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US:Ford aims to sell 900,000 F-Series trucks again in '05

Ford aims to sell 900,000 F-Series trucks again in '05

Firm says it's hiked its leading share for full-size pickups 1.6 percentage points to 36.5 percent.

By Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.
Ford Division President Darryl Hazel touts Ford Truck success at media event to introduce the all-new 2006 Ford Low Cab Forward medium duty truck.

SAN ANTONIO -- Ford Motor Co. said it expects to sell at least 900,000 F-Series pickups this year, compared with 939,000 in 2004, to become the first automaker ever to sell 900,000 or more vehicles under a single nameplate for two consecutive years.

Since the launch of the 2004 F-Series line, Ford says it has extended its leading share of the market for full-size pickups by 1.6 percentage points to 36.5 percent, while the No. 2 brand, Chevrolet, slipped three points to 30.7 percent.

"We intend to extend our lead over the competition in pickups as well as the commercial vehicle business," Ford Division President Daryl Hazel said Thursday at the introduction of Ford's low cab forward commercial truck at Grande Truck Center here, Ford's largest medium duty truck dealership.

The automaker also appeared to be marking its territory as new rivals pile into the lucrative pickup truck business. Across town, Toyota Motor Corp. is building a factory that will start producing a full-size Tundra truck next year.

"Texas is truck country, and Ford is the truck manufacturer of choice," said Hazel, sporting a cowboy hat and branding iron.

As U.S. competition in trucks increases, Ford will likely be getting out more messages like these, said Michael Robinet, an industry analyst with CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills.

"It's important for Ford to stay number one or two in a couple of segments, and full-size pickups is probably a prime consideration," he said.

Hazel said that if Ford reaches its goal of selling 900,000 F-Series trucks this year, "we'll be the only automaker in history to have sold more than 900,000 of anything in two consecutive years."

In the commercial truck business, Ford expects this year to surpass last year's sales of nearly 325,000 units.

The segment has shown resistance to rising gas prices because " most people buy this vehicle for work," Hazel said.

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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