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. 




Relax TROLL, I use trucks for their intended purpose. I can't wait to off-road in the Raptor.

Stop hating TROLL!


Relax TROLL, I use trucks for their intended purpose. I can't wait to off-road in the Raptor.

Stop hating TROLL!

Posted by: Frank | Nov 21, 2012 1:29:24 PM

I guess it takes a TROLL to know a TROLL. Are you still TROLLING the forum these days or just the blog? Back in the day you sure could spew a good line in the forum. As I recall you didn't have many friends in there either. TROLLS usually have that effect on people. LMAO.

LMAO! You are one funny TROLL.

You and all the other TROLL contribute nothing to site, do us all a favor and JUST DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

When it comes to the Raptor, its a very good truck for its purpose. If gm or dodge had come with something like this then it would be a perfect world, the best thing since sliced bread. Jealousy is the best form of flattery so what else can be said. Grow some balls gm and dodge and build something like this and don't make it a stupid kit from JC Whitney either. Do it yourself for a change, put them balls to work!

Hopefully there is pent up demand, does that feeling stem from the fact that Ford still hopes that all of those former Ranger buyers will flock to the F150?
To the guys moaning about Ford killing the Ranger. Remember the part about people wanting smaller vehicles and the resultant drop in profit margins?
Ford and the other auto makers will cling tenaciously to selling fullsized because of the full sized profits. Another reason as mentioned in other posts is that the emission/mpg rules for large trucks are easier to meet. Again - that means more profits.
Why would they sell a 9/10 truck, for 11/10th build costs, for 8/10th profits?
The easiest way for governments to facilitate change is not by offering billion dollar incentives but by making "footprint" rules based only on fuel consumption and emissions. Taxes on what is excessive in the realm of mpg and emissions would also cause a shift.
@Dave - have you been hanging out with Oxi in his BOTT cave?
Politicians of all political stripes are too cowardly to do what is necessary to change things.
When both Repubs and Dems spend 6 billion to get elected it shows that both sides are out of touch with reality.
Who will save the country? A millionaire lawyer or a billionaire businessman? I don't think either will and you are convinced that the loser would.

The Raptor is good for its purpose, but so is a F1 car. How useful is a F1 car shopping, its a car though.

What is the Raptor's purpose? Think about it.

A base model 4x4 F-150 or any base model 4x4 pickup is a better option as its purpose covers a greater range, they only lack off road ability as good as the Raptor.

A pickup is as you guys say a truck. How much weight can the Rapto carry off road as a truck? So is a Kei truck better than a Raptor?

The Raptor isn't a truck it's designed to be an off road vehicle first. And there are better off road vehicles than a Raptor.

Don't get me wrong they are pretty to look at and can off road quite well etc. But most are sold for a pose and a fashion statement.

@Big Al from OZ - The Raptor is what it is. And clearly it's not intended for adventures in towing a backhoe or forklift. It would be a shame to work a Raptor to an early grave anyways. Besides, any contractor or tradesman that has the bucks for a Raptor, can likely afford a beater truck for the daily grind. Yes that makes the Raptor a pantie waste in the commercial trades, but you're completely missing the point.

Mod any truck to dominate off road and you'll give up lots of usability elsewhere.

I was pointing out that the Raptor as good as it is off road it's more of a statement.

Because if you were serious about off road you wouldn't buy a Raptor. There are better products.

It's a good repsentation of a "truck". But its true purpose is a fashion statement. How is it marketed and who is it aimed for?

It's good that it is selling and creating employment.

@Big Al from Oz - I don't know who they're marketing the Raptor towards, but marketing usually misses their target audience. I'm not buying one nor do I know any Raptor owners personally, but it looks like silver hair guys cashing in their kids inheritance, mostly.

It's tough to say what's the best turnkey off roader on the market as they each have different strengths. I don't particularly have any desire to truck 100 mph thru the desert floor or jump my trucks, but that's just me.

You're right, how could the Raptor be a bad thing? And why does every car/truck just have to fill a need and never just for fun? If the Raptor was based on an Expedition instead of a truck, would you have anything to rant on and on about? What's the towing and payload on a Jeep Rubicon?

At least some has the ballz to build it.

What Ford execs don't want to admit is Mexico is a huge drain for our 10+ year old pickups and the million or so full-size trucks that sell every year in the US are needed to replace the million or so trucks we lose from our U.S. used truck inventory every year.

Our used pickups are Mexico's 'new' pickups, especially if they're low mileage and well equipped. This leaves the US staved for decent used trucks that aren't beat to death.

There's also off-shore exported pickup attrition including those stolen, cut up then shipped as 'salvage' parts.

