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US Truck Sales Battle Begins Heating Up

GM tagged for higher incentives, Ford called out for towing claims.

by on Jul.21, 2016

GM's competitors are wondering if supply levels are low then why do they need spend more on incentives.

(This story has been updated with additional information.)

Sales of pickup trucks have boomed this year, but so too has the competition for sales, which is heating up across the board.

General Motors, for example, has been called out for raising incentives recently, according to a widely circulated piece from Bloomberg News.

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Incentives averaged $7,962 on the Chevrolet Silverado, up 76% from June levels, and $9,457 on the GMC Sierra, an increase of 147%, according to J.D. Power data obtained by Bloomberg. (more…)

Ford Invests $1.3 Bil at Kentucky Plant for New Super Duty

Automaker adding 2,000 jobs.

by on Dec.01, 2015

Ford plans to expand its uses of aluminum in its truck to include its Super Duty line-up.

Ford Motor Co. is preparing to spend $1.3 billion to prepare the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, for the next generation heavy-duty pickup truck, which will have an all-aluminum body just like the popular F-150.

The move will also create 2,000 new jobs to support the launch of the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty truck, which Ford is already describing as the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty truck line-up ever despite some tough competition from General Motors and FCA U.S.

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Ford is investing $1.3 billion for an all-new body shop, facility upgrades and retooling to build the new truck in Kentucky. The investment in the new body shop comes on top of the $80 million Ford invested in 2014 to meet growing customer demand for Super Duty trucks. (more…)

Chevrolet Debuts 2016 Silverado Full-Size Pickup

Best truck battle moves to State Fair of Texas.

by on Sep.24, 2015

Chevrolet is heating up the truck wars again, but this time with a new product: the 2016 Silverado debuted in Texas.

For months now the rivalry between top truck dogs – Ford and Chevy – has been limited to snarky ads about preferences between aluminum and steel. Now there is a new angle: product, as Chevy rolled out its redesigned 2016 Silverado.

The new truck, and its sister pickup, the GMC Sierra, get substantive makeovers for the new model year, and unlike many new model intros, the new vehicles will be available in short order.

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It marks the first real change since 2013 for the full-size offerings from General Motors. The biggest difference in the new model stares you right in the fact as the maker has redesigned the front end of the truck, giving it a brawnier look and feel: a trend among most of the new trucks these days. (more…)

Chevy Smacks Ford for Aluminum Truck, Then Adds Aluminum to Silverado

GM invests $877 million in truck plant to help with transition.

by on Aug.06, 2015

Is the new 2016 Chevrolet Silverado going to follow Ford's lead and use more aluminum?

A few weeks back, Chevrolet took Ford to task for its extensive of use of aluminum in its new F-150 full-size pickup. The brand mocked the strength of the material and said it’s more costly to fix in a series of ads.

Ford took minor umbrage, putting out a release essentially saying that Chevrolet was wrong and knew as much. Chevy officials simply said it was just getting its side of the story out.

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Fast forward to now and what material is Chevy using to help increase fuel efficiency in its next-generation Silverado? Aluminum. (more…)

Spy Shots: Ford Super Duty Goes Aluminum, Too

But wait – there’s more.

by on May.13, 2015

Ford's 2016 F-Series Super Duty in full disguise, although some changes can be seen on this version.

Almost lost in the fanfare surrounding the debut of the all-new, “aluminum-intensive” 2015 Ford F-150 has been the fate of the Super Duty models to follow. While the light-duty F-150 may make up the majority of the sales, the heftier F-250, F-350 and even bigger trucks have a significant following, as well, and appeal to buyers who make some tough demands.

No surprise, then, that Ford is taking a little longer to roll out their replacements. But if anyone is still wondering, they, too, will migrate from steel to aluminum when they make it to market for the 2016 model-year.

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A closer look at these photos of the 2016 F-250 prototypes shows some major (how major can you get in a pickup’s design?) changes are coming in the big boys from Ford. For one, the grille is more detailed in appearance with multiple horizontal bars above and below the centered Blue Oval icon. At the bottom is a redesigned – flattop – bumper and square corner air deflector. (more…)

Ford Going Mainstream with CNG Version of F-150

High-mileage, low-cost alternative.

by on May.04, 2015

The 2016 F-150 will offer a gaseous-fuel prep option, making it the only light-duty pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas or propane.

