Ford CEO Jim Farley has said he sees little reason for the automaker to bother using traditional advertising campaigns for electric vehicles. Considering how often I see the Ford logo grace whatever screen I happen to be peering into, this would seem to go against everything I’ve been conditioned to accept. However the company believes its EVs practically sell themselves already, with the executive noting that the Mach-E has been sold out for quite some time.
“I’m not convinced we need public advertising for [electric vehicles] if we do our job,” Farley said during Wednesday’s Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has officially started production at the company’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan and will apparently be getting some company at the Blue Oval City campus in Tennessee. On Tuesday, CEO Jim Farley said that the upcoming plant had been selected to produce a new model during a press event covering the official launch of the all-electric F-Series.
“It’s another truck,” he explained. “This is not our only truck. We said very clearly we want to be the leader in electric pickup trucks.”
With window stickers of Ford’s all-electric Lightning pickup having leaked late last week, there were a lot of people interested in having their “Fuel Economy and Environment” estimates verified. Ford CEO Jim Farley has obliged by confirming the figures, adding that the vehicle’s maximum range should ballpark around 300 miles (or better) unless you snub the extended-range models.
The executive confirmed the F-150 Lightning XLT, Lariat, and Pro trims at 320 miles with the bigger battery. Though those running with the standard battery pack only yield 230 miles between charging. Meanwhile, the Lightning Platinum tops out at 300 miles even due to it having gnarly tires and being less aerodynamic than its siblings.
As if Ford didn’t have enough headaches in terms of pickup truck supply, the derailment of a train carrying a load of the things has thrown the automaker even further off track. According to local media, a freight train ran into trouble while hauling the things through Missouri, creating a stack of metal that Blue Oval suits certainly could do without seeing right now.
Here’s the good news: no injuries or environmental damage was reported, save for the new pair of pants that was surely required for the train’s operator.
Ford Super Duty sales increased by 7.5 percent in November, while the F-series sold 713,325 trucks, 195,000 more than Chevrolet and GMC combined to capture the title of America’s best-selling pickup for the 44th straight year.
Meanwhile, the Ford Transit, America’s best-selling van, sold 9,917 units, 13.9 percent over last year, and a 70-percent increase in commercial sales for the month. Outselling its nearest competitor by 41 percent, Ford now holds a 31-percent share of the full-size van market.
Ford Motor Company’s 2021 Model Year is full of new trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. The one hundred and seventeen-year-old company has a renewed focus on these profitable categories while no longer offering a sedan in North America. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Mustang Mach-E expand Ford’s vehicle portfolio while adding new segments for the brand. These are all very important products for the future of Ford Motor Company. However, none of those vehicles provide the company with the same level of revenue as the other new vehicle in the 2021 lineup; the 2021 Ford F-150.
It’s safe to say that the F-150 is Ford’s most important product. It has been the best-selling vehicle in America since 1977 and is in a segment where average transaction prices are near $50,000. In 2014, in order to create a more capable and more fuel-efficient truck, Ford moved the thirteenth-generation F-150 to an all-aluminum exterior. But between that release and today, the full-sized truck segment has become even more competitive. General Motors released an all-new Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 and FCA introduced a brand new RAM 1500.
While Ford’s F-150 is slated for electrification, Super Duty versions of the F-Series are not. On Monday, the automaker told industry analysts that HD EVs weren’t in the cards — adding that customers can still expect all-electric versions of the Mach-E “Mustang” and Transit van.
“Our goal is to build a profitable electric vehicle portfolio,” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, explained during the forum hosted by Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. “To do that, we need to leverage our strengths and the scale that we have. We’re being very strategic about the platforms that we choose.”
Ford is recalling over 700,0000 vehicles in North America over poor electrical connections that can put the rearview camera display on the fritz. The feed runs the risk of providing drivers a corrupted image or cutting out intermittently, raising crash risks, and violating present-day vehicle safety mandates. While the tried and true method of turning one’s head and using the mirrors should allow for drama-free parking, Ford is still under obligation to repair these systems.
Documents submitted to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) have indicated that affected models include Ford’s Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Mustang, Ranger, and Transit vehicles from the 2020 model year. Lincoln will also be recalling the 2020 Lincoln Corsair and Nautilus.