It's not that there's a tremendous worldwide demand for North American full-size pickups, it's more of a niche/fetish. Robert Ryan and Big Al aren't their only fanboys... And is the Ford Raptor China's latest status symbol? There's only one place to get them, though.

dsklfjja: Dude, your weights are wayyyyy off, the fully loaded Egoboost 4x4 crew is close atleast 5,900 pounds. The base Escape is about 150 pounds less then a single cab 4x2 F-150 V-6.

The F-150 pushs more wind as it is wider and taller, the tires are taller and heavier then an Escapes, and the brakes are bigger.

Even if it made the same ft pounds torque per inch as the 3.5 Egoboost, it would make 276 ft pounds trq. That's a tad more then the Pentastar v-6. But it takes alot of BOOST to make that. You aren't going to get very good mileage using alot of boost. The ideal thing is to not need very much boost when under any load, so you have the power when needed.

Maybe you can read about how "great" the gas mileage of the 1.6 Egoboost Fushion (i.e. ugliest new car IMHO) manual trans in the latest Motor Trend shootout, all the cars with bigger naturally aspirated engines (except the Chevy) in the battle of the top 5 sellers. Oh, that Egoboost requires premium gas. The amout of torque per inch of the 1.6 would make a
265 ft pound 2.3. If it ran at the rate of boost the Escape does, it could make 310 ft pounds, again, lots of boost needed.

How would you know the Ram is a Low rider? Have you ever taken the time to measure things in the undercarriage of a Tundra, F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevy 1500. The Fords sit pretty low. That little cover under the Ecoboost hangs very low. The Ram sits a bit higher. Yes, it has a system that lowers it, as an OPTION. Or, to load stuff. Ever wheeled a v-8 engine shortblock down ramps from the back of a 4x4? kinda steep angle. Even worse going up the ramps!

The Ram also has an 8 speed which will do a better job managing less torque then a 6 speed. Oh, you will have more maintainance on a turbo engine.

Love the turbos on my cars. However, when carrying a load, it's a bit harder on the engine, and direct injection is a must. More money in parts.

LMAO! You are one funny TROLL.

You and all the other TROLL contribute nothing to site, do us all a favor and JUST DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Posted by: Frank | Nov 21, 2012 1:49:16 PM

LMAO. And what exactly do you contribute to this site? Oh, I know. A bunch of 1-2 line posts that look like they were written by a 1st grader.

I agree that the leadership at Ford is hoping mid-size truck fans will consider moving up to a F-150 to keep those larger profit margins rolling in. But with all of the money Ford has invested in bringing the new global compact cars to north America (at a lower profit margin), why not do the same for the mid-size truck market? Their reasoning makes no sense! For people like me who will leave the brand before they buy a full size F-150, Ford gets nothing, zero, nada. As profit margins shrink across their fleet, hopefully they will realize an 8% profit margin is better than nothing at all. Plus, the development cost has already been spent and the award winning truck has been in production for a year. Fords only task is setting up manufacturing somewhere in North America. I still haven't given up hope that the Ranger will come back. In the mean time I'll continue to drive my 11 year old F-150 SuperCrew. Happy Thanksgiving!

I think this is really good blog regarding automobile. I always find some different article from you.

@DenverMike--This is a good thing for the manufacturers because the excess used trucks are gone from the lots which maintains a higher resale and trade-in value which encourages those truck buyers who are sitting on the fence to pull the trigger and buy a new truck especially if you add on factory rebates and zero interest. A guy at work bought a new 203 GMC Sierra 4x4 crewcab because they offered him over 10k trade-in for his 05 4x4 extended cab Colorado (45k miles) and threw in 6k of incentives and rebates. His Colorado lasted about 2 days on the lot. My coworker had been thinking about waiting a couple of years to buy a new truck but when he had his truck in for service he looked at the new GMCs and they gave him a good offer.

@Brian in NC--I agree that there is a demand for the midsize Rangers but I agree with others comments in the past that said that Ford is concerned that this would cut into the sales of their F-150 and that this is Ford's cash cow which is a valid point as well. Also the EPA and Department of Energy regulations classify smaller trucks in the same category as smaller cars thus giving them an unrealistic fuel standard. It might take a couple of Chinese manufacturers to enter the US market and increase sales of smaller trucks to change Ford's mind on bringing the Global Ranger to the US. We will see what happens but I do agree with you. I do hope that the truck sales continue to go up but then that depends on the economy.