Ford Motor Co. will launch a new compressed natural gas version of its F-150 pickup, the first light-duty full-size truck to offer a CNG option.

The alternative fuel has become increasingly abundant thanks to the growth of fracking in the U.S. For cars and trucks, it typically offers lower operating costs – though there is a significant up-front investment, as much as $10,000 on the Ford truck. CNG also allows a buyer to maintain the towing and payload capacity of the F-150, unlike some other options.

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“We surveyed customers likely to use natural gas or propane, and 72% told us they want to have these alternative-fuel capabilities available on F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. “We expect the gaseous-fuel prep package will be even more popular than it was on the 2014 F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 engine, given the capability of the 2016 F-150 5.0-liter V8.” (more…)

Ford Stock Taking Hit over Uncertainty Surrounding F-150

Will customers pay for pricey truck innovations with low gas prices?

by on Dec.16, 2014

The all-new Ford F-150 has some Wall Street analysts worried. Ford's stock is down 7.5% this year.

The launch of the new Ford F-150 pickup truck has been giving the Wall Street a case of the jitters ever since it was unveiled at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Ford Motor Co. stock tumbled again after an analyst’s note suggested the recent drop in price of oil, which has cut the price of gasoline to the lowest point in five years, might undercut Ford’s the strategy behind the new truck, which is made of aluminum to reduce weight and improve fuel economy.


In trading Monday, the value of Ford shares dropped 4.7%, to close at $14.28, the lowest since Nov. 10. By way of comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined than 1% (.58%) on Monday, while the Standard & Poors also declined less than 1% (.63%). Ford’s shares are off 7.5% so far this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 7.6%. (more…)

Ram Truck Sales Bolstering Chrysler Group Profits

Brand making inroads in full-size pickup segment.

by on Oct.31, 2014

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the brand's fastest-selling model. Ram is gobbling up marketshare in the full-size pickup segment.

The battle for pickup truck supremacy is getting more intense and Ram is enjoying a run that is not only gaining it a larger marketshare, but also a major contribution to Chrysler Group’s bottom line.

While Ram is still No. 3 on the list of full-size truck sales, it’s an active player in the segment and, perhaps more importantly, the brand’s leadership is ready to jump in and scrap for sales.

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Bob Hegbloom, the new head of the Ram brand, said during a luncheon meeting with reporters that he was both surprised and disappointed with the Chrysler Group’s showing in the Consumer Reports annual quality survey, adding the company was moving to fix the problems cited by he influential magazine. (more…)

Ford Seeking Fifth Truck Crown at SEMA

Two designs give maker shot at another victory.

by on Oct.20, 2014

Ford Racing’s Brian Deegan built the Deegan 38 F-150 with the 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost engine for the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Ford is attempting to stake its claim for the “Hottest Truck” award at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas next month with two entries. If Ford takes the honor, it’ll be the fifth year in a row.

Ford Racing’s Brian Deegan created the Deegan 30 F-150 that uses the 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost engine. He partnered with several top-flight suppliers to produce what he believes to be the “world’s most capable truck,” according to the maker.

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“This F-150 should inspire the vast off-road, extreme-lifestyle-loving fan base to push the possibilities of the kick-ass new 2015 F-150 and the awesome 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine,” said Deegan. (more…)

Ford May Return to Small Pickup Market

But Detroit maker likely won’t use new Global Ranger for American market.

by on Oct.09, 2014

Ford still sells the Ranger around the world, but is reconsidering its decision to discontinue it in the U.S.

Ford Motor Co. may be ready to reverse its long-standing decision to abandon the compact American pickup market. But the maker is struggling to find a design that will offer a true alternative to the best-selling Ford F-150 full-size truck.

Ford walked away from the small pickup segment in December 2011, when it abandoned the long-in-the-tooth Ranger. And it wasn’t alone. With small truck sales withering over the decades, Chrysler and General Motors also pulled the plug on their old models.

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But GM is back for 2015 with two new midsize pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and if initial reviews and early orders are any indication, they could be major hits, challenging the aged trucks offered by Toyota and Nissan. (more…)