Ford’s Medium Duty Truck Sales Up 59 Percent, Best Year Since 1997
Sales show Ford’s revamp of the F-650 & F-750 were well timedby Mark McNabb, on
Ford is experiencing a major success with its new 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks. Since their launch in August of 2015, the trucks have sold 10,160 units, representing a 59-percent increase in year-over-year sales. It was 1997 when Ford last had this much gain in its medium duty segment.
“We’re seeing growing interest in the new tractor from beverage and hauling fleets,” says Kevin Koester, Ford medium-duty truck and Super Duty fleet marketing manager. “Giving our customers the choice of two exclusive powertrains, available across all body styles and designed specifically for the unique needs of the vocational truck market, has really helped drive sales of our new trucks.”
Ford credits its sales growth to big improvements with the F-650 and F-750. They include a quieter, more insulated cabin, multiple frame designs and wheelbase choices to suit a wide variety of customers, and powertrain improvements that include both gasoline and diesel engines backed by Ford’s heavy-duty automatic transmission.
The F-650 and F-750 remain the only medium-duty trucks to offer a gasoline engine, the 6.8-liter V-10. Added to that is the option for a CNG fuel system, giving customers the choice between running standard gasoline or Compressed Natural Gas. The diesel engine is familiar to Super Duty customers – the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel. Ford offers the engine in three stages of tune. The base tune makes 270 horsepower and 675 pound-feet of torque. The mid-rage tune boosts power to 300 horses and 700 pound-feet of torque. Those doing extremely heavy lifting will want the 300-horse, 725 pound-feet version. Fleet bosses also love Ford’s five-year/250,000-mile warranty on the Power Stroke.
“Towing and rental customers have embraced the gas engine, and others are looking at this powertrain for more severe service applications,” Koester says. “Our diesel customers are praising the quietness of the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine. Not only is it up to 45 percent quieter in the cabin at idle than the outgoing model, it’s so quiet that customers have told us that there have been times when they’ve approached the truck in front of the grille and didn’t even realize it was running.”
While NVH levels aren’t generally selling points for commercial trucks, the quite operation certainly isn’t a detractor.
Ford also builds the F-650 and F-750 at its Ohio Assembly Plant near Cleveland, having moved production from Mexico in late 2015. The automaker invested some $168 million in the Ohio plant before beginning work on the F-650 and F-750.
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Why It Matters
Ford sells a ton of truck. That’s no secret. It sells so many, though, that much of its corporate coffers rely on the profits made from the F-650 and F-750, along with the rest of the F-Series lineup. Improving its medium duty trucks now pushes Ford forward with having a full lineup of trucks that fit in the Class 1 through Class 7 category. No other domestic automaker can say that.
Further evidence of the F-650 and F-750’s sales increase, Ford says it sold more F-650s and F-750s in the first eight months of 2016 than it did in all of 2015. And while moving 10,160 units might not sound overly impressive, you’ve got to consider the truck is only marketed towards commercial customers buying for fleets. The average Joe isn’t buying an F-650 to cruise around town.
All told, it seems Ford is on track to have a record year when 2016 wraps. Up. Not only have the F-650 and F-750 performed extremely well, the all-new 2017 Super Duty is hitting the market and should sell equally well.
We’ll be watching the numbers roll in, so stay tuned to TopSpeed Trucks for the full rundown.