F-Series Leaves Big Tracks To Fill
If you’re searching Ford trucks for sale, rest assured you’re not alone. CNN Money said it best, “Ford has sold enough F-Series trucks to circle the earth more than three times.”
For the past 35 years, the F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle of any kind in America. That’s right…’vehicle.’ It isn’t (only) the best selling truck in America (which incidentally, it has been for a full 40 years) it’s the best-selling ‘vehicle’ in America.
Let’s think about that for a moment: Ford, Chevy, GMC, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, and more (we all know that list) – among all of these manufacturers and their respective offerings of cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, eco-friendly hybrids, and electric…not a single offering has outsold Ford’s F-Series across the last three-and-a-half decades.
Seriously…pause on that.
Not Slowing Down
Despite a surge of incentive programs across the industry, car sales have continued to take a backseat to truck (and SUV) sales well into 2017. Resulting in excessive inventories, Fiat Chrysler reported a 5% decrease in car sales, Toyota and Honda reported 2% and 1%, respectively. While it would be fair to point out that Ford car sales led the pack with the largest decrease in car sales (7.5% overall) the takeaway from any of these statistics is not the drop in car sales, but that it resulted from an increase in truck and SUV sales.
And while experts have predicted an overall slowing of recent surge in car buying, the trends don’t show any major signs of changing. The only potential impetus for a drastic change comes in the form of hybrid and electric offerings which, admittedly, are still within their commercial infancy. As pricing becomes more in-line with the average car buying budget, these options are gaining interest, especially among urban environments. But until eco-friendly vehicles can boast a wider-range of versatility, the truck market in its current form faces no immediate threat.
Which begs the question, what has created the surge in truck buying? Whereas the family and lifestyle-friendliness of SUV offerings created an organic successor to outdated sedans, there always seemed to be a clear distinction between ‘car people’ and ‘truck people.’ The answer lies in the dissolution of the proverbial line in the sand.
America in ‘Drive’
Classic ideas of Americana conjure visuals of pastoral landscapes and the pioneering spirit of the self-sufficient, denim-clad, working man. Partnered with a beat-up Ford truck, jobs-at-hand are tackled to completion, whether digging new fence posts or raising a barn. And while that spirit is alive and well within segments of our population, the demands of other segments evolved – and Ford evolved along with it.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, an American subculture began to thrive. Inspired by the likes of Bob Villa and Time Life book series, Do-it-Yourself-ers began to tackle more and more household tasks. The demand for supplies and materials increased, fueling growth for the likes of home improvement retailers, such Home Depot and Lowes. And with the surging demands of America’s Honey-Do List, more trips to-and-from these stores were inevitable. If you were among these motivated self-starters, you might suddenly have found your 1985 Ford Fiesta to be somewhat lacking in its versatility. Enter the Ford F-Series.
And the evolution didn’t go unnoticed by truck manufacturers. Recognizing that their demographic was changing, and that its traditional blue collar customer-base was being bolstered by families and more white collar professionals, the changes began.
From comfort-driven amenities like seating and upholstery options, to the inclusion of tech-friendly features (beyond the ever reliable cassette tape deck) truck designs became more accommodating and less-hardened. More attention was being paid to exterior design aesthetics, as well. As a leader in the movement, Ford was hardly exempt; asserting itself as the perfect partner for any job, simply updated to fit the times.
And over time, the more diverse demographic would help to further distinguish the line itself. From the light-duty F-150 to the SuperDuty offerings, there was a Ford F-Series truck for every man, woman, and job that needed to get done. Judging by ever-increasing sales, it’s safe to say that the message was received loud-and-clear.
Recession & Recovery
Fast-forward to the mid-to-late 2000s, and truck (as well as SUV) sales faced a formidable adversary in the form of increasing fuel costs. With every day that passed, Americans were spending more at the pump and, having done so for nearly half-a-decade, there was no end in sight.
Recession had hit. And while this economic epidemic sparked innovations encouraging refinement of fuel-efficient eco-friendly vehicles, gas prices over $5.00 per gallon did little to help those with a 38-gallon tank to fill. Spoiler Alert: we survived, but truck sales dipped for a while.
As gas prices returned to a more palatable price point, interest resumed. Refinements followed, and in 2015, the F-Series boasted several tweaks, including an all-aluminum body for the F-150, improving the power-to-weight ratio and fuel economy. Always looking forward, but never turning a blind eye to the past, the F-Series had once more reinvented itself for the American driver.
Not a brand to rest on laurels, further refreshes are in store for 2018. Retaining all the signature performance of the F-Series, yet enhanced with the most modern innovation, today’s Ford trucks convey an evolution of what ‘versatility’ means to the American driver. No longer content to await the next job that needs to be done, Ford’s F-Series is the product of modern multi-tasking. Best-in-Class performance designed to be as comfortable dropping the kids off at school as it could be towing a 21,000-LB trailer, there’s something for everyone. When you’re searching Ford trucks for sale, rest assured that the F-Series leaves big tracks to fill.