Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) had a hard first half in terms of total vehicle sales in the U.S. Ford sold 1,240,585 cars and light trucks, down 2.9% from the same period in 2018. However, the vehicle which accounted for 36% of those sales did better.
Sales of Ford’s F-Series full-sized pick up were 448,398, down just .6%. The F-Series, made up primarily of the F-150, has been the top-selling vehicle in American for over four decades. No other pick-up, SUV, crossover, sedan, or coupe has even come close.
Pick-ups are at the heart of the U.S. vehicle market. Often, the second and third best-selling cars in America are General Motor Corporation’s Chevy Silverado and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram. In each case, the success, or lack thereof, of each of America’s Big Three has been to some large extent, pick-up driven.
The F-Series line has three members. The base model, the F-150 is a standard full-sized pick-up. It has a base price of $28,155. Like most other cars and light trucks, the price can soar with large numbers of features. The “Limited” model can post a price as high as $75,000. Ford also makes two heavy-duty versions of the F-Series. These are the F-250 and F-350.
The F-Series has become even more important to Ford’s line-up recently. It has dropped the sales of some of its cars because of lack of sales. These include the Fiesta, Fusion, Focus and Taurus. Ford is betting that pick-ups, crossovers, and SUV will make its U.S. business more successful, at least in terms of profits. The second-largest car company in America has bet that there will be no comeback of sedans and coupes, even if gas prices spike sharply in the future.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett has told employees and investors that he will slash billions of dollars in expenses and use Ford’s research to develop autonomous driving and electric cars. The F-Series is neither of those now. However, he will still need to lean on it for much of the company’s success.