Ford to Take Orders for First F-150 Diesel Pickup

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Ahead of next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) Monday launched its model year 2018 F-150 diesel pickup. The company estimates the new version of the best-selling vehicle in the United States will get a fuel economy rating of 30 miles per gallon.

Ford’s larger F-250 and F-350 models are already available with diesel engines. The company will begin taking orders for the new F-150 diesel in the middle of this month, with deliveries scheduled to be this spring.

The diesel-engine option is expected to add $2,400 to $4,000 to the cost of a gasoline-engined F-150 and will only be available on the pickup’s highest retail trim packages: Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. The engine will be offered on both 4×2 and 4×4 versions of the SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles.

The diesel engine is a 3.0-liter Power Stroke rated at 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. The company said it is intended to appeal to customers who haul or tow more than normal. The engine is paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission Ford introduced on the 2017 version of the F-150.

Ford sold nearly 900,000 F-Series pickups in 2017, a year-over-year increase of 9%. The F-Series accounted for nearly 40% of all full-size U.S. pickup truck sales last year. Ford expects the diesel-powered F-150 to account for about 5% of retail sales.

Ford is also introducing a new 3.3-liter V6 gasoline engine as standard equipment in the 2018 model, replacing the current 3.5-liter version. The smaller, lighter engine offers a 5% better power-to-weight ratio compared to the 2014 steel-bodied F-150 and a combined fuel-economy rating of 22 mpg on the 4×2 version and 20 mpg on the 4×4. About 75% of all F-150s sold in 2017 are equipped with V6 engines, according to the company.

Ford’s stock traded down about 0.4% Monday morning, at $13.15 in a 52-week range of $10.47 to $13.22 (the high was posted earlier this morning). The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $12.67.