Ford Exec Sees Pent-up Demand for Pickups

Mark Fields F-150 II

Mark Fields, Ford's newly appointed chief operating officer effective Dec. 1, says there is pent-up demand in the U.S. market, and along with a few other key economic indicators, this could be good news for upcoming full-size pickup-truck sales. 

Fields told analysts that as new-car buyers move to smaller and smaller vehicles, Ford's profits will shrink as well, Automotive News reports. With new Ford vehicles like the Fusion, Escape and Fiesta, all of which are smaller and more fuel efficient. Ford's profits in the third quarter were at 12 percent range; however, with the economy shrinking, fuel-efficient car volumes increasing, and vehicle sizes getting smaller (and the resulting overall profits), the overall company margins are likely to fall to 8 to 10 percent in the near future. As consumers trade down to smaller vehicles, Ford and other manufacturers will need to get more efficient and smarter about how to keep the company growing. 

But there is optimism on the horizon. Fields also told the audience there seems to be some pent-up demand in the full-size truck market, traditionally where Ford sees its highest profit margins. As new-housing construction starts to climb and construction companies begin to get comfortable with the new economic climate, investments are likely to get made — and that means full-size pickup truck sales. 

Also, Fields makes reference to the fact that more than half of all pickup trucks on the road today are more than 10 years old; 27 percent are over 15 years old, and 13 percent are over 20 years old — numbers higher than they've seen for a very long time. That also means pent-up demand. If you add to this the popularity of the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost engine and the push by the current administration to promote greater fuel-economy numbers with every new vehicle sold in the U.S., Ford could definitely be in the right place at the right time whether fuel prices go up or even down

We don't know if these specific pieces of data will add up to increased pickup sales or if the segment is more likely to flat-line--either way Ford looks well positioned. For now, all we know is Fields is trying to manage analysts' expectations so they don't expect too much in the coming months. As for us, we want to see if the folks at Ford will have a new (or added) answer for either the 2013 Ram 1500 or coming 2014 Chevy Silverado. We'd guess they do. 



Here's to hoping! I'd love nothing more than to see Ford sell a whole bunch of trucks.

Question: Why assume that older trucks are going to be traded in? As trucks get better, they're lasting longer...people don't *need* to trade nearly as much as they used to.

I think this could be the new normal...

I am a 70 year old grandmother. My grandson purchased a used 2005 Ford F-150 pickup with 50,000 miles on odometer with me co-signing. He's had it for over two and a half years. It was parked at 9 am in front of our house. At around 1:30 am in the morning, we were awakened by the fire department saying the vehicle was on fire. The truck was totaled. The fire marshall said that it looked like the fire started in the engine wiring. The fire did not reach the interior of the truck but the windshield was shattered by the heat.

The insurance investigator said it looked like it started in the battery area. The battery was new but did not have a recall. I checked with Ford and was told there was no recalls on the 2005 models F-150 with our VIN# yet there were recalls on models from 2000 to 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 for engine fires on parked vehicles, "flaming fords". I also call the dealership we purchased the pickup from, Town East Ford Mesquite, TX but they weren't helpful pretending not to know about "the flaming Fords" issue.

For me, it leaves a question mark on how the fire started. Our insurance company, AARP-Hartford has been great but is still investigating the fire. My grandson is without transportation and all the money he invested in payments is gone. He owed $14,000 at the time of the fire. At this time, I have no idea what will be the outcome and since the value of the vehicle is less than the amount he owed, we could end up owning thousands of dollars. I can't believe that all the above models were recalled because of engine fires, yet the 2005 model was never recalled. Have there been other complaints on the 2005 F150? I have a 2006 Focus bought new but after viewing all the recalls of Ford Vehicles, I will never buy another Ford vehicle.

