Ford bets US consumers will snap up high-end pickup trucks

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Ford F-150 Limited: Exploring the Limits of Luxury [Preview].

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is responding to surging demand for high-end pickups by introducing a Limited version of the F-150 that will start at about $60,000 and likely top $70,000 when loaded with options.Truck manufacturers continue to push new levels of luxury in pickups and the 2016 F-150 Limited takes Ford’s light duty to new heights of luxury and style.NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces its most advanced and luxurious truck ever – the Ford F-150 Limited. This puts some space between Ford and the competition as more and more customers move up to the increasingly wide variety of premium-trim trucks currently available that start in the $50,000 range.

Ford is expanding the model line-up of its best-selling truck by adding the Limited model to it’s long-list of luxury trim levels including the Platinum and King Ranch. The new Limited expands the F-150 model lineup – Ford’s toughest, smartest, safest and most capable F-150 ever – with more standard technology and driver convenience features than any other light-duty pickup. Pricing was not announced, but likely will top $51,585 — the starting price of the top-end F-150 Platinum. “F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, the Western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum edition models,” Ford said in a release. At a yet to be announced price that should be around $60,000, the F-150 Limited marks a big step above the current crop of pickups, but will come full of features to justify the extra expense.

For the 2016 model year the Limited F-150 will be packed with upgraded and advanced technology, luxurious interior materials, exclusive exterior details and safety features. The Limited, a 2016 model, goes on sale this winter. “The F-150 Limited sets a new bar for what discerning customers should expect in a high-end truck,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “We’re adding segment-exclusive technology, and features that improve productivity, convenience and capability with distinctive style.” There’s a Ford F-150 for every truck customer, beginning with work-ready versions that have a starting MSRP below the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT, as well as the popular mid-range F-150 XLT. The Limited exterior refinements include exclusive 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, raised LIMITED lettering on the hood a unique grille, and satin finished chrome badge on the tailgate.

But the new F-150 Limited meets the growing, untapped needs of luxury customers looking for exclusivity, convenience and fine craftsmanship that’s differentiated from other high-series trucks. Without adjusting for inflation, that’s nearly $10,000 more than the industry average last year, $16,500 more than a mid-size car and the highest growth of any mainstream segment in the U.S. since 2004. “I don’t think we’ve hit the ceiling on trucks,” said senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. “The demand keeps growing for more expensive vehicles. Meanwhile, the cabin is dressed up with fiddleback eucalyptus wood, which Ford points out is the same type used by Bentley, and has climate-controlled massaging seats upholstered with Mojave leather.

The chrome front bumper will feature body-color end caps while the rear bumper will be completely body-color and bright belt moldings tie them together. Standard equipment also includes a panoramic sunroof, power running boards, a blind-spot warning system, radar cruise control, 10-speaker Sony audio system, and the latest Sync 3 touch screen infotainment system.

Though the Limited trim isn’t expected to sell in large numbers, it gives Ford another way to maximize revenue from the hugely profitable F-series lineup. Interior upgrades are reminiscent of the first-class cabin on an international flight with heated and cooled multicontour massaging front seats offered in black or Mojave leather. The pickup also features the automaker’s new SYNC3 with AppLink infotainment system and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which produces 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

Ford has seen its pickup market share shrink this year in part due to limited supply caused by its switch from a steel to aluminum body, but increased sales of its premium models have helped push its average sale prices above $44,000. It’s not any financial stretch for these people to spend 50 or 70 grand.” Ford sold about 190,000 F series for more than $50,000 last year, TrueCar estimated, outselling BMW’s 3, 5 and 7 series combined and the entire Audi brand.

This feature allows drivers of any skill level the ability to back-up a trailer with ease by turning a knob right or left to indicate direction while the truck controls the turning and speed. Ford’s new SYNC 3 with AppLink system is included, as are all the other driver aide and comfort features that are currently found on other F-150 trim level.

All-new, segment1-first Pro Trailer Backup Assist is available that makes it easier for drivers of all skill levels to back a trailer up to launch a boat or park in a driveway. Four-wheel-drive models are equipped with two-speed automatic four-wheel drive that automatically shifts between two-wheel and four-wheel drive depending on driving surface traction conditions. The 2015 F-150 is the only full-size, light-duty truck to earn the highest rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a five-star crash test rating for all crash test modes and cab configurations – SuperCrew, SuperCab and Regular Cab.4 1Class is full-size pickups under 8,500 pounds GVWR.

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