The F-150 is the King of V6 Light-Duty Truck Sales

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F-150 V6

If you were alive in 1967, you might remember LBJ being president, Elvis Presley marrying Priscilla Wagner and 6-cylinder-powered trucks selling like crazy.

If you’re reading this right now, commit this to memory: This is the first time in 47 years that a pickup manufacturer has had a 6-pot engine retail sales rate as strong as Ford’s: 57+ percent.  That January and February 2014 figure for the F-150 is split between the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 (46) and the naturally aspirated  3.7-liter unit (11).

But that’s nothing new.

The Blue Oval ‘s best-selling rig has been behind more than nine-tenths of the 600+-percent increase in retail registrations of V6 light-duty trucks in the past three years.  In 2013, Ford sold “78 percent of all V6-powered half-ton pickups, according to data from Polk.”  Almost half of its F-150s packed sixes up-front.  That’s especially impressive when you consider that, in the last 36 months, none of Ford’s rivals have passed a 20-percent take rate for V6s in half-ton models.

For the 2015 F-150, Ford will introduce a third 6-cylinder engine in the form of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost.

Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager, says, “Just five years ago, you would have had a hard time making a case for V6 truck engines.  Not today.”

For more memorable details, read the the press release below.

Press Release

Mar 28, 2014 | Dearborn, Mich.

With Power and Efficiency, Ford F-150 Leads Light-Duty Pickup Trucks in V6 Sales

  • 57 percent of Ford F-150 buyers in January and February choose V6 engine option
  • Since 2010, Ford accounts for 91 percent of industry’s growth in V6 truck sales
  • Ford F-150 V6 sales represented 78 percent of all light-duty truck V6 sales in 2013
  • The Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ engine represents 46 percent of F-150 pickup truck sales in February and the 3.7-liter V6 represents 11 percent.

More than 57 percent of Ford Motor Company’s F-150 retail sales so far this year are powered by V6 engines – the highest six-cylinder engine mix in the industry since 1967 – and the company expects that trend to continue for the rest of the year.

V8 engines led truck sales for decades until recently. Over the last three years, retail registrations of light duty pickups powered by V6 engines grew more than 600 percent and F-150 was directly responsible for 91 percent of that growth, based on Ford analysis of Polk retail registration data. In 2013, Ford accounted for 78 percent of all V6-powered half-ton pickups, according to data from Polk, recently acquired by IHS.

February’s engine mix numbers come on the heels of a very strong demand for Ford’s V6 truck engines in 2013. Of all the trucks Ford sold in the calendar year, more than 48 percent of them were powered by a V6 engine.

“We expect those numbers to hold for the rest of the year,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager. “It really is amazing when you consider we are doing that with just two V6 engine choices – the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost and the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine. When we come out with the new 2015 F-150, we will offer three different V6 engines, so the potential is there to go even higher.”

The new 2015 Ford F-150 will offer a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, to be made in Lima, Ohio, in addition to the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines.

In the last three years, no competitor has ever eclipsed a 20 percent take rate for V6 engines in half-ton trucks. It’s been a predominantly V8 crowd, until the introduction of Ford’s EcoBoost engine.

“There is a new truck buyer out there who doesn’t hold to the old notion that a truck must be powered by a V8 engine,” Scott said. “Just five years ago, you would have had a hard time making a case for V6 truck engines. Not today. It’s all about fuel effectiveness. It’s the combination of city and highway mileage, horsepower, torque, towing capacity, payload and value. What is the most efficient package for the work I’m trying to do? That’s the key question.”

And it’s one F-150 truck buyers are answering in record numbers for V6 engines.

via [Ford]
photos [Ford 1 and 2]

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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