LOL Ford and your notion's that full size 16 mpg average trucks are the future . I just can't get it out of my mind the statement that was made about when the Ranger going away , the owner of a well worn Ranger looking to buy new could opt to buy a Fiesta . A Fiesta hatch open with a load of topsoil in it ? Did i just envision that ?

I am tired of waiting for an F-100 or something akin to it from Ford . For my needs the only light at the end of the tunnel might be Nissan , if this is still the plan .

wow a lot of immature people on this site. Any adult knows that ford makes a good truck. As does chevy, dodge, toyota, Nissan. But clearly the majority of people believe that Ford makes the best value truck.

I wouldn't count on the recent automaker success lasting long. The economy is most likely going to tank as soon as people start to realize the seriousness of the debt problem. It's only a matter of time now before we go bankrupt, although that COULD be another 10 years. We are almost beyond the point of no return.

@beebe - true and I agree on both your posts. Ford sales indicate that a larger number of buyers feel that way.
I too am concerned about the shape of the USA economy. I'm not American but economic woes in the USA have a way of working their way to Canada and other countries. The automakers are far from being out of the woods since all of them have large debt burdens. Europe is killing profits for Ford, GMC, and Fiat. Any more bad news and subsequent downturns would do much damage to them.
In Canada the Federal Government and the Bank of Canada (the equivalent to the USA Treasury) are getting very nervous because our debt loads are approaching those of our USA brethren. They've tried to gradually tighten mortgage rules, set up tax rules that allow "tax free" savings, and are trying to tighten up on rules governing debt loads. Since the majority of cash circulating through both of our economies is borrowed, they do not want to move too quickly to control debt because it will cause the economy to falter. It is a double edged sword. We need to reduce our debt burdens and save money. To do that we need to spend less. Spending less hurts an economy running on borrowed time and cash.
All of the bashers and trolls need to realize that for most of us, our trucks are luxury items. We own them because we want to, not because we need to. Pulling a boat, or a camper trailer, or hauling toys are luxury pursuits as well.

Economically globally it is a house of cards, one large economy or economies falters than the whole house collapses.

@Lou-Well said our trucks are a luxury even though many of us think they are a necessity. When you look at the living standards in many other countries and how they use their vehicles. Look at India with their bicycle cabs and with their small 2 stroke vehicles. We are all blessed with a lot that we take for granted. This week they had a Ken Burn's special called the Dust Bowl on Public Television. Those families that went through the Dust Bowl in the 30s barely survived. The last thing on their minds was what type of car or truck they drove. We in the US have turned Thanksgiving, a day of thanks, into just another shopping day. I am truly blessed to have enough food, clothing, shelter, and to be able to afford a reliable vehicle regardless of brand and age. If all I had to worry about is what brand of truck that I drive then that indead is trivial. Let us all be thankful for our family, friends, and for the material blessings we have.

wow this truck have nothing special ...they take a old woman and they put markup nothing in this truck is special compare to the Oder company.they have a new engine but the rest is the same..remember the 5,4 engine he was last on the test so what ford did different nothing same have more new technologies compare to ford and you dont tacking about dodge technologies .somebody kiss you ass or vice versa.....????

Miath always cracks me up.

PUTC, you really need to start moderating these boards. This is pathetic.

@Jeff S., I agree with you and others on this forum that the large, full size trucks that dominate this country's roads are luxuries for many. Why there are obviously people who need these trucks to perform their job (farmers, construction workers, etc.) there is a large percentage who use their trucks for leisure pursuits (off-roading, towing boats and motorcycles, etc.). Heck, there is even a fair percentage of truck owners who just like the look and ride high, not needing it for the purpose of towing or hauling loads. Without a doubt, having the freedom to make our own mind in a truck purchase is a blessing in it's self. I too have watched Ken Burns documentary, Dust Bowl and count my blessings every day for good health, loving friends/family and financial stability with my wife and I both having great jobs. In that same thought, I constantly look for ways to contribute to society by volunteering for non-profits and even reducing my carbon foot print by commuting on motorcycle or bicycle on days that I don't take my kids to school and daycare. Every little bit of conservation helps. Sure, call me a tree hugging liberal if you want, I take no offense to that label. I personally put myself in the second truck category... I drive a 2002 F-150 SuperCrew for purposes of hauling mountain bikes, whitewater boats, camping gear and building materials & tools for some of the service projects that I volunteer for. So to my point... Many non-Americans see us as a gluttonous, wasteful society living lifestyles of excess and in many cases I agree. The fact that there is a void in the mid-size truck market doesn't help this perception despite many of us looking for a more practical truck to meet the needs of our active lifestyles. Bigger is not always better and I'd gladly replace my full size truck for a efficient yet capable mid-size. Ford, are you listening? GMC/Chevy seems to understand with the new Canyon/Colorado on the way. Just my 2 cents.... Have a great day!

