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Old 07-10-2003, 22:33   #1 (permalink)
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New F-150 price to rise slightly

Ford expects brisk sales for pickup

By Mark Truby / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is narrowly raising the price of its all-new 2004 Ford F-150 pickup, banking that brisk sales and lower discounts on its top-selling model will offset higher production costs.

Ford said Thursday the new F-150 will cost $245 to $635 more than the current model -- an increase of less than 2 percent -- when it hits showrooms in late August.

"We didn't get to be the leader without being aggressive," said Ford Division President Steve Lyons.

The price hike, Lyons said, reflects new features and equipment made standard on the truck.

The new F-150, which hits showrooms in August, is the most important new vehicle introduction for Ford and the U.S. auto industry in several years. Ford's F-Series pickup has been America's best-selling vehicle for 21 years. The automaker has set an ambitious goal of eventually selling 1 million units of the new model annually.

Ford faced enormous pressure to limit price hikes on the new F-150 because overall new car and truck prices are falling as the industry grapples with a glut of production capacity.

Dealers praised Ford for holding the line on price increases.

"Ford priced this truck to make sure we retain our old owners as well as get defectors from General Motors and Dodge," said Jerry Reynolds, a Garland, Texas, dealer who is among the nation's top sellers of Ford trucks. "It's a clear sign that Ford is looking at long-term owner loyalty, not short-term profits."

Lyons said the new truck will be more profitable than the current model even though the redesigned version will cost Ford $1,000 to $2,000 more to build per unit. The price hike alone, though, won't make up the difference. Ford is counting on selling the pickup with fewer incentives and other rebates such as cut-rate financing.

"I can assure you that the 2004 new F-150 will deliver a higher (profit) margin per vehicle to the company than the outgoing model," Lyons said.

The redesigned 2004 model will come in five versions, compared with three for the current F-150. Some of the new features include four-doors on every cab configuration and an overhead rail system that allows owners to snap in a variety of modules from DVD players to flashlight holsters.

Ford expects its mid-level XLT SuperCab to be the most popular version, accounting for 40 percent to 45 percent of all F-150 sales. The most expensive version will cost $35,570 and the least expensive, which is effectively a 2003 model, will start at $19,125.

Ford sold 402,072 F-Series pickups in the first half of the year, or 37.2 percent of all large pickups sold in the United States, but down 3.3 percentage points from a year ago.

General Motors Corp. sold 321,992 Chevy Silverados, while DaimlerChrysler AG moved 218,301 Dodge Rams through June.

Lyons has said he hopes to sell 1 million F-Series pickups per year in the future.

Ford is initially building the new F-150 at assembly plants in Norfolk, Va., and Kansas City, Mo. A new truck factory at the Rouge complex in Dearborn goes into production next year. Over the next year, though, Ford will continue to build and sell the current model, which will be built in Oakville, Ontario. Ford is calling it the Heritage model.

The decision to continue selling the current F-150 serves two purposes. First, it allows Ford to keep sufficient truck inventories until the Dearborn truck plant is up and running. Secondly, it gives the automaker an extra weapon in the rebate wars.

Ford believes it can continue to offer $3,000 rebates and zero-percent financing -- matching offerings from Chevrolet and Dodge -- on the current model and keep discounts to a minimum on the new truck.

"It provides a vehicle that allows us to go dollar-for-dollar with anyone," Lyons said.

Automakers typically announce the price of new models with little fanfare. But the importance of the F-150 in Ford's turnaround effort stoked interest. Ford held a rare conference call with dealers, Wall Street analysts and the media to lay out its pricing strategy.

The competition was no less interested. Nissan North America's marketing team, which is currently planning the December launch of the new Titan full-size pickup, was paying close attention Thursday.

"Will people look at the Heritage model with a $3,500 discount and pay that much more for the new one?" said Fred Suckow, director of marketing for Nissan. "That will be a tell-tale sign."

Industry analyst Art Spinella said there should be enough pent-up demand for the new F-150 to drive sales.

"Ford knows the truck market pretty well," Spinella said. "Buyers have been waiting for this truck. It's an upgraded vehicle, so I think they won't get any complaints about the price."

(Right Photo) Ford's F-150 XLT SuperCab is expected to be the automaker's most popular F-150 model and will range in price up to $35,570.
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File Type: jpeg b02fordxlt11.jpeg (13.3 KB, 10 views)
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Old 07-11-2003, 08:36   #2 (permalink)
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July 11, 2003
AutoWeek

Redesigned F-150 to start at $22,010; current generation sticks around

In addition to raising the bar with its redesigned 2004 F-150, Ford is raising prices.
The redesigned F-150 lineup, which will be sold alongside a slew of carryover models from the previous generation that will be sold at last year’s prices, will get a price hike of between $245 and $635 per redesigned truck.

