12/16/2003 – Motor Trend Names Ford F-150 2004 Truck Of The Year

Source: Ford Motor Company

Ford Awarded Prestigious Golden Calipers From Tough Field of Seven

(NEW YORK, NY – December 17, 2003) – MOTOR TREND magazine, the world’s #1 automotive authority and part of the PRIMEDIA Consumer Automotive Group, today announced the selection of the Ford F-150 as the 2004 Truck of the Year. Each year MOTOR TREND evaluates all the new vehicles, and selects the pickup truck that most clearly raises the bar in the category, specifically in terms of significance, superiority and value.

“The new F-150 represents a huge step forward in pickup-truck design, styling, refinement and overall performance,” said Kevin Smith, editor-in-chief of MOTOR TREND. “Ford has practically reinvented the pickup, and its impact on the marketplace cannot be overstated or ignored. For all these reasons, we are delighted to recognize the Ford F-150 as the single most important truck of this year.”

The 2004 Ford F-150 offers 46 different cab/chassis/bed configurations plus five distinctive interior designs. With this whole family of trucks, Ford establishes a new standard for what consumers can expect from a full-size pickup.

“We are very pleased that the Ford F-150 has been named MOTOR TREND’s Truck Of The Year because this honor is the one most recognized by consumers,” said Steve Lyons, President – Ford Division. “In fact, MOTOR TREND’s award is a lot like the new F-150 – it carries a lot of weight. We look forward to adding it to our trophy case.”

This year, the editorial staff of MOTOR TREND conducted testing on seven new vehicles, searching for the pickup truck that best represented exceptional value, superiority in its class, and the most significant development on the new-truck scene for 2004. All truly new or substantially revised trucks were considered with the condition that they be available for public sale by January 1, 2004.

For the 2004 Truck of the Year competition, the winner was selected from the following eligible models: Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet SSR, Dodge Ram SRT-10, Ford F-150, GMC Canyon, Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra Double Cab.

The MOTOR TREND Evaluation Process

MOTOR TREND editors spent several weeks with the contending vehicles, exploring their performance, features, and functionality. Thorough testing was done on each vehicle with a specific focus on the following: engineering and technology, performance, ride and handling, styling and design, interior fit, finish and materials, utility, and value. Special attention was paid to the “pickup” aspects of loading and securing cargo, performance with a payload, and towing. Once the testing and evaluations were completed, MOTOR TREND editors chose the Ford F-150 to receive the coveted Golden Calipers.

“MOTOR TREND’s editorial staff prides itself on its impartial and authoritative judging of all eligible vehicles for the Truck of the Year competition,” said Smith. “We live with these trucks for weeks to truly test them in every way a buying consumer will. We take very seriously our responsibility to identify the most worthy contender. Our readers and the general public have grown to trust in the significance and meaning of the Golden Calipers.”

Each year, the editorial staff of MOTOR TREND evaluates the eligible vehicles based on three key categories: Significance, Superiority, and Value. Significance refers to impact on the market and looks for mastery and innovation in engineering, technology, design, safety and packaging, as well as envisioned sales forecasts for that model line. Superiority balances the playing field and looks for class-leading levels of performance, style, and value within its specific competitive set. Finally, the all-important Value question asks, “What does this vehicle deliver in relation to what the consumer has to pay to purchase and own it?”

The complete report on the 2004 Truck of the Year can be found in the February 2004 issue of MOTOR TREND, on newsstands January 7, 2004. Additional coverage, with high-resolution images, will be posted on MOTOR TREND’s Web site at http://www.motortrend.com/media. Multimedia coverage of the testing and selection process will appear on MOTOR TREND Television, hosted by feature editor John Matthius.

About MOTOR TREND
MOTOR TREND, a PRIMEDIA publication, was founded in 1949 and has a circulation of 1.27 million and a total readership of 7.1 million. Internationally recognized as the world’s #1 automotive authority, MOTOR TREND is one of the leading brands in automotive publishing. The MOTOR TREND brand is comprised of motortrend.com; MOTOR TREND Television; MOTOR TREND Radio; Truck Trend; MOTOR TREND International Auto Shows; MOTOR TREND en Español; and the renowned MOTOR TREND Car, Sport/Utility and Truck of the Year Awards program.

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