Have you driven a Ford lately? No, seriously—that’s not a marketing tagline. It’s a real question because Ford has sold more redesigned 2016 F-650/F-750 medium-duty trucks in the past year than any year since 1997. Ford medium-duty trucks are also the fastest growing volume Class 6-7 brand—so chances are that you have driven one. What you might not know, however, is that the redesign is only the beginning. Ford continues to announce improvement after improvement.
“Some of these changes expand our current offerings with new optional features, such as the high-output 240-amp alternator that’s now available for the 6.8-liter V10 gasoline powertrain,” explained Kevin Koester, Ford’s medium-duty trucks brand manager. “Ordering the higher output alternator to power auxiliary lights and equipment can eliminate the need to specify a second alternator or generator on vehicles with high electrical demands like tow trucks, road service vehicles and other work trucks.
“Another example,” Koester continued, “is the available 3-in. front bumper extension that will support a number of vocations as it provides protection to the hood from ground-level impact, something fairly common in construction and rental applications.”
While the F-650/F-750 diesel offering continues to gain ground in its established vocations such as rental, construction and tree service applications, it’s experiencing solid growth in the municipal and local delivery fleet segments as well. Beverage and local hauling fleets, in particular, are starting to take notice of the tractor offering, and Ford says the number of inquiries are definitely increasing.
Additionally, Ford offers a segment-exclusive gasoline engine option, which Koester said appeals to fleet managers in a wide range of vocations who recognize that not every duty-cycle requires the torque of a diesel engine, and who prefer the cost and maintenance advantages of gasoline power. Demand for the gas engine has been steady, making up around 50% of Ford’s orders.
“We’ve also seen increasing sales to larger fleets because of the local support they can get from our growing service network,” Koester said. “In the final years of the previous generation of medium-duty trucks, we were very limited in our ability to provide consistent service locations nationwide because of powertrain service certification requirements from the non-Ford engine and transmission manufacturers. Today, Ford is the only medium-duty truck manufacturer to design and build its own diesel engine and transmission combination.”
To further bolster its service and support offerings, this year Ford introduced its Commercial Vehicle Center program, which is geared toward providing fleet and commercial customers nationwide with sales, service and financing at the dealership level.
The network includes more than 650 Ford dealers committed to offering commercial customers the vehicles, financing options and service support their businesses need.
“All Commercial Vehicle Center dealer employees are factory-trained to provide knowledgeable, trustworthy customer support,” Koester said.
“We’re very excited to continue the growth of this truck with our customers,” Koester adds. “From the people in Michigan designing and engineering the chassis and powertrains to the men and women at Ohio Assembly Plant who build it, to our growing national dealer network, we’re focused on making this the best-value, most upfit-friendly medium-duty truck ever.”