As if Ford is worried about Chevy's new ugly squared off POS. I haven't heard ANY positive comments about Chevy's new wheelwell design (and lack of inserts out back). I haven't heard ANY positive comments about Chevy's new interiors and and so called King Ranch and Platinum fighters (or lack thereof). I haven't heard ANYONE not criticize their new trucks frame from already rusting in those spyshots (outside of Bob). It's just the same old situation in the Chevrolet camp. STILL CLUELESS on how to build real 1500, HD and Off Road trucks. They're just chintzy cheap piles of crap anymore. Surviving (barely) on their OLD reputation and loyalty by the glutton for punishment Chevrolet faithful. And who cares about it's Government Motors Company twin.

LOL@ Lillie..... of Plano TX. IE: BOB-BVONSCOTT the GirlyMansChevy/GovtMoCo Sierra Idiot.

I bet this site is owned by ford...

here i sit
all broken hearted
bought a ford
that almost started

i bought a ford
and got it loaded
it laid down
and then exploded

i took it in
to get repaired
no such thing
ford aint prepared

got it home
in great disgust
now it sits
collecting dust

when it died
my friends agreed
it's one less chance
to hit a tree

the price you pay
to own a ford
is just one side
of a double edged sword

looks like HemiV8 is now imitating 70yr old grannies.
Who are we to be critical in this bold Democratic era where alternative lifestyles are fully accepted.

if the 2.0l ecoboost 240hp 270lb explorer can get 20-28mpg
(base curb weight of the explorer is heaver the the base f-150 but fully load f-150 crew cab 4x4 3.5l ecoboost v6 is 700lbs more)

then ford can make a 2.3l ecoboost 300hp 350lbs f-150 that that gets 18-25 mpg and only cost $995 more

the ram cost 28,200 to get the 8speed v6, low rider addition (18-25mpg) that means a $5500 over base (305hp 269lbs)

if you are locking for affordable low rider then ram is for you

You might own a Ford if... You keep receing sympathy cards from The Dept Of Transportation

There would have been 10 x's the optimism and demand if Romney would have done his job and Obama did get reelected.

did not get reelected. The gas prices would have plumeted. Keystone pipelines everywhere. Drilling everywhere. No more EPA as we know it. Too bad it didn't happen. There will still be a lot more people holding off buying. The economy is going nowhere. 2016-2020 is when the real demand will come back.

Lol didn't realize this site had so many 70 year old grandmother readers! After owning for 2.5 years, and having bought it used, he likely replaced the battery himself and hooked it up in an insufficient manner, causing a short.

Do you know Ford has admitted they are expensive and unreliable? That new commercial they are running says so! When that country singer (Alan Jackson) says "If I had money" He admits he can't afforrd one, and when he adds that he'd "buy a Ford truck or two" it because he knows that they are unreliable and will need a spare.

How much wood can a Ford truck haul if a Ford truck could haul wood? As much as the Ram or Chevy tow truck in front of it.

I have to say whoever ford sucks and I have my over priced ford are if your not the same person you 2 are hilarious.

I am a Trans-sexual 87 year old man/woman who has an adopted chimpanzee that just bought a used 2007 RAM pickup truck.
He had parked it in the front yard up on blocks because the thing is an immense pile of garbage. Then I was awoken during the night by what I am sure was a Thermonuclear explosion.
I opened my eyes and everything is gone, I am standing in barren wasteland that has been scrubbed clean from the explosion from this RAM pickup.
I tried to call the insurance company but I think they were also vaporized. If it weren't for the fact that I sleep in a lead lined closet I wouldn't be here to post this from my smart phone.
God save us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!1one

Both of your major political parties have the same challenges to confront. So at the end of the day the differences between the action required is becoming marginal.

Just like some European countries it doesn't matter if a left or right leaning party is elected. Spending has to be reduced and taxes increased.

Currently 38 cents of every dollar in the US economy is government induced (38% of GDP), similar I might add to many European countries that you guys call socialist.

Your rate of taxation is 27 cents in the dollar (27% of GDP).

This increase in borrowings is increasing your yearly interest bill. Your government bonds will be attractive for only so long. What are they earning?

