It’s been the top-selling pickup truck nameplate in North America for 43 consecutive years, and for 2021 the Ford F-150 gets a complete redesign and a wide range of enhancements — including a hybrid option — Ford hopes will keep it on top.
The F-150 is the No.1-selling vehicle in Canada, with 145,064 F-150s sold in 2019, down from 145,694 in 2018. In the United States, 896,526 models went out the door in 2019, down from 909,330 in 2018.
Outselling GM’s Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra combined in 2019, F-150 is the struggling automaker’s single most important generator of cashflow, with models that in 2020 sold for as much as C$80,000 before options.
The PowerBoost hybrid models combine a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine with an electric motor integrated into the 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford is targeting best-in-class torque, best-in-class power, at least 12,000 pounds towing capacity and 1,126 kilometres of range from a single tank of gas.
Ford of Canada said the company is expecting the hybrid models to be low-volume, but will have a compelling story for work customers: a built-in 2.4 kilowatt generator as standard equipment, able to run saws, electric concrete mixers and other tools at once. A 7.4-kilowatt generator is an option.
“Available Pro Power On-Board allows F-150 customers to leave the generator at home and free up cargo space,” said Joe Comacchio, vehicle line manager for Ford of Canada. “Offering enough electrical energy to power 28 average refrigerators, charge a full bed of electric dirt bikes or run an entire job site worth of tools.”
Ford is facing stiff competition from Ram. In December 2019, Ram edged out F-150 for the No.1 spot in monthly sales and for the year as a whole, Ram claimed second spot with 96,763 sold.
“I can’t overstate how critical the F-150 is for Ford and its dealers,” said Robert Karwel, senior manager, Power Information Network, at JD Power Canada. “It pulls in by far the lion’s share of revenue and profit and customer loyalty.
“Ford is the market leader and I think they have done a wonderful job with the updates. This truck will continue their winning formula. But I also think they have been alarmed by how good the Ram is and have had their eyes on the rear-view mirror watching FCA’s success with that truck.
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