Ford Motor Co. is targeting to increase the gas mileage of its next-generation F-150 pickups by 15-20 percent, as it tries to bring in an extra factor for choosing full-size trucks aside from power, durability and towing capacity -- fuel economy.
Ford’s aim is a contrast to the strategy being pursued by rival General Motors, which recently provided a glimpse of its redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. GM listed more power and torque, a quieter cab and additional safety features as the main attributes of the redesigned pickups.
On the other hand, Ford is aiming to increasing its average truck fuel economy by up to 3 miles per gallon when it executes a $2 billion redesign of its full-size F-series in fall 2014, an industry source privy with the carmaker’s plans told Reuters. The source disclosed that the 2015 Ford F-150 will be a “game-changer” that will alter the dynamics of the truck segment, adding that the carmaker is aiming for best-in-class fuel economy.
Ford spokesman Mike Levine remarked that Ford is committed to offering its customers leading fuel economy, but said that it is premature to talk about future products. Ford’s overhaul of the F-150 and the focus on enhancing its mileage could help the F-series keep its dominant position in the truck segment. The overhaul could also help Ford maintain a key source of profits and comply with more stringent federal fuel-economy standards that will come into force in 2015 and 2016.
The F-series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 30 years. The pickup and its sport-utility derivatives like the Expedition account for over 90 percent of Ford's global profit, according to Adam Jonas, an auto analyst at Morgan Stanley. Joseph Langley, an analyst with LMC Automotive, remarked that today's pickup buyers are “more savvy” and demand greater utility, technology and comfort features, as well as improved fuel economy.