February 2014 sales of America’s six continuing full-size pickup lineups grew 1.8%, but GM’s truck twins, the newest trucks on the block, fell 8.9%. Ford, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan combined for an 8.7% year-over-year increase to 94,225 units. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra’s decline equalled a loss of 4960 units compared with February 2013.
Tag: ford f-150
TTAC was the first to bring you news of the F-150′s move to aluminum construction, the 2.7L Ecoboost and the delays with the aluminum body panel production. And now we’ve got another bounty of information about upcoming engines, transmissions and other technology for the new F-Series trucks and their full-size SUVs.
Automotive News is reporting that assembly plants in Dearborn and Kansas city will be shut down for a total of 13 weeks as it retools to switch production to the all new F-150 pickup truck that has an aluminum body. The launch of the 2015 F-150 will be closely watched, as Ford and its competitors see how consumers accept the lighter, more expensive truck.
Meanwhile, an analyst report seems to confirm TTAC’s initial story that Ford was forced to delay production of the new truck by up to three months due to difficulties with the new aluminum body.
The Detroit News is reporting that Ford dealers are stockpiling 2014 F-150 pickups in anticipation of the launch of the next generation of Ford’s best-selling light truck. That may be a wise decision in light of TTAC’s report last week that the 2015 F-150′s launch will be delayed due to stamping problems with the aluminum panels that the new truck will feature. Even without delays, dealers are worried that when Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant shuts down to retool for the new model they could be caught short of supply. Next year’s production numbers for the F-150 could drop as much as 10% because of the model changeover shutdown.
Suppliers are planning for production of the 2015 F-150 to start next summer. The production version of the new truck will likely be revealed next month at the at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Read More…)
We received a note from Alcoa, a supplier of aluminum, regarding our story on delays with the next Ford F-150. Alcoa’s Monica Orbe sent us this note
While details of future programs and timelines should come from automotive OEMs themselves – regardless of the platform — we can say that Alcoa does not have any issues with its automotive production lines. It is important to note that aluminum is the second most used material to build cars today. Automakers have successfully used Alcoa materials to produce aluminum-intensive vehicles since the mid 1990s.
Starting with the 2014 model year, for the first time Ford will be offering F-150 buyers the option of running on compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas in addition to gasoline. Automotive News reports that interested can spec a F-150 with the 3.7 liter V6 engine, and then receive a factory-installed CNG/LPG prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings. The actual conversions would be done by six CNG/LPG conversion companies that have been certified by Ford as “qualified vehicle modifiers”. As long as the conversion is done by one of those six firms, Ford will honor all factory warranties on the engine. Depending on the size of the fuel tank that’s installed, the cost of the conversions will be between $8,000 and $11,000 a vehicle, but running on gas can be significantly cheaper than running on gasoline or diesel, and the cost of the conversion can be more than paid back over the life of the vehicle.
The compact pickup is an endangered species in North America, but the reasons for its demise depend on which camp you ask. Its proponents will tell you that CAFE, the chicken tax and marketing campaigns have all conspired to kill off small trucks. Detractors claim that the new generation of full-size trucks are just as fuel-efficient and affordable, while in many cases being more refined.
I really like pickups, but haven’t had a lot of seat time in them. Hell, it wasn’t that long ago that I mistakenly called the new Ram 1500 a “quarter ton” pickup, with some members of the B&B responding in a manner that made Kohmeni’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie look measured and calm. In keeping with our new mandate to expand TTAC’s rental review program, I decided to work out my Zipcar membership when I needed to haul two sets of R-Compound tires and wheels to the tire shop. And it just so happened that I ended up with what could actually be called a quarter-ton pickup.
No, that’s not a typo. Al is the periodic table symbol for aluminum – the stuff that the next F-150 will be made of.
The standard cab, short bed pickup is a rare breed these days. Most trucks that leave the dealer lot tend to be an extended cab, if not a four-door crew cab, with a longer bed and all the bells and whistles typically seen on a luxury vehicle. For a couple years, Ram has had the monopoly on a hot version of the standard cab with the Ram Express, a Hemi powered no-frills Ram, which starts at just $23,400. Not anymore.
Even though Ford Ranger is dearly missed, Ford is claiming that Ranger customers are content with upgrading to an F-150 with one of Ford’s V6 powerplants – and they’re hardly alone in opting for the smaller powerplant.
Ford’s plan to ramp up production of their Ecoboost engines may negatively impact the Blue Oval’s Essex engine plant in Windsor, Ontario.
Rich, the mastermind behind the Rocket Surgery Racing mid-VW-engined Renault 4CV, just got hired to install a daily-driver-suitable modern drivetrain in a ’53 Ford coupe. The owner wanted to keep it all Ford, EFI makes for much better real-world drivability, and so a late 1980s or newer Ford 5.0 or 5.8 (aka 302 or 351W) V8 engine looked to be the best choice. Running donor cars and trucks that fit those requirements tend to go for four figures, so it was time to hit a Denver-area police-impound auction. Here’s what happened yesterday. (Read More…)
If there is one “winner” at NAIAS this year, it’s Ford. This should have been GM’s show, with the Corvette (its halo model) and their new full-size truck (their bread and butter) both being shown to the public for the first time. Instead, Ford debuted the Atlas concept, a thinly disguised 2015 F-150.