Ford Trucks See Lift and Shift From Cash for Clunkers

Ford Trucks See Lift and Shift From Cash for Clunkers

One of the unsung — and probably counterintuitive -- winners in last month’s Cash for Clunkers program was Ford’s truck lineup, according to Doug Scott, Ford’s truck and SUV marketing manager. And while sales jumped this summer, Scott doesn’t see a return to the pickup heyday for quite a while to come.

Not surprisingly, the biggest change was in truck buyers, who Scott says were more price-sensitive than truck buyers before C4C. They drove the biggest shifts for F-150 and Ranger:

  • Ford F-150: Pre-Clunkers, SuperCrew sales were from as much as 65% of sales. During Clunkers, SuperCrew volume dropped to around 57% of sales – a roughly 8-point shift. Scott says that shift was split about evenly between an increase in regular and SuperCab (extended cab) sales. There was a similar shift in sales of 4WD and 2WD trucks, with 2WD sales rising to roughly 50% of F-150s from as low as 42%, and 4WD sales shrinking to 50% from around 57%.
  • Ford Ranger: Ranger sales in August were up 57% from a year earlier and Scott says there’s only a seven-day supply on dealer lots currently. The most popular powertrain option was the four-cylinder engine, which saw a 10% bump in popularity (to 70%) during C4C. Sales of six-cylinder motors fell to 30%.
  • Super Duty: Scott says Super Duty sales were softer than normal throughout July and August.

    “We knew going in Super Duty wasn’t going to stand to benefit as much because of the expected lift for small cars and SUVs,” said Scott.

    Scott says he also thinks Ford has yet to see the bump to Super Duty sales that was expected from the government’s $787 billion fiscal and infrastructure stimulus package passed earlier this year.

What happens next? Scott expects September to be a tough month compared to July and August.

“I think you’re going to have payback,” Scott said. “There’s no question about that. It’s the magnitude of the payback that’s going to be tough to get our arms around. It was hard to establish what the impact of Clunkers was going to be going in” and it’s going to be tough seeing the next few months as well.

“We still expect the full-size pickup market to account for 11% to 12% of the industry,” Scott said, “and we expect volume to be higher than it was in the first part of the year, but not dramatically higher.”

But Scott says Ford definitely doesn’t see trucks returning to their peak sales days in 2004 and 2005 for a long time, if ever.

“We think that by 2013-14 we’ll see full-size trucks return to 2 million units in sales,” said Scott. “That’s still below their performance a few years ago.”


Why does this make news? I'm sure everybodys sales when up during cash for clunckers.

I think C4C was a terrible idea in that all that "wealth" inherent in those vehicles is lost. Buy here - pay here dealers locally have been impacted as well as mechanics. AND the taxpayers have to foot the bill.

C4C being a "done" deal, I hope Ford takes the opportunity to bring out the F-100 truck. As stated above, full-size truck sales probably won't see the numbers as in the past for a long time. The Ranger is too small for me. Would like to see something between the Ranger and the F-150 in terms of width (share the same side panels with the Ranger to save tooling money?), possibly get 4'+ between the fender wells, crew cab seating 6 (obviously wouldn't be as comfortable as the F-150). Reasonable (EcoBoost?) 200 hp or so gas engine with 6 speed automatic/lock-up torque converter and locking diff and maybe 2 speed rear axle, 5,000 lbs. towing capacity.

I am eager to see the Mahindra truck come to the states - but doubtful I'll buy one. Even if the Mahindra quality is there, I don't really like the fact that parts are built in India and vehicles will probably be assembled here -- unlike Honda and Toyota who have vehicles in their lineup with a high percentage of American-made parts (in my understanding). I'm not really keen on diesel (high-pressure fuel lines, heavy block and how reliable [read expensive] are turbos?) and am looking forward to the developments Ford has with their EcoBoost engines and the "Bobcat" engine in the future.

I really believe there is a great amount of fuel savings to be found yet in improving aerodynamics of pickup trucks. These future trucks may not look exactly like current trucks and probably won't work for everyone, but will for a great number of people. Every day on my way to work I run out of fingers and toes counting the pickups that have nothing in the back of them. It seems to me the most aerodynamic shape possible should be utilized and THEN try and make a truck out of it. Sounds crazy but thinking outside the box has brought many innovations.

No doubt Ford not requiring a buyout has helped them tremendously. I hope they take the opportunity to listen to what truck buyers want (or at least THINK they want).

@Sarcastic: Click on the link in the story to August's sales and you'll see that not everyone was up. Tundra, Titan and Sierra were all down in August from a year earlier.

@Sarcastic: Click on the link in the story to August's sales and you'll see that not everyone was up. Tundra, Titan and Sierra were all down in August from a year earlier. - Mike Levine


Dodge Ram and the Silverado was down too.

Remember,GM is staking its future on the horridly priced VOLT electric coming soon to a dealer not-so near you.
So,a sales decrease in their bread and butter truck line is no concern to them.("americas truck" ha,"Like a rock" ha,"An american revolution" ha,they stole that from the 84 Dodge sales campaign)

Dan, you you also should have pointed out that Fords sales were also down, even more then Dodges where.

So why did this makes news?

I'd love to do an interview with Chrysler execs about Ram sales but Chrysler/Fiat has them locked up in Auburn Hills and unavailable to media

Please don't forget we recognized the Ram just two months ago for its relative sales success.

Ford, however, appears to have gained the most from C4C.

Excuse me. Ford's sales were the only ones to go up in August from a year earlier. See the article referenced in Mike Levine's post.

Ford up 5000+
Silverado down 23000
Ram down 7000+
Sierra down 8000+
Tundra down 9000+

Now after you see the numbers perhaps you will understand why Mike Levine made a article of this. This is a BIG deal.

I have been researching & test driving vehicles for two months to see if the C4C program would work for me…I drove the new F-150 & could not believe how smooth & quiet the truck is…I bought a very basic 4.6L, 4-speed, extended cab…I am very happy with my new truck…My gas mileage is almost double from my old big block ¾ ton truck…I would not have considered a NEW Vehicle without the program…

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