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Ford rethinking marketing strategy for 2009 F-150

by Paul Rachwal

Ford will market its new F-150 to those who actually need and use it for work. To that extent, when the delayed truck launches this fall, most of the first deliveries will be two-door models that have traditionally sold well with contractors, farmers and fleet customers.



Luxury-laden four-door model usually purchased by small families instead of SUVs and for more casual use, will be downplayed and released later on, as these trims and packages saw the biggest drop in sales. Sales of all full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. have fallen some 21.1 percent compared to last year, a drop that is blamed on high gas prices and slowing economy.

"The core truck buyer is who we're going to focus on," Mike Crowley, Ford's group marketing plans manager for trucks and SUVs, told the Detroit Free Press. "Those who want a truck, and need a truck, will make compromises to buy it."

To battle competitors from GM, Toyota and Dodge, Ford will focus its marketing and advertising on the new F-150's improved fuel economy, which is about 1.5mpg better, on average, than the current model according to Crowley. This was achieved thanks to better aerodynamics, a six-speed automatic and a new 4.6-liter V8. Around 2010, bigger fuel savings will be possible thanks to a choice of an EcoBoost gasoline engine with turbocharging and direct injection, as well as a diesel engine.