The pickup market has been heating up for well over a decade as more consumers have turned
to trucks for their primary vehicle. Trucks meet a variety of needs and wants: power,
towing, interior space and cargo space. American automakers have met the desires
of consumers with ever more capable, functional and comfortable trucks. Compare the
build quality, ride quality, payload and tow capacity, features and options of any late
model truck to the offerings of just 10 years ago and you’ll see that the manufacturers
have met the challenge of building better, more capable trucks.

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As the pickup truck market has grown, so has the heavy-duty pickup market. Ford
Motor Company sold off its heavy truck division in 1997 to Freightliner. In 1999,
Ford introduced the all-new line of Super Duty trucks and began producing heavy
duty pickups as a separate product line from the F-150. This bold departure gave
Ford the ability to have two lines of pickups: the F-150 to meet the needs
of the consumer and light duty market, and the Super Duty to meet the needs of the
commercial buyers and consumers who demanded more capability in a truck.

As a result Ford dominated the heavy-duty pickup market. Dodge and GMC both responded
to this by increasing the capabilities of their heavy-duty pickups. Competition is
good for the consumer and Ford has upped the ante with the introduction of the new
2005 Super Duty.

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“Our goal with the 2005 Super Duty redesign was to improve on the already proven leader
in heavy-duty pick-ups.”, said Phil O’Connor, Super Duty marketing manager, “Every area
important to a heavy-duty pick-up customer was significantly improved…capability with
best-in-class towing and payload, towing control with the new TowCommand System featuring
the first in industry factory installed integrated trailer brake controller, styling with
a freshened exterior and interior, and features with new electronic automatic temperature
control, redundant steering wheel controls, and upfitter switches.”

No longer will you find just the concrete crew, construction worker, hauler and farmer
behind the wheel of heavy-duty pickups. The Super Duty has crossed over in many ways.
10% of the buyers are women, and the primary buyer is a dual use customer. “They use their
Super Duty on the job during the day, hauling loads and towing equipment.”, said Phil,
“In the evenings and on the weekends, they use the Super Duty to tow their boat, RV, or horse
trailer, and for carrying their family.”

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In 2002 Ford Motor Company showcased the Ford F-350 Mighty Tonka concept truck. It was met with
enthusiasm and cues from this concept were used in the all-new 2004 F-150.
The 2005 Super Duty also borrows from the Tonka’s bold looks, especially in the grill

2002 Ford F-350 Mighty Tonka concept

2005 Ford Super Duty

The F-Series has been America’s best selling truck for 27 years and America’s best
selling vehicle for 22 years. With it rivals competing for Ford’s #1 spot, Ford
cannot afford to stop with just good looks. This truck is as capable as it is
good looking, offering a host of advantages over the competition:

  • Best-in-Class Towing – 17,000 lbs.
  • Best-in-Class Payload – 5,800 lbs.
  • Best-in-Class Gas Horsepower – 355
  • Best-in-Class Gas Torque – 455 lb. – ft.
  • Unsurpassed Diesel Horsepower – 325
  • Increased Diesel Torque – 570 lb. – ft.
  • Best-in-Class GVWR – 13,000 lbs.
  • Best-in-Class GCWR – 23,500 lbs.
  • TowCommand System featuring the first and only factory installed integrated trailer brake controller
  • Most Durable Diesel Engine

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It looks like Ford will continue its market leadership position with the 2005 Super Duty, and raising the stakes for the competition.
I have no doubt GMC and Dodge are preparing their response and the consumer will win in this high-stakes game.
See the full specifications.

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