As years go by, there is one thing that stays the same. The dominance of the Ford F-150 is undisputed in the heavyweight category of American roads since the pickup’s first official debut back in 1975. No other pickup has managed to even come close to the number of sales the F-150 has been doing over the last couple of decades. Now, what is the story behind this vehicles massive success? What makes it stand out amongst other pickups?
Like we have mentioned above, the Ford-150 made its official debut back in 1975, but the first generation of Ford F-Series dates back to the end of World War II in the year of 1948. After the war, Ford had to drastically change its manufacturing priorities. They had to produce more comfortable and practical vehicles for civilian use due to the fact that they were massively producing military grade vehicles for the American war effort. The first generation F series began with greater practicality and more humble, utilitarian looks.
The second generation Ford F-Series introduced increased dimensions of the truck, improved engines, and chassis. Another drastic change to the F-Series was the model nomenclature. It was increased to three numbers, which is still used today!
The third generation of this pickup was met with huge redesign changes and modernization.
As the fourth generation of the F Series came along, major changes were made all around. The pickup was longer and lower than previous models, and also had increased dimensions. New engines and gearbox choices were now also available. 1961-1963 models of this pickup were unibody designed with the cab and bed being integrated. This was extremely unpopular and Ford went back to the traditional separate cab/bed design.
The fifth generation of the F Series was built on the revised 1965 fourth generation platform. Dimensions of the vehicle were increased, engine options expanded and plusher trim levels were now available.
This sixth generation F Series continued to be built on the 1965 fourth generation revised platform. The difference was it had significant modifications applied.
As the ’80s approached, so did the seventh generation F Series model. It was redesigned to have a larger body and all-new chassis. The exterior design of the truck was also fully redone to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy.
The eighth generation came with a fully redesigned interior. New transmission options were also available.
The ninth generation of the F Series brought along major body shell upgrades. In the chase to further improve aerodynamics, the hoodline was lower than in previous models.
The tenth generation introduced major changes to the F Series family. Ford realized that their American buyers have started to buy their vehicle for personal use rather than work. That’s when the company decided to develop pickups for both types of buyers. The F-150 was a contemporary vehicle which from that point on was for personal use, whilst the F-250 and F-350 were for work-oriented customers.
The eleventh generation of the F Series was redesigned on a brand new platform. It was also the first time that the F-150 had rear doors installed.
The twelfth generation of the F Series trucks had a major focus on fuel economy. Ford changed the entire engine lineup for the F-150.
The biggest сhanges that were made in the thirteenth generation were the massive weight reduction of the pickups. Ford also made this generation of the pickups to be the first adaptive for cruise control.
The Ford F-150 series success is largely due to the companies understanding of what their consumers like and dislike. The ability to adapt to the demands of their clientele, and at the same time think of innovational ways to make their cars more desirable. Decades have passed, but the dominance of this line of pickups is undisputed.