Ford is celebrating a major milestone as F-Series now reigns as the top-selling truck in the country for 40 consecutive years
Ford is celebrating a major milestone as F-Series now reigns as the top-selling truck in the country for 40 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 35 years, selling more than 26 million F-Series trucks since January 1977. Think of it like this: That many trucks could circle the globe more than three times, or, lined up bumper-to-bumper, would span 90,000-plus miles, according to the manufacturer.
Ford truck leadership was established with the sixth-generation of F-Series for the 1977 model year, a time when 8-track tapes, disco, and bell bottoms were the rage. The company was riding a sales wave – based on an all-new F-150 light-duty pickup featuring an improved 351-series V-8 engine, standard front disc brakes, and an extended SuperCab offering.
Even with the momentum in 1977, Ford engineers were already at work on a clean-sheet design for an all-new lineup. That seventh-generation F-Series not only set sales records for trucks, but also by 1982 it had become the overall best-selling vehicle in America, according to Ford.
“The 1980 model was a breakthrough generation for Ford,” said historian and author James Wagner. “It was all new – probably the greatest change in 40 years. It was fresh and had a strong emotional appeal with the twin I-beam front suspension. It seems from that point on, things really went Ford’s way as far as trucks were concerned.”
1997 marked the beginning of a split for F-Series into two distinct platforms – the 10th-generation F-150 was geared toward light-duty truck customers, while new F-250 and F-350 Super Duty brand trucks debuted in 1999 targeting heavy-duty commercial vehicle buyers.
Beginning with the King Ranch in 2001, Ford began offering luxury edition pickups that provided a combination of capability, style, and comfort. Furthermore, models like the Platinum and Limited series went further, featuring leather seating, rich wood trim, full power accessories and premium sound systems.
Ford also pioneered performance and specialty truck segments with the special-edition Harley-Davidson F-150 and SVT F-150 Lightning in 1993. By 2002, Ford was marking 25 years as best-selling truck in America and 20 years as best-selling vehicle overall.
For the 2004 model-year, the 11th-generation F-150 received a top-down redesign. 2009 saw Ford charging ahead with some of the strongest visual cues ever for the 12th-generation F-Series. For the 2011 model-year, the company was poised to combat skyrocketing energy costs with introduction of the all-new fuel-efficient 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 engine for F-150.
Ford’s all-new high-strength, military-grade aluminum-alloy body for the light-duty F-150 in 2015 was a breakthrough product, according to the automaker. Then Ford applied the same lightweight material to make the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty even more capable than ever. When paired with advanced powertrains, like Ford EcoBoost V-6 engines, the F-150 lineup offers the most hauling capability* and best-in-class gas mileage**.
F-Series innovations and milestones, 1977 to present include:
(*) When properly configured. Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation.
(**) EPA-estimated rating of 19 city/26 hwy/22 combined mpg. 2.7L EcoBoost, 4x2. Actual mileage will vary. Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation.
Source: Work Truck Online