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Ford Fires New Salvo in Pickup Wars

Detroit maker boosts F-Series towing capacity to 21,000 pounds.

by on Jul.18, 2016

The 2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty boasts up to 27,500 pounds of towing capacity with a fifth wheel.

Pickup sales are hot right now, but competition is heating up even faster, and automakers are putting more emphasis than ever on the durability and capabilities of their trucks in a bid to win over buyers.

In recent months, fuel economy and cargo bed toughness have been spotlighted by various makers. Now, Ford Motor Co. is turning to towing capacity as it reveals specifications for the new, aluminum-bodied version of its big F-450 Super Duty model.

Ford says the heavy-duty version of the more familiar F-150 will be able to tow up to a 21,000-pound trailer, about 1,000 pounds more than competitive models. Add a fifth-wheel package and towing capacity jumps to 27,500 pounds, or more than a ton over the competition, according to Ford.

Keep on Truckin'!

“This is the best heavy-duty truck we’ve ever made,” says Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager.

After falling sharply during the Great Recession, pickup sales have posted a strong rebound over the last few years. But competition has also accelerated. Nissan recently launched the second of two new versions of its Titan truck. Toyota has been tinkering with its Tundra model, as well. And Detroit’s Big Three have been steadily trying to one-up each other, as well.

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Lightweight Aluminum for New Ford Super Duty

Ford cuts weight, adds features, capabilities to heavy-duty trucks.

by on Sep.24, 2015

Ford's F-Series Super Duty follows the smaller F-150 in switching to an aluminum body.

Ford is cutting some of the mass, but increasing the capabilities, of its biggest trucks, the 2017 F-Series Super Duty.

Officially making a debut at the State Fair of Texas today, the heavy-duty models follow the more mainstream Ford F-150 model in switching from traditional steel to a lightweight aluminum body. That’s something Ford says will reduce the weight of the trucks by as much as 350 pounds. At the same time, the maker beefed up the towing and cargo capacity of the Super Duty models, it said.

Your New Product HQ!

“There’s more change to this story than there was with the F-150” which went on sale for the 2015 model-year, explained Doug Scott, F-Series marketing manager, during a background briefing TheDetroitBureau.com attended.

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Ford Goes Wild(track) With Updated Ranger

Could move signal return of the midsize pickup to US?

by on Sep.14, 2015

The Ford Ranger Wildtrack bumps the midsize pickup into a higher level of refinement.

Ford is going wild as it prepares to launch an updated version of its midsize Ranger pickup in Europe. Make that Wildtrack, a new version of the truck making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

The unveiling in Europe further bolsters hopes that the Detroit maker will finally move ahead on long-rumored plans to bring the Ranger back to the American market, filling a yawning gap left wide open when it killed off the old, U.S.-made Ranger a few years back.

Trailblazing!

“With the stunning new Wildtrak at the pinnacle of the line-up, the new Ford Ranger provides customers with an unbeatable combination of four-wheel drive capability, stand-out styling and premium features like SYNC 2 connectivity,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Ranger is ready for any challenge – offering optimised fuel efficiency, towing and payload capacity, and class-leading wading capability.”

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Atlas Concept Truck a Pick-Up for Ford Stock

Unexpected unveiling offers a hint of replacement for best-selling F-Series.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The surprise debut of the Ford Atlas concept pickup.

Ford Motor Co. stock took a sharp jump following the automaker’s unexpected unveiling of the Atlas Concept truck, a prototype offering a hint of what’s to come when the maker replaces its best-selling F-Series pickup in 2014.

In an appearance to an industry conference coinciding with the North American International Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly marveled at the reaction to the preview.  The unveiling of the Atlas had been whispered about but unconfirmed by the maker until the huge silver truck descended from the ceiling of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

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“How about that,” proclaimed Mulally in an off-the-cuff remark following  his speech to the Automotive News World Congress. By the time the NY Stock Exchange closed, Ford common was up 31 cents, or 2.22%, for the day, to $14.30.

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Ford’s Atlas Concept Signals Plan for Next-Gen F-150

Truck wars keep heating up as Ford concept takes aim at new Chevy, GMC and Chrysler pickups.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept signals the maker's plans for the next-generation F-Series pickup.

Ford tossed a hand grenade into the already escalating truck wars, literally dropping in on the North American International Auto Show with the Atlas, a concept pickup that provides some clear hints about where the maker is going with the next-generation F-Series, the country’s best-selling truck for more than a third of a century.

The widely-rumored reveal came just a day after Chrysler won the coveted North American Truck of the Year award during the Detroit Auto Show’s opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, Chevrolet had hoped to steal the show with Monday’s official unveiling of the next-generation Silverado pickup.

The Last Word!

Senior Ford officials did little to deny that they were intentionally trying to steal their competitors’ thunder by bringing the Atlas to the 2013 NAIAS and teasing what they promised would be a wide range of new industry-benchmark features and capabilities.

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Ford, Mazda Invest $350M in Thai Engine Plant – As Plans Move Ahead to Close U.S. Ranger Plant

Maker says slight possibility of importing new pickup to U.S.

by on Aug.26, 2010

A new investment in the Thai Ranger replacement even as plans proceed to end U.S. production.

Ford Motor Co. says it will invest $350 million in a partnership with long-time Asian affiliate Mazda Motors to produce a new compact pickup truck – even as the maker rejects bids by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and other local officials to save an assembly plant producing the current Ford Ranger pickup.

Together, Ford and Mazda have invested $1.85 billion into their AutoAlliance Thailand factory, in the Bangkok suburb of Rayong, since 1995.  The additional $350 million investment will support the launch of an all-new compact truck that is set to go into production in mid-2011.

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AAT will become “a global center of excellence for the production of both brand’s compact pickup trucks,” said Mazda Executive Vice President Masaharu Yamaki.

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