Chalk this one up to the surprising and unexpected category: a prototype of Ford’s 2015 F-150 pickup truck was seen leaving General Motors’ Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan.
Speaking to PickupTrucks.com, sources familiar with the reason for The Blue Oval’s next-gen best-seller’s presence on enemy turf didn’t seem all that surprised to hear about it, with the popular truck publication saying that “…their [the sources’] demeanor made it clear there was a logical reason for something that seemed so … illogical.”
One of the possibilities behind the 2015 F-150’s presence at Milford relates to Ford testing the new transmissions it’s developing with General Motors. As you might recall from this past spring, GM and Ford entered into a joint venture to develop nine- and 10-speed automatic transmission for use in a wide variety of vehicles. And although the two partners didn’t mention any specific vehicles that are destined to get the new jointly-developed gearboxes, the logical conclusion seems to be that the two cross-town rivals were working on something related to the transmissions when the F-150 was spotted leaving GM’s turf.
And even if that explanation isn’t the actual reason behind the sighting, one thing is for certain: Ford (as well as all other pickup truck makers) will need to take some bold steps to improve fuel economy numbers of current pickups trucks for the upcoming federal regulations due for 2016 and 2025 model year vehicles.