The Ford F-Series pickup truck has not one, but two big reasons to celebrate in 2017: 40 consecutive years as the best-selling pickup in the United States, and 35 years as the best-selling vehicle.
In all, more than 26 million Ford F-Series pickups have been sold since the sixth-generation model rose to the top of the pickup truck rankings in 1977. That year, 818,580 units were sold.
Several years later, when the seventh-generation Ford F-Series launched for 1980, it was “a breakthrough generation for Ford,” says historian and author James Wagner. “It was all new – probably the greatest change in 40 years. It was fresh and had a strong emotional appeal with the twin I-beam front suspension. It seems from that point on, things really went Ford’s way as far as trucks were concerned.”
Another big change came in 1997 as the Ford F-Series entered its tenth generation, when the truck line split into the light-duty F-150 and the distinct Super Duty range. Finally, in 2015, the Ford F-Series entered its thirteenth generation, spawning a radical new body constructed of lightweight aluminum alloy rather than steel. The Super Duty followed suit for 2017.
“What’s made the F-Series so successful is the Ford truck team’s ability to anticipate the needs of our customers better than anyone else – how those needs change, what’s most important, and what they need to move forward,” says Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Todd Eckert. “Their insights help us design, engineer and build America’s best-selling trucks.” Examples of how Ford has been able to recognize and react to consumer demand include the luxurious King Ranch trim level introduced in 2001, and the creation of performance models like the SVT Lightning and SVT Raptor.
A brand-new Ford F-150 Raptor was just introduced for the 2017 model year, boasting 450 horsepower and a flexible new 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Ford is ringing in the F-Series’ 40-year milestone with a yearlong celebration at 40YearsTough.com.