You Think The Ford F-Series Is Popular In Its 'Murican Homeland? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
you think the ford f series is popular in its murican homeland you ain t seen

It seems as though you can’t turn around on the streets of Atlanta or the suburbs of Austin or the outskirts of Albuquerque without seeing a Ford F-Series pickup truck.

For 34 years running, Americans have registered more copies of the F-Series than any other pickup truck. A wide-ranging model lineup (just like its competitors) and top-selling rivals that split their sales between brands means Ford consistently and overwhelmingly sells more full-size pickup trucks than any other automobile brand in the United States. At the current rate of growth, Ford will sell more than 800,000 F-Series pickups in 2016, more than at any point since 2005.

While it’s impressive that Ford owns 30 percent of the American pickup truck market, perhaps the more daunting figure shows that 1 out of every 22 new vehicles sold in the U.S. is a Ford pickup truck.

But don’t be so easily impressed. Look northward, where the Ford F-Series is far more popular than it is in the United States.

In Canada, the Ford F-Series owns 39 percent of the pickup truck market and accounts for 1 out of every 15 new vehicle acquisitions.

While the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, America’s second- and fourth-best-selling pickups, have on many historic occasions combined to outsell the Ford F-Series in the U.S. — including just last year — the Ford F-Series outperforms the combined efforts of the second and third-ranked pickups in Canada, the Ram P/U and GMC Sierra.

No other new vehicle nameplate in the history of the Canadian auto industry has ever reported 100,000 sales in a full calendar year. The Ford F-Series has done so in each of the last four years. 2016 is different, however, because after averaging roughly 118,000 annual sales between 2011 and 2014, and peaking at 126,277 units in 2013, Ford Canada is on track to report 150,000 F-Series sales in calendar year 2016.

In fact, with four months to spare, Ford Canada has already reported more than 100,000 F-Series sales this year.

That’s more total sales than every brand except Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai.

In August, as F-Series sales rocketed to an all-time monthly high of 14,197 units — the third time this year the F-Series broke its own record — Ford’s pickup truck lineup outsold the entire Hyundai brand, too.

These are mighty numbers for any vehicle competing in the relatively small Canadian market. New vehicle buyers in the United States will drive away from automotive dealers with more than 17 million vehicles in 2016, nine times the Canadian total. Yet Ford F-Series sales in the U.S. are only five times stronger than in Canada.

True, the Canadian full-size pickup truck market is larger than the U.S. full-size pickup truck market when adjusted for the scale of the respective overall industries. But at six-to-one, it’s not as inordinately strong as the F-Series’ figures, specifically. And don’t forget, the F-Series’ inordinate Canadian strength explains much of Canadian full-size truck market’s disproportionate clout.

Despite the overwhelming success of the company’s best-selling model in Canada, the Ford Motor Company and the namesake Ford brand itself do not dramatically overperform compared to Ford’s achievements south of the border. Ford and Lincoln combine to own 15.2 percent of the U.S. market; Ford and Lincoln earned a 15.6-percent share in Canada in 2016’s first eight months. The Ford brand’s 14.6-percent market share is topped in Canada with a 15.2-percent share.

Why isn’t the F-Series’ success channeled into greater success for the overarching Ford Canada empire, admittedly an empire that generated more new vehicle sales than any other automaker in the first eight months of 2016?

Much as you may think that in America the F-Series is Ford, the Blue Oval relies on the F-Series for only 31 percent of its U.S. volume. That figure jumps to 49 percent in Canada. Ford sells 15 times more cars in the U.S. than in Canada, for instance, and 18 times more Explorers, succeeding on the breadth of its lineup in ways Ford Canada does not.

No, it’s in Canada where the F-Series is Ford. And there’s a reason.

Use the 2016 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 SuperCrew 3.5 EcoBoost as an example. Priced in the U.S. market at $44,140 including destination, Ford’s advertised incentives bring the F-150 down to $41,140. For a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 SuperCrew 3.5 EcoBoost in Canada, the $48,149 MSRP is incentivized with a $4,750 delivery allowance and a $5,409 Employee Pricing Discount, dragging the price down to $37,990. At current exchange rates, Ford Canada’s $37,990 XLT 4×4 SuperCrew 3.5 EcoBoost is worth USD $29,000.

That explains a lot.

“We price against the competition and to the Canadian market,” Ford Canada’s product marketing manager for trucks, Mike Sinuita, told TTAC when asked about the aggressive incentivizing. “We’re not concerned with how the truck is priced in the U.S.”

“We’re a natural-resources-driven economy,” Sinuita said. As a result, Ford doesn’t shy away from positive fleet business that’s good for the bottom line. “We’ve got a lot of strong fleet customers in logging, mining, and the oil fields.”

Unfortunately, Ford, like General Motors and FCA, is unwilling to break down light and heavy-duty pickup truck sales, so we’re not able to completely decipher which aspects of the F-Series overperform north of the border.

Sinuita also acknowledged that, much as Ford is willing to tout the overarching F-Series’ capability and the F-150’s all-around appeal, the market is to credit for some of the F-Series enviable results. As recently as 2008, passenger cars accounted for 54 percent of the Canadian market. Light trucks now account for 65 percent of the market and, says Sinuita, “We’ve ridden that wave.”

The hope at Ford Canada is that the wave won’t soon break. Yet to its credit, the Ford F-Series has ridden higher atop that wave than its rivals. Canadian F-Series sales are up 27 percent this year; its rivals are collectively down 1 percent.

And Ford wants more. “We’re continually investing in the truck,” Sinuita said in referencing the 2017 F-150’s available 10-speed automatic transmission. Asked if Ford hopes for a direct correlation between advancements and sales success, Sinuita said no. “We just want to make the truck better.”

Seems like for Canada, it’s good enough already.

[Images: Ford]

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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12 of 130 comments
  • Tinn-Can Tinn-Can on Sep 21, 2016

    So what you are saying is I should offer the US dealer $30k for the $44k sticker truck? I know they say you can haggle a lot on trucks but I never know just how much. I see the MSRP then I turn 360 degrees and walk away...

    • See 2 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 22, 2016

      @Drzhivago138 (Asking directly about money is rude everywhere, not just Minnesota.)

  • W. W. on Sep 21, 2016

    Seriously? TTAC seems to be focusing way more heavily on Canada as of late...while I appreciate automotive news from all sectors of the world, it seems peculiar to me that there is such a heavy focus on our friendly neighbor to the North...

    • See 6 previous
    • VoGo VoGo on Sep 21, 2016

      @W. How does TTAC take back all the pause it's given to W?

  • Abqhudson Passenger seating in recent accords has been unacceptable with my 5’2” wife forced to look at the dash while sitting in the hole provided.
  • ToolGuy Real Subarus are green and coated with dust from at least three different National Parks (Gateway Arch doesn't count).
  • ToolGuy Good for them.(And their customers. $2500 first-year subscription on top of the system cost? That ain't me)
  • ToolGuy T E L L U R I D E is not on this list(I can keep my poster on the wall)
  • ToolGuy My impression is that Honda has been coasting on its reputation for awhile now.(To Honda's credit, they aren't standing on the Self Destruct button like Toyota seems to be)