See the problem?

These problems aren't just new, the foundation started back during the Great Depression with quasi government institutions like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Subsidised home loans have to be paid as interests rates don't change because it a government body controlling it. So someone had to pay tax to pay for difference in the interest rates.

You just can't blame G W Bush or even Obama when the inherent problem of the US economically has been set up for generations.

The US need to restructure your government institutions ie, civil and public institutions, as it currently is you will go broke.

You can only spend more than you earn for so long. And reducing taxation will not help, unless you cut government spending by a significant amount more.

Your corn growers are subisidised to grow corn for ethanol. Why? It would be cheaper to just pay a few cents more for gas, so the farmers have to improve techniques to improve what the reap. True competition.

Subsidisation will and is the downfall economically.

If you can't compete, don't do it.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To push his Ford F150 back to the Ford stealership!

From the past 10 years about 90% of Ford trucks are still on the road, the other 10% barely made it home.

" As for us, we want to see if the folks at Ford will have a new (or added) answer for either the 2013 Ram 1500 or coming 2014 Chevy Silverado. We'd guess they do. "

I'd guess so too, we all know what happen when the ZL1 debuted, Lol!

Loving my '99 F250 with 145k mi. I might sell it soon to make way for a Raptor. Truck is kick-ass!

"Fields told analysts that as new-car buyers move to smaller and smaller vehicles, Ford's profits will shrink as well"

So discontinue the Ranger then and try to get people to buy that expensive big F150, right? Because Ranger owners really wanted a fullsize the whole time right?

Toyota is gonna have a good sales boost over the next few years.

10. You look in you're rear view mirror to see two people with their hands on you're tailgate pushing.

9. You constantly get beat by a Toyota Prius pulling a bigger trailer then you're ford truck in a race.

8. When you are walking across the parking lot, you see a priest performing last rights on you're truck.

7. While stopped at stoplights, other motorists offer to help push to get you started again.

6. You have to stop along side the road at least once a day to pick up parts that have fallen off.

5. You have preferred customer status at NAPA.

4. You leave you're keys in the ignition and a $20 on the dash for gas money in hopes that someone will steal you're truck.

3. When you drive though town, people stop what they are doing and just start laughing.

2. People try to hire you to bring you're truck to their house to fog for mosquitos.

And the #1 reason you know you're driving a Ford truck .... In place of you're spare tire, you will find a pair of running shoes.

So Ford sees pent-up demand for pickups, huh?

Then they should answer thoe demands for the new Ranger and build it here.

Seriously, not everybody wants or needs a full-size truck.

@Dave--If you think that electing Romney would have lowered fuel prices to $2 a gallon I have some ocean front property to sell you in Arizona and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Oil prices are determined by World demand and not who is President. Also eliminating the EPA is not going to lower prices. Why don't we eliminate soil conservation and let the farmers plow up all the land and plant it and not practice crop rotation because who believes in science and the Dust Bowl didn't really happen, it was a Democratic conspiracy and that damn Roosevelt, Hoover would have fixed the problem.

@Big Al from Oz--"W" is not without blame because he took a balanced budget and left a huge deficit by his wars in Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction and Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden when he was in Pakistan. It was good for the Military contractors and the political campaigns but bad for the country.

As for the sales of full size pickups they will continue to go up but they will not reach the sale of what they were a decade ago and it is doubtful that all the 15 to 20 year old trucks will be replaced by all new full size truck. Sales of smaller cars have gone up because of rising fuel prices.

C'mon Mark, wake up! There's pent up interest in a "new" Ranger too. One the same size as the old one, not the Australian version. If people are buying smaller cars they'll buy small pickups too.

@Jeff S
I realise G W had an input into the rise of your debt levels. I'm talking about the ingrained policy and government institutions that allowed the problem to be near incurable.

I hear alot of people blaming Obama for the mess, but this mess the US is in didn't happen overnight or even in the past decade. It has been creepinng up, and now with the structure of economy based heavily on the wrong industries, subsidies and government input etc it will be harder to change.