With the Ram 1500 TRX assumed to arrive with a V8 making oodles of power, Ford’s F-150 Raptor may round out the year with egg on its face. In 2017, the Blue Oval ditched the model’s 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and added a quartet of gears — pissing some die-hard fans of the model right off. Baja boys bemoaned the decision to put a more complicated motor into a vehicle that’s designed to be abused largely off-road, while others were just mad they were missing out on that V8 sound. However, most of those who weren’t obsessed with SVT badging agreed the changes hadn’t ruined the truck and that the second-gen suspension upgrades ultimately made for a better off-road vehicle.
That said, Ram dumping a model onto the market that targets the same audience, and with a V8 on board, is bad news for Ford. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if the noises we hear coming from the tailpipes of the latest test mule are what some listeners claim.
The hazy year of 1981 brought the world many things, among them, yours truly. It was also a year that sent bullets flying through the air towards several world figures; a year that saw interest rates soar to new heights (while horsepower values fell to dismal lows), and brought what was arguably the last year of true classic rock.
In the background, New Wave ominously gathered strength.
Also gathering strength? The Ford F-Series’s popularity, as the model line donned the hat of best-selling vehicle in the U.S. that year. The F-Series traces its lineage to the Truman administration, and we now have a new generation to ooh and aah over.
Ford has recalled nearly 68,000 vehicles manufactured at the start of 2020 and sold in North America, saying the cars suffer from a potential manufacturing defect where the clip that locks the gearshift cable to the transmission can become unseated.
While the company says it isn’t aware of any incidents related to the issue, a decoupling clip could allow a car’s transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the operator. This could easily lead to dangerous roll-away accidents as drivers unwittingly put their vehicle into the wrong gear while thinking they’ve selected park.
As part of Tesla Motors’ debut of Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk showed a clip in which the EV pickup yanks a Ford F-150 uphill against its will. The Blue Oval is also building an all-electric pickup, in addition to already manufacturing the best-selling truck model in history. Clearly, Tesla clearly wanted to place both on notice, though the video only provides evidence that Cybertruck can tug a rear-drive F-Series uphill in a video Tesla produced to show exactly that outcome.
Media outlets began musing if this was really a fair fight, apparently forgetting how advertising works, while science celeb Neil deGrasse Tyson offered a public physics lessons. “We all love Torque. But high Torque just spins a tire in place if there’s not enough weight to provide traction,” he said in response to the video. “Fully load the F150, giving highest traction to its rear wheels, then try to drag that up the hill. I otherwise agree: Load both to the max and the highest torque wins.”
Mr. Tyson’s new role as a Ford Truck Man remains unconfirmed, but the more likely scenario is that he’s simply trying to make sure the test is at least mildly scientific. Ford agreed, saying a fair test between brands was just what the doctor ordered.
Never have pickup trucks mattered more to an automaker, especially domestic automakers. As sedans and coupes fall off, trucks make up an ever greater percentage of a company’s sales, and the greater (and quickly rising) average selling prices of these hulking family vehicles means there’s a pot of gold waiting for those who succeed.
While the full-size pickup front-runner hasn’t changed since the early 1980s, Ford’s F-Series faces growing competition from two traditional foes. Both Fiat Chrysler and General Motors have newer pickups on the market, and it’s eating into the popularity of the untouchable F-Series.
Earlier this year, Ford teased a bunch of updates for its 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickups — including the all-new 7.3-liter V8 the automaker planned on offering.
Timed perfectly to coincide with the exact moment we forgot the motor was supposed to be coming, Ford released some specs this week. They don’t look half bad. Designed to be as hardwearing as possible, despite not being a diesel, the Windsor-built V8 will be made broadly available — making its way inside F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis models and the upgraded E-Series van.
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- VoGhost I don't really care about sub-branding. I care about great product. GM should focus less on the branding and more on the great product part of the equation. Barra was appointed CEO on the premise of 'no more boring cars'. It hasn't worked out that way.
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- Lou_BC The birfield joints on these older units tend to need a rebuild and are very expensive to replace.
- Luke42 I'm only interested in the electric models.I own a 6L GM V8 (in a pickup truck), and it's a big sound and fury for small delta-V.A bunch if E-Vettes which reflect the Porche range would be interesting,.