Ford, Still King of the Hill

By: Jay Stevens

Ford Motor Co. is determined to keep its reign as the "King of the Hill." So far, this is the third decade that said automaker is holding the prestigious title in the pickup truck market.

Ford F-150 is the leading pickup truck for 30 years now. This year along, it has 133,000-truck lead over the nearest competitor. There are several attempts to dethrone the F-Series nonetheless; the attempts did not appear strong enough to topple the lingering success of the vehicles.

"Let's remember that F-Series is the benchmark when it comes to trucks," said Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "The competition has done some work to try to play catch up. We've been through competitive product reviews, of course, and we see that they have updated some things and have made strides. But we're not sitting back. And we're certainly not playing catch up. They are."

According to auto analysts, to put a dent to the sales and reputation of F-150's, the automaker's competitors must concentrate on an expanded truck-buying target market. Analysts say that the success of Ford's trucks can be attributed to many alliances with organizations like NASCAR, Cabela's, Professional Bull Riders, the Professional Bull Riders, Home Depot, Monster Jam and Harley Davidson.

"Our alliance partners allow us to observe truckers and better understand how they live and work with their trucks," said Ben Poore, Ford truck group marketing manager. "Many members of a group like the American Quarter Horse Association of the Professional Bull Riders drive our trucks. We know how our trucks work in a real environment because we are constantly out there getting feedback from our customers."

boast quality and performance. Truck lovers want more torque hence; the automaker gives it to them. Ford F-150 truck parts, is now equipped with a V8 engine that can handle greater towing and payload capabilities. Further, F-150's maximum tow rating is now up 600 pounds to a class-leading 10,500 lbs.

Ford admitted that the company is concentrating on marketing needs to heighten leadership in the truck market. "We are playing offense with Ford Trucks," said John Felice, Ford general marketing manager, Marketing, Sales and Service. "We created more Ford Truck ads targeted at more diverse audiences than ever to continue increasing leadership by solidifying our base and going after new customers."

Ford is also decreasing the suggested retail prices on the series up to $1,400 lower than this year's prices. The new F-150 FX2 Sport comes in with a dazzling aura. It is equipped with and dark billet grille. To boost its style, it uses monochromatic paint scheme. Enhanced with platinum bezels and the sporty front valance add to the enigmatic charm of the truck.

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