Overall the US's fiscal and economic policy was based on short term gain and populism, like the chicken tax or CAFE and vehicle regulations. All OECD economies have the same problems. I do believe in short term policy for immediate action.

The US has encountered many small conflicts since the end of WWII, these cost money as well. Money could have been in the bank and the US would have been in a much more competitive position if correct decisions had been made, that's from both the Republican and Democrat sides.

I do believe in Romney's cost cutting, but I also believe in Obama's increasing of taxation. Everyone has to feel the pain, not just the rich or the poor. It's a nation wide problem.

The American people are in quite a bit of debt and they have to pay it off, but it seems everyone is blaming each other and don't want to pay their fair share.

At the end of the day maybe a complete collapse of the US economy might be the only way to install correct and competitive policy so the country can restructure. It isn't going to happen while people don't want the fix the problem and think life will go on as always.

The only glimmer of hope I see is that the US is achieving more self sufficiency in energy. This will in the medium give a little reprieve.

Strawberry Fields Forever is day tripping if he thinks housing construction will turn around in significant fashion to drive sustainable pickup demand.

@Big Al from Oz - I've always believed that "bailouts" and subsidies do not prevent the inevitable, they just delay it.

Politicians do not think beyond their term of office. That does not bode well for any problems requiring long term shifts in policy.

One can compare it to cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment has a good success rate. Denial, mis-diagnosis, and inappropriate treatment just makes things worse. I think that we are seeing the later.
I wonder if all the government is doing is chosing to load the patient up on morphine. You hide most of the disease under a stuperous fog and are rendered oblivious to the inevitable.

This interview must have been before the election. The economy sucks. Nobody is going to be hiring now, businesses are laying people off and cutting back hours to 29 hours to prepare for Obamacare, no new drilling, high inflation, fuel prices will skyrocket. Maybe around the mid cycle refresh of the next gen things will turn around but not now. 4 more years of the same.

What next? The legalisation of drugs to ease the pain:)

Ford will always sell a ton of trucks. Nobody wants those cheap flimsy tinfoil Chevys anymore. Cheap ass built rustbucket cheap plastic trucks. Absolutely nothing like they once were. Crews made in Mexico, parts made in China, whatever. GM destroyed Chevrolet trucks for good as far as I'm concerned with their bean counting and poor designs. Screw that whole company for doing what they did to Chevy Trucks. Both the 1500's and stupidly Non SFA HD's. Piss on em.

@Big Al from Oz - yup. IIRC, 2 states voted to legalize marijuana.

@james - who were the primary contributors to the Romney campaign?
Do you find it odd that 20% of Americans do not have health coverage year round?
Do some research from any source other than the extreme left or extreme right.
Fuel prices will shyrocket anyway............Ever hear of India or China?
They will soon move into the top 3 wealthiest countries along with Japan.
Where will that leave the USA?
They have money, the USA doesn't.

Blame Obama. That makes lots of sense. Your post confirms the fact that the 400 million donated to Romney from the Koch brothers wasn't totally wasted.

"As consumers trade down to smaller vehicles, Ford and other manufacturers will need to get more efficient and smarter about how to keep the company growing. "

"So, let's discontinue the Ranger in the US market!", says Ford. With this 'pent up' interest in trucks, why not bring some smaller, fuel efficient pickups to the US? (like a 4 door or extended cab version of the Brazilian Ford Courier) Sounds like people are driving older trucks because of economics, not for lack of choices. (I've got a 6 year old truck with 92K miles, still going strong) For those that don't need full size capability but want utility out of a daily commuter... a four door, 5ft bed, with 20-25 mpg for $20k range would sell very well. Small pickups sell well enough outside the US, why not sell them here?

