Full-size pickup sales are on the rise in the US with about 1.9 million big trucks delivered in 2013, a 17% increase from the previous year. Ford's banking on continuation of the tread and plans to beef up their Super Duty production substantially this year.
Automotive News reporter Vince Bond found out Ford is planning to boost heavy duty truck output by 15% after adding 350 staffers to their Kentucky Truck plant in Louisville— where they churn out the Ford F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty pickups, Ford Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator.
The Detroit Free Press and pretty much everyone else put the cost of the expansion at $80 million.
Ford's truck guy Mike Levine wouldn't say what materials would be used in the new truck, but it was confirmed that the plant upgrades should be completed in March and will allow 55,000 more Super Duty trucks to be built annually.
Having just returned from driving GM's new heavy pickups, which performed very well in the Arizona mountains with a 10,000 pound trailer, I'm dead keen to see what the Blue Oval's answer is going to feel like in a market where payload and pulling are critical.
The Automotive News data center has been tracking a steady increase in Super Duty production by numbers, yet the big trucks are dwindling as a percentage of the whole F-Series range:
- 2009: 179,569 (32% of F-series output)
- 2010: 200,384 (31%)
- 2011: 242,139 (33.2%)
- 2012: 252,992 (29.9%)
- 2013: 275,521 (29.4%)
Ford's obviously pretty sure about the investment in full-sized pickups if they're dedicating such substantial resources the same year the 2015 Ford F-150s will start getting slapped together.
Hat tip to FJ80waitinforacummins!