How the Ford F-150 Evolved into America’s Most Important Vehicle

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Ford F-150

A fire at a parts facility and Ford’s decision to cut car production make one thing clear: No vehicle is more important right now than the Ford F-150.

Most of us are old enough to remember a time when pickup trucks were merely tools. Something that you owned for a specific purpose, whether that be hauling trailers or just working on the farm. But over the last couple of decades, trucks have evolved into something much, much more. To the point where the world’s best-selling truck, the Ford F-150, is now the most important vehicle in this country.

In fact, CNN Money calls the F-150 the “second most important vehicle in Ford’s 115-year history — right behind the Model T.” And it’s hard to argue with that logic. But the road to get there hasn’t been arrow straight, that’s for sure. A recent fire at a supplier’s facility prompted a suspension in production. Not to mention mass panic from Wall Street to Walton Avenue. And that only serves to further highlight this one important fact – the F-150 isn’t just critical to Ford’s success. It’s deeply woven into the fabric of American society.

Ford F-150

This didn’t happen overnight, of course. It’s somewhat of a chicken or egg scenario, in fact. Did consumers demand more comfortable trucks that were easier to drive? Or was it simply a case of natural evolution? After all, Ford first began making the F-Series more driver-friendly way back in 1953. And once they gave us a taste of luxury-trimmed pickups, we simply couldn’t get enough.

The rise of the Ford F-150 is undeniable, and in some cases, shocking. When Ford finally decided to pull the plug on most of its car production recently, many were stunned. But to us, this is merely the latest in an evolution that started decades ago. America’s love affair with the Ford F-150 has never wavered, after all. It’s only gotten stronger as the years wear on!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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