That red F150 Mark Fields is leaning on appears to be as big as the "small " Global Ranger.
Other interesting sights whilst waiting to cross the lights at Sutherland, Pincess Highway in the state of NSW last week is the following(take in mind I only crossed it 3 times)
(a) A Ford Dually towing a racing Hydraplane.
(b) A brand new Dodge F2500 and a New Colorado pulling up together at the lights.
(c) a Holden Maloo pulling a small tractor(No not a ride on mower)
(d) A Ford Ranger towing a John Deere Tractor. Sutherland is NOT a country area
(e) A earlier model Ford F250 XLT actually TOWING something.
(f) Best to last.: A Fiat Ducato Motorhome TOWING a early 1970's Nostalgia slingshot dragster then on the other side of the highway a group from a club: 3 Lambogini Gulardo's , a Maserati and a Ferrari F430.
MORAL To ALL ? I should cross the highway more often!!!!

Kyle.. With your logic, this would explain why Ford has been the best selling truck for the past several years (not 34 as Ford would have you think but we wont go there) Becuase the Ford trucks are junk and they have to keep replacing them..

I agree with what you are saying. Not everyone wants or can afford to run a large pickup or even a mid size.

I don't know why someone isn't manufacturing a minitruck using the 1 litre eco boost and the 900cc Fiat multi air engine or similar.

Make them the size of the 60s and 70s minitrucks. They would sell and with these new engines give you over 45mpg.

These engines have more power and much more torque than the original Japanese mini truck engines.

The pent up demand is staying pent up for another 4-6 years. If obama gets his way, we'll most likely all be "un", or "under", employed.

The tax base will shrink as well, and entitlements will be endangered and eventually run out.

That's when the "fun" begins. It will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when da checks don't come. Stealing and crime will be rampant as people vie for food.

But, that might be what it will take to destroy liberalism. So far all they have heard is talk, and most of the talk is how "bad" conservatism will be for them. The takers have had no proof that obama is full of dung because he promises them things.

I know of a store where three of the employees are black, and they work part time, and have two other part-time jobs to survive...but still voted for obama. What has he done for them? Nothing. But they live on the "hope"...and hope is an excuse for doing nothing.

The only way to fight Santa Claus is let him go until his bag is empty, and his elves have been laid off due to the high cost of health insurance.

When he has nothing left to give, people will be wishing for a "White Christmas", for sure.

Mark Fields doesn't have a clue.
Unemployment just went up.
Good jobs are going away thanks to Obamacare.
Full time jobs will become part-time unless you'd prefer the businesses just shut down.
We have no plans to become energy independant. Will just rely more on foreign oil so gas, food, heating, cooling prices are all going to rise.
Salaries will be stagnant.
Unemployment will rise.
Doctors will quit because, strangely, they don't want to work for free.
Things are going to get bad!

If you scroll down this OECD article there is a bar graph showing the expenditure as a percentage of GDP of all the OECD nations.

The US has the highest cost per capita, our costs are nearly half. Canada is about 2/3s the cost.

Like I was saying you need to restructure your current model on parts of your economy.

Sorry, here is the link.

@Big Al from Oz--The problem even goes beyond debt and cost cutting. Romney wanted to increase the defense budget and Obama wanted to freeze it at current levels. A good part of the defense budget goes for Cold War weapons that are ineffective against Taliban extremist armed with road side bombs and driving Toyota pickups with mounted guns. There is a difference in providing no relief to displaced workers and having a welfare state. There is a difference between religious freedom and having organized religion trying to outlaw birth control and obortions. It is easier for the parties in power to distract everyone with nonissues such as gay unions and abortions rather than to discuss jobs and infrastructure. It is divide and conquer.

Also Al compromise and looking at what is best for the country are not on the agenda. Most Americans are not interested in history and have not learned from the past mistakes of the British, the Romans, and other empires where prolonged wars depleted financial and human resources and eventually contributed to downfall of civilizations along with a welfare state.

