While Ford has dominated the pickup market since the early days of the Carter administration, this F-150 will enter a changing landscape.
Tesla logged hundreds of thousands of preorders for its upcoming Cybertruck, and a number of startups — including Rivian, Nikola and Bollinger — are planning electric pickups in a bid to upend the market and steal share from the Detroit 3. Ford and General Motors also plan battery-electric models.
"We are positioned for some upheaval in the truck world because of the new startup EV makers that are poised for launch in the coming years," said Brauer.
"None of them will take out the existing players even years after they come out, but over time they'll increase the pressure on the traditional truckmakers for innovation and capability."
The market for a gasoline-powered truck remains competitive. Nissan just freshened its Titan, and the Toyota Tundra, the oldest full-size pickup on the market, is expected to be redesigned next year.
The midsize segment also continues to expand, potentially siphoning off buyers who might be turned away by rising prices or the inability of full-size models to fit in their garages.
Ford's segment-leading status isn't a given, Brauer said, and could change if it doesn't deliver a compelling product.
"Trucks are thought of as the last bastion of brand loyalty, but I don't think customers are as brand loyal as they were 20 years ago," he said. "The pressure is as high or higher than it's ever been on OEMs to maintain desirability and competitiveness or risk losing sales and market share."