Nearly everyone knows that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup truck line in the United States. In fact, it has held that position since the late 1970s. As such, some may be under the impression that Ford leads the pickup truck segment, writ large. But they do not as that position belongs to GM.
Indeed, the F-150 alone does not always outsell GM’s two full-size pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Notably, in the quarter ended September 30, 2021, Ford sold 172,799 units of its F-150. On the other hand, GM sold 175,841 units of its full-size duo. Moreover, the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon outsold the Ford Ranger by approximately 3,500 units. Throw in the first 506 sales of the compact Ford Maverick and GM led Ford for the quarter by at least 6,000 units.
Pickup Truck Trio
But changes are in progress and Ford may have a better idea to beat GM in truck sales. If all goes according to plan, Ford may solidify its position quickly. We believe that by year-end Ford will overtake GM and put some distance between the two. Of course, the one variable is the semiconductor chip shortage that is simply devastating how automakers build, market, and sell cars. Nevertheless, we believe Ford has the following three-prong strategy in place to make itself America’s top producer of pickup trucks. That strategy involves its three pickup truck lines.
If you can’t beat the competition with your two core models, why not welcome a third? Although we are certain that wasn’t Ford’s approach, it is one that should vault the blue oval to the top.
Ford reached into its model name archives to pull out the 1970s era Maverick for the name of its new, compact pickup truck. Unlike the Ranger and F-Series, this one is based on a car platform, sharing its underpinnings with Ford’s other small cars which are, incidentally, not sold in the U.S. We think Ford has a recipe for success here as the new model will retail from the low $20,000-range and come with a standard hybrid powerplant. Big sales are in the offing as Ford reopens a segment that has long been closed to American shoppers.
Ford ended production of the previous-generation Ranger in 2011 while releasing a global model in 2012. For a few years, Ford said that it would not bring the Ranger to the U.S., but soon changed its mind. You can credit the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models that reappeared in 2015 for Ford’s about-face. The only problem though is that the current Ranger was rather old when it appeared several years later.
But Ford isn’t sitting still and will soon reveal an all-new 2023 Ranger. The new model includes design elements from the F-150 and Maverick. We’re also likely to see a Ranger Raptor variant. Other details are forthcoming but know this: the next-generation Ranger should be a considerable improvement over the current model.
Ford released an all-new F-150 in 2021, which has helped sales. It is the thirteenth generation for this venerable model name and reflects Ford’s commitment to its strongest selling model line. The competition, though, is tough as Ram 1500 sales continue to grow, while GM has heavily refreshed pickup trucks ready for 2022. Even the Toyota Tundra is all-new for 2022. The stakes are high, but Ford plans to meet the challenge.
Arriving late in the 2022 model year, we will see the first all-electric F-150 variant, the Lightning. The new truck has won considerable praise and Ford says it has orders in hand numbering in the six-figure range. Certainly, some of those customers will move up from a gas or diesel model, while others are certain to make the leap from another brand. If all goes according to plan, the F-Series will simply bolster its position in the market. Even as an electric Silverado follows.
Making the Pickup Grade
We think Ford will soon become the indisputable leader of pickup truck volume in the U.S. Moreover, it is likely to strengthen its position in other markets as Ranger and Maverick sales increase. The only people left out are car buyers, but the Maverick may pull enough of these kinds of buyers in to help them make the switch from cars to trucks.
See Also — Ford Rolls Out the Bronco Sport Crossover
Photos copyright the Ford Motor Company.