What Ford needs to bring back is the Courier, not the Ranger, GM the Luv, not the S-10 and RAM the D-50, not the Dakota; there really is a market waiting for these compact trucks and they could actually help the "big three" to meet their CAFE requirements, though the smaller trucks may not offer quite as much profit per-unit as the big ones. Still, if these smaller trucks sold more units, then the overall profit cash would still be pretty good.

The fact that there is a void in the mid-size truck market doesn't help this perception despite many of us looking for a more practical truck to meet the needs of our active lifestyles. Bigger is not always better and I'd gladly replace my full size truck for a efficient yet capable mid-size. Ford, are you listening? GMC/Chevy seems to understand with the new Canyon/Colorado on the way. Just my 2 cents.... Have a great day!

Posted by: Brian in NC | Nov 26, 2012 12:04:08 PM

I agree that there is a huge void in the compact truck market when it comes to the domestic manufacturers. I also think that there is a huge empty void in that dude named Frank's head right between his ears.

@Brian in NC There are quite a few people in other countries who like to run to excess, it is not just a US phenomenon. Yesterday I saw a Ford F650 Pickup parked in a shopping area. He had a 12.9 Litre Cummins. PR value is great, but the Pickup is pretty useless as any sort of work vehicle. Quite a few other examples I could name, but Pickups or cars for strictly work or transportation usage does not apply here either.

@Brian in NC and Papa Joe
Robert Ryan is correct, even in Australia we have soccer mums (moms) who drive Landcruiser wagons to take their 1.8 kids to school. Most vehicles don't leave the surburban environment.

As for your pickups, most are personal transport. If you look at their basic design ie, load capacity and drivetrain they aren't heavy duty. I know alot on this site think the 1/2 ton pickups are the bee's knees, but they aren't designed for heavy work. If you need a real work truck an HD is your best option. Like I've been saying the design philosophy between our mid sizer and your 1/2 ton pickups and mid sizers is different.

Right now in Australia we are having the same SUV buying spree as in NA. It seems there is a large part of the population that want a flexible vehicle. The big difference with ours is a lot are diesel and are getting well over 35mpg average, even larger ones.

Utes and pickups also fit into that category especially crew cab types. They are becoming an SUV alternative and are being designed as such.

Even our mid sizers are becoming larger. When I'm in a shopping centre, particularly a multi level I have to be conscious of where I park. Believe it or not they become larger in those situations.

But, almost all are luxuries in life and we should appreciate that. Alot of the world aspires to be where Canada, US and Australia are, even with the current financial woes.

@Robert Ryan and Jeff S
I can't get onto Woodall's, are you having the same problem?

Google will find the site, but I can't open it. I even tried on a different computer.

And yet, they refuse to sell the new Global Ranger in North America. Guess i'll have to hope toyota's new tacoma engines in 2014 are what they say they will be or (even better) hope that the Amarok comes to Canada, like VW says they are researching.

@@Robert Ryan and Jeff S
I can't get onto Woodall's, are you having the same problem?

Big Al from OZ . Yes it appears ALL he forums linked to the various Portals have crashed.

Big Al from Oz if you look for my site Australian Sports Sedans on Facebook, then you can join and chat.


And people wonder why I don't like Ford.

Ok, so some--alright, many--say Ford "makes the best car" but come on now! Really, four recalls for a brand new model engine? Maybe the bodies are ok, but Ford's smaller EcoBoost engine, the 1.6 litre, is now on its fourth recall WITH NO EXPECTED RETURN-TO-SERVICE DATE!

Politically speaking, I personally believe Ford made a huge mistake by not accepting that government bailout check. Sure, they hocked themselves up to the eyeballs with a private loan, but the end result is that their products since then seem to be pure junk--simply not safe to drive.

Ford you're still missing what the market is saying. Yes there is a market trend to buying smaller more fuel efficient vehicles, but that doesn't translate to more full size pickup trucks for everyone. Smaller fuel efficient pickup trucks translates to fuel saving compact pickup trucks. A good translation would be an updated RWD or 4WD compact (not mid size) pickup like the old Ranger with a small diesel or Eco-Boost engine that had the capability to haul 4 x 8 sheets in the bed and get at least 35 MPG.

Let's get an EV Ranger. The logic is:

An EV as the primary vehicle may be tough due to mileage limits
Many two car families have a truck as the second vehicle.
Do an EV ranger. The milelage limitation is les sof an issue, the smaller truck fits better with the EV technology.

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