Sources peg Ford as spending between an additional $1,200 and $2,100 per truck on the redesigns and the company says it is confident buyers will be see reason to pay more thanks to major interior and exterior changes. Steve Lyons, Ford Division president, says, "When our customers get to the dealership and compare the level of standard equipment on the new 2004 lineup with the price, they are going to be blown away.”

Customers will see a starting price tag of $22,010, which includes the $795 destination charge -- a $255 premium over last year’s base. The base truck is a two-wheel-drive model with a 4.6-liter V8 and manual transmission.

Prices incrementally rise depending on trim level, powertrain, box size, transmission option and cabin size. Ford is offering a carryover 4.6-liter V8 and a revamped, three-valve 5.4-liter V8 which serves as the line’s signature mill. The top-of-the-line 4x4 will cost $36,365.

A V-6 version of the redesigned F-150 comes in 2005. Customers wanting one for 2004 will have to settle for a Heritage edition model, which is Ford’s designation for the current generation F-150s it will continue to sell until next fall. The Heritage will be equipped with either a V-6 or V-8 and will cost between $19,920 and $29,250. Ford expects its highest- volume seller to be its redesigned rear-wheel-drive XLT SuperCab with 78-inch box, 4.6-liter V8 and automatic tranny. That truck will run $27,815.
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Old 07-13-2003, 20:42   #3 (permalink)
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F-150 increase won't cover costs
But Ford says mix, limited incentives will boost profits

By Amy Wilson
Automotive News / July 14, 2003

DETROIT -- The price increase for the 2004 F-150 won't cover the extra money Ford Motor Co. is spending to produce each truck. But Ford says it will make more money on the redesigned truck by limiting incentives and selling a higher proportion of higher-priced models.

Ford said on Thursday, July 10, that it would raise prices on 2004 models by $245 to $635 over 2003 models with comparable powertrains.

The trucks will start arriving at dealerships late this month and go on sale in August.

The redesigned base F-150 will start at $22,010, including freight, for an XL regular cab with two-wheel drive. The top-of-the-line Lariat SuperCrew will start at $36,365, including freight. With optional equipment, prices could exceed $40,000.

Ford also will sell a version of its current truck, dubbed the F-150 Heritage, for 2004. It will start at $19,920, including freight, for an XL regular cab with two-wheel drive, a V-6 engine and a manual transmission. Ford did not raise the price of the F-150 Heritage for 2004, and the company will steer large incentives to the model.

Ford plans to produce the Heritage model until mid-2004 at its Oakville, Ontario, plant. It won't disclose expected Heritage volume, but the one-shift Ontario plant produced about 107,000 vehicles during the 2003 model year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Ford intends to limit discounts on the redesigned models but will share plans for some initial incentives with dealers by the end of July. Ford says the pricing plan for the new model should produce higher profits from F-150 sales, despite higher costs of $1,000 to $2,000 per truck.

"The price rise will not likely cover the cost in and of itself, but we do anticipate that the incentive spending will be substantially lower and we do anticipate a mix improvement," Ford Division President Steve Lyons said. "So the combination of those two improves the contribution margin."

Some industry analysts doubt that Ford can sustain a higher margin for long. Given the heavy discounts on the 2003 model, the buyer of an average redesigned F-150 would have to pay $1,800 more per vehicle, "a tall order off an average transaction price of $28,700," Goldman Sachs analyst Gary Lapidus wrote in a report.

Dealer Jerry Reynolds of Prestige Ford in Garland, Texas, said he was pleasantly surprised by lower than expected prices.

"The message I got out of it was they are really looking at this thing for volume," he said. "It would have been easier to sell less trucks and make more money on (each) truck, but that's something, as a dealer, we'd hate to see."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
YEAR-OVER-YEAR PRICE COMPARISON
Model 2003 MY Pricing* Difference 2004 MY Pricing*
HERITAGE
XL Regular Cab 4x4 4.2-liter V-6 Manual $19,125 $0 $19,125
XLT SuperCab 4x4 4.6-liter V-8 Manual $28,455 $0 $28,455
2004 F-150
XL Regular Cab 4x2 4.6-liter V-8 Automatic $20,970 $245 $21,215
STX Regular Cab 4x2 4.6-liter V-8 Automatic $21,965 $250 $22,215*
XLT SuperCab 4x4 4.6-liter V-8 Automatic $29,550 $535 $30,085
FX4 SuperCab 4x4 5.4-liter V-8 Automatic $31,755 $430 $32,185
Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 5.4-liter V-8 Automatic $34,935 $635 $35,570
*Prices exclude $795 destination and delivery. 2004MY STX price includes optional Bright Tubular Running Boards at $350 MSRP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Photo)The base F-150 will start at $22,010, including freight, for an XL regular cab.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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