Ford appears to have finally found the right gear with its F-150 pickup, otherwise known as the moneymaker.
After sales of the vehicle slipped every month from February through June, drivers snapped up 66,300 in July, 11,100 more than in June and a 4.8 percent increase over July 2014.
The company had struggled to roll out a thoroughly redesigned truck that incorporated far more aluminum than ever before in a bid to get better mileage. In the 12 months ending in June, Ford’s share of the pickup market declined from 33 percent to 28 percent.
The ambitious overhaul presented a number of problems. Namely, Ford had to drastically retool its assembly line and hustle to produce the new truck as quickly as the old one, both of which took longer than planned, according to Ford.
But amid the production lag was an elephant in the factory: What if customers just weren’t all that into the thing? Drivers skeptical about all the aluminum appeared to be buying other brands or withholding their purchases until they saw how the new rig performed. Some dealers were offering discounts up to $10,000 to lure reluctant drivers.
Meanwhile, those keen to buy the new pickup were left waiting for it, leaving Ford in the same situation Apple grapples within the weeks leading up to a new iPhone reveal.
In July, however, the company finally found some momentum in both production and demand.