We don’t just love pickup trucks in America, we practically worship them. The half ton pickup truck is an American icon embedded into our music, our entertainment and almost the core of our culture. If you haven’t owned or wanted to own a pickup truck, you’re probably a communist infiltrating American society and should be stopped. Despite inroads from the Japanese competition, the full-size truck market is a solidly American segment that isn’t just led by the big three, it’s dominated by them. In August, RAM took third place with 33,009 pickups sold in the US of A, more than three times the number four player: this week’s Toyota Tundra. Why is this gap so large when Toyota crushes the big three in so many other segments? Let’s explore that while we look at Toyota’s refreshed 2014 Tundra.
While GM is pushing its “evolutionary” styled new pickups with tried and true marketing, touting brawn and toughness, Ford will go with a less macho approach. It will push fuel economy for its next-generation F-150 pickups. For that, marketing has to be preceded by engineering. Ford will make its trucks shed between 700 and 750 pounds of weight for a 15 to 20 percent better fuel economy, says a report by Reuters. (Read More…)
If a Pennsylvania company will get its say, Ford needs to equip its F150 truck with carburetors. Or, at the very least, with something else than its current fuel injection system. TMC Fuel Injection System LLC of Wayne, Pennsylvania, sued Ford for allegedly infringing a TMC patent, Reuters says. (Read More…)
Writing this series has made me start paying more attention to types of vehicles I’ve long overlooked. Say, the early Nissan 300ZX, or the Mazda-based Mercury Capri. Then we’ve got the beat-up work trucks that still roam the streets in large numbers but are finally dying out, e.g. the Dodge D-100 and the late-60s GM C-series. Today, it’s the turn of Ford’s workhorse from the darkest days of the Malaise Era. (Read More…)
The Wall Street Journal has a long article about Ford “working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.” Ford will make parts of its next generation F150 from aluminum to save some 700 lbs, which “would enable Ford’s trucks to go farther on a gallon of gasoline, and open the door to other changes, such as the use of smaller engines.” The fear is that some people will think Ford is building a truck for sissies. (Read More…)
Tycho, my Dutch friend in Beijing, scored the big one with his fake F150 story. After we wrote about it, everybody from Motor Trend to Pickupinfo.ru wrote about it as well, taking the Carnewschina.com server on a shakedown tour. Tycho does what a good journo needs to do: Feed the beast. He found even better pictures of the pseudo Ford. And he found imagery of its older brother. Which is a Chevy copypaste. (Read More…)
Remember when Ford dragged Ferrari into the U.S. district court in Detroit, after Ferrari had the nerve to call their new Formula One racer the “F150”? Ford feared massive dilution of their F-150 truck mark and sued. Ferrari relented. Let’s see what Ford will do about this overdose of trademark and design patent infringement: (Read More…)
I live in the country, well outside city limits in the septic tank/well/propane tank kind of area. Like many that live out where the blacktop ends, we have some farm animals, over a mile of fencing and a pasture in need of TLC. Since I’m a DINK and have a day job that has nothing to do with my animal husbandry, I’m apparently the perfect demographic for a luxury pickup. True to form, the last 5 times I shopped, I wanted a pickup truck. Badly. Every time it came time to put money down however, I ended up with a sedan, station wagon or SUV. Still, I’m not ashamed to admit my loins burn for a “cowboy Cadillac”, and now that my GMC Envoy has 140,000 miles on the clock it’s time for a 6,000lb tow-capable replacement. Since the HD pickup trucks are honestly overkill for the majority of us, I hit Ford up for an F-150 Platinum to see if I should take the plunge.
Here’s my dilemma: Bought a 1983 5.0 Cougar for my wife as her “weekend” car, but the TBI was problematic and the seats were terribly uncomfortable. Dumped the Cougar, and bought a loaded 1985 F-150 with 5.0 and power everything, then sprayed it in Mustang Redfire Metallic red, but she wanted something more “sporty.”
So I traded the pickup for a 1971 Torino coupe with a 351W and 3 speed auto (pictured here).
Ford and Ferrari finally settled their differences over the alleged trademark infringement by Ferrari. In cases like these, one lawyer usually tells the other: “What does it take for this to go away?” In this case, Ford’s lawyer must have answered: “Lose the F, or lose the case.” And that’s what happened. (Read More…)
In the brouhaha over Ferrari’s alleged trademark violation, Ferrari did the smart thing and surrendered. Ferrari withdrew the “F150” name for its new Formula One race car. Ford had brought suit in federal court, alleging that “Ferrari has misappropriated the F-150 trademark in naming its new racing vehicle the ‘F150′ in order to capitalize on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed in the F-150 trademark.” (Read More…)
You think only China has a total disregard for intellectual property? Ford filed a trademark infringement suit on Wednesday against a foreign carmaker. The only thing this carmaker has in common with China is their love for the red color. Ford sued Ferrari for blatantly stealing the name of the world’s best selling vehicle, the F-150. (Read More…)
By 2016, federal laws will mandate that the fleet fuel economy of light trucks and SUV’s will be 30 mpg. Which means manufacturers will need to get their thinking caps on if they are to meet this standard. If they don’t, they’ll have to re-think their position in a very profitable area of the market. Ford, which is synonymous with trucks, is planning a diet. (Read More…)
Since we both live in Houston, and I have aspirations of writing more material for TTAC in my copious lack of free time, it only made sense that Sajeev Mehta and I should eventually get together and hang out, so that’s exactly what we did at Ford’s come-kick-our-tires event for the new F150 trucks, including their new EcoBoost (turbocharged) V6 truck engine. Since I’m the epitome of not-a-truck-guy, I thought I’d toss in some random thoughts from somebody coming to this experience completely unprepared for what I was getting myself into.
If “the truth will set you free,” as both the Good Book and the founder of this website maintain, then I should probably take this opportunity to come clean: When it comes to trucks, I’m seriously prejudiced in favor of substance over style – which means that most modern trucks are, for my tastes, too light on the former and too heavy on the latter.