2019 Ford F-150 Limited Pickup
Mark Hogan | CNBC
The importance of the new F-150 pickup to Ford has never been more important.
The automaker needs its high-margin flagship product to drive a global restructuring plan and pay off debts related to the coronavirus pandemic. It also needs to convince Wall Street that new and traditional competitors are starting to offer all-electric pickups, and the company can maintain its leadership in the field for decades.
Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford America, told CNBC: “We have maintained the number one position for 43 consecutive years. We are very focused on raising the threshold again, so that competition will follow.” “This is obviously Very important launch.”
Ford plans to release the traditional and hybrid versions of the 2021 F-150 on Thursday night. The all-electric version is expected to be launched in the next two years, in line with GM, Tesla and emerging manufacturer Rivian’s new electric pickup trucks or later.
The importance of full-size pickups such as Ford (F-150) and large trucks cannot be underestimated. Trucks accounted for 37% of the 2.4 million cars sold by the automaker in the United States last year, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2010.
Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds, said: “Many of Ford’s performance and livelihood depend on this car.” “The F-150 is Ford’s cash cow.”
F-150 is a key part of the automaker’s plan to increase the profitability of Ford’s business business to help it reorganize $11 billion and repay $20 billion of new debt caused by coronavirus .
According to a study commissioned by Boston Consulting Group to Ford, the nearly 900,000 F-series pickups sold in the United States last year generated approximately $42 billion in revenue. Ford’s car revenue in 2019 was $143.6 billion.
Wall Street is still skeptical about the company’s recovery. This is especially true for Jim Hackett, CEO and president of Ford. Since Hackett began leading the automaker in May 2017, the price of the stock has fallen by almost half, and its credit rating has also been downgraded to “junk.”
Ford’s stock with a market value of $24.5 billion closed at $6.15 on Tuesday, a 2.1% drop. Since the beginning of this year, the stock price has fallen by 33.9%.
Ford must add enough new technology to the pickup truck without being estranged from traditional truck buyers, who are among the most loyal and enthusiastic consumers in the automotive industry. Ford’s Galhotra believes that this is what Ford realized and has done with the new F-150.
This includes providing air or remote updates and integrated generators. He said that onboard generators will be able to power tools and other equipment.
According to Galhotra, the entire truck is “designed around these ideas” and it will bring better performance and more convenience to customers.
Galhotra said Ford hired anthropologists to help understand how truck owners use their vehicles and how to make the most improvements. This includes Ford’s decision to provide hybrid and fully electric versions of the truck.
Galhotra said: “The network segment is very large.” “The type of customer has very, very different needs.”
Galhotra declined to comment on the expected sales of hybrid cars, which he said may provide incremental growth by attracting new customers to the pickup truck segment. He said that in the foreseeable future, pickups of traditional gasoline and diesel engines are expected to become a major part of sales.
The F-150 will also be the first F-150 to adopt Ford’s new electrical architecture or brain. This device is a key driver of advanced driver assistance systems (such as Ford’s “active driver assistance system”), an advanced system similar to Tesla’s autopilot.
Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer, introduced investors to the F-150 at a Deutsche Bank meeting earlier this month: “This is actually related to technology and productivity.”
Despite the hype of all-electric pickups, these vehicles are still expected to account for a small portion of sales. That is, once they start selling. The all-electric pickups of companies such as General Motors, Tesla, Rivian, and Nikola and Lordstown Motors will not be ready for production until at least next year.
For the time being, Ford is expected to focus on non-electric pickups. In recent years, GM and Fiat Chrysler have launched new models.
Caldwell of Edmunds said: “For a while it was difficult to conquer truck buyers, but we see more happening. We just saw loyalty decline. ” “Market share figures show the competitiveness of this segment.”
Since 2015, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram brand has done an impressive job of winning market share when Ford last launched the new F-150. According to Edmunds data, the market share of Ram 1500 has grown from less than 20% in 2015 to 25.1% in 2019. The biggest growth occurred after the company launched a new version of the pickup in 2018, which was widely acclaimed, including larger and more comfortable interiors.
2019 Ford F-150 Limited Pickup
Mark Hogan | CNBC
Caldwell said the launch of the latest Ram 1500 successfully attracted owners of other brands, especially because the company focused on the interior of the vehicle.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of F-150 is also crucial. This year’s sales of pickup trucks are not falling as fast as other market segments. In fact, due to Covid-19, after the plant was shut down from March to mid-May, due to low inventories, automakers including Ford have prioritized the production of pickup trucks.
Caldwell said: “The F-150 is really very important for Ford, especially in the current popular situation.” “The sales of pickup trucks have performed quite well in the past three months.”
Ford is well aware that there is no room for error in the introduction of the new F-150. Farley made it clear to investors earlier this month that the mistakes suffered by Ford Explorer, which was redesigned last year, will not happen again.
He said: “The settings of the F-150 are indeed different from those of the Explorer.” He added that the two plants that produce Ford trucks in Michigan and Missouri do not have to be completely remodeled with new models.