,6% of the truck market mean? Are we talking just the 1/2 ton PU’s? Does that include 1/2 ton SUVs? Or maybe that number includes the 2500, 3500 and up PU trucks? It isn’t real clear.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I guess it was inconsistent with the puffy nature of this piece to add that Ford saddled its customers who bought 250 and 350 series heavy-duty pickup trucks with defectively designed diesel engines of 6 and 6.4 liters respectively, until 2010. The “all-new” 6.7 liter introduced in 2011 has yet to live up to the lousy reputation of its predecessors, but you gotta wonder about a V-block engine where the hot exhaust plumbing is the the “valley” of the Vee, sitting on top of the engine, instead of on the outside of the block, down at the sides. I assume this was a clever way of not having two separate turbos, which the “normal” airflow of a Vee-block engine dictates. Save some money, right?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DC Bruce – GMC was working on a “baby” Duramax with the exact same design as the PowerStroke. It actually makes plumbing turbochargers much more efficient. No one uses carbs anymore and since fuel injection in the norm and DI becoming more prevalent, we may see other “unique” configurations.

    @Drzhivago138 – you raise a valid point. Chevrolet still does not have a valid competitor to the Platinum or King Ranch. The HighCountry trim seems to fit more at the Lariat level of trim.
    The Denali is targeted more at the Platinum.
    The problem is that many Chevy truck guys do not see the Sierra as a viable alternative. Many would rather go buy a Ram or Ford than a GMC. Many equate “GMC” to “Government Motors” and see it as a tainted line.

    Personally, I do not mind a 2 truck strategy since it varies with design cycle as to which line I like better. I liked the Sierra in the GMT800 & 900′s and currently seem to be at a draw depending on the colour as to which 2014 GM sibling I like better.

    The 3 valve 5.4 had a vastly superior torque curve to the 5.3 Vortec. It had a higher level of torque right across the board even after hitting its 800 rpm lower peak, it still beat out the Chevy past that point. The Vortec beats out the 5.4 by 5 hp but in real life, that isn’t where it is at.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I always felt Chevy’s LTZ trim was their Lariat equivalent, since it’s the lowest you can get with leather. Which would make High Country the equivalent of King Ranch and Laramie Longhorn.

      Ford’s Limited trim (F-150 only) which is even more luxurious than Platinum, has no equivalent in any other brand. But I don’t really even consider it a valid trim level–even anything over Lariat is too fancy to be considered a usable pickup truck. Plus, AFAIK, it is (or used to be, anyway) truly “limited”–once they make so many models (5000 or so), that’s all for the year.


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