@Shazam--I agree. There is a need for fuel efficient small trucks that are considerably less expensive to purchase than larger trucks. For many it is an economic decision to keep a truck longer. Also the trade-in value is usually so low that it is better just to keep an older reliable vehicle and just run it till it dies or just give it to a family member if you buy a new vehicle. Increased safety, efficiency, and more technology are good reasons to buy new, but other than those reasons it is better to keep a vehicle for as long as it is economically feasible. I kept my old truck 4 years ago when I bought a new truck and my old truck is still worth more than what I was offered in trade-in and it still is very reliable.

@Jeff S
I do agree with assistance, but the US is entering a phase were action, real action is needed.

The problem in the US, like Europe and Japan is if the government reduces spending the economy will be impacted, they will enter recession. But if the government continues with spending the country will be broke.

The first thing I would look at is subsidisation across all industries. It has to go.

Your farmers and some of your industry and unions will whine and cry, kicking.

Even in Australia our military is taking a big hit, but the reason is that our government is balancing the budget.

We don't really have weirdo's like you do about gays and abortion, creationism etc, as religion is religion and we are a free country, religion doesn't feed me. Another person's belief shouldn't interfere with their neighbours beliefs.

Your quantitative easing (printing money) will come back and bite you through high inflation down the track.

Actually, Jeff log into Woodalls Forum and register that Robert Ryan asked us to. The site is an American RV site, and you to Lou. I have been in touch with Robert on that Forum, because this isn't the site for this type of discussion.

Remember, most on this site argue over a 3hp difference between engines.

@Big Al from Oz--I just registered on Woodalls Forum

@Jeff S
I have to wait until tomorrow morning our time to talk, as I'm at work, nearly midnight 7 past 11.

All the more reason for Ford to bring that "global" Ranger to North America.... for all of those people like me who want an reasonably sized pick-up that's fuel efficient. ALL of the new full size trucks are too bloated. Call it a F-100 if you want, because I think it would give the F-150 a run for it money when it comes to #1 selling truck. Talk about a pent up demand for trucks.... there's even more pent up demand for mid-size trucks since the manufacturers practically abandoned the market years ago. I'm keeping my 2002 F-150 SuperCrew until a refreshing new mid-size comes to North America. I'm willing to spend $25-35K to get what I want too. For all those who say the new global Ranger is too big, look at the numbers.... a 1.1 inch longer wheelbase and 7.4 overall length is barely noticeable (comparing 2011 SuperCab Ranger to 2012 "global" Ranger).

@Big Al from Oz--No problem. Talk to you tomorrow morning.

Yay Ford for pushing smaller vehicles for those of us who don't want land yachts! Oh wait... You guys discontinued the Ranger in the US? What, we're not getting the global Ranger with that nice little diesel engine? Well I'll be! I guess I'll just go buy a Fiesta or Transit for my small pickup truck needs. That's what you guys suggested when people complained about the Ranger being phased out.

Oh wait, I have a better idea, wait for the new Colorado or go buy a Frontier or Tacoma.

Jeff S.
Thanks for that. Note that you have registered have sent you a PM

" As for us, we want to see if the folks at Ford will have a new (or added) answer for either the 2013 Ram 1500 or coming 2014 Chevy Silverado. We'd guess they do. "

I'd guess so too, we all know what happen when the ZL1 debuted, Lol!

Loving my '99 F250 with 145k mi. I might sell it soon to make way for a Raptor. Truck is kick-ass!

Posted by: Frank | Nov 20, 2012 6:28:14 PM

You know that old saying, "If the shoe fits, wear it" The Raptor is nothing but a show pony look at how cool I am vehicle. Frank wants everyone to see how "cool" he is. Frank old buddy this is the perfect vehicle for you. It fits your personality to a "T".

There is a huge gap and opportunity in the small truck market. Build a short, wide, low, lite rwd muscle-looking truck.. roomy cab and enough bed, but no longer than a midsize. keep it lite, low and mean looking. 2000hp turbo, 25mpg city and only 3500lb towing... oh yeah.. under $18k base with roll up windows and vinyl interior. build it and I will trade down from my full size.

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