The 2015 F-150 is coming very, very soon, as Ford will unveil the all-new truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. And in order to prevent glitches associated with launching a new model from crippling sales of America’s best-selling pickup, Ford will reportedly produce both the outgoing F-150 and the next-gen model for a six month period in 2014.
Given that pickup truck sales are growing at 2-3 times the rate of the overall industry, Ford’s reported decision to produce the trucks simultaneously is prudent, as it will ensure that The Blue Oval can meet demand for its highly-profitable trucks without losing market share. Such a strategy would prevent issues related to the supply chain and other concerns surrounding the launch of a new model from negatively affecting Ford’s ability to maintain adequate inventory levels on dealer lots, while gradually allowing Ford to exclusively shift production to the new-generation truck.
To supply the U.S. market, Ford builds the F-150 in two American plants: Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan. International markets are served by the Cuautitlan, Mexico and the Valencia plant in Venezuela.
To note, the practice of concurrently producing the previous- and current-generations of pickup trucks is not unheard-of, but a six-month period is longer than usual. For instance, cross-town rival General Motors concurrently sold the outgoing model of the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra for two months, and Ford overlapped production of the all-new F-250 and F-350 with the outgoing models in 1997, with the last-gen models being sold as “F-250 Heritage” and “F-350 Heritage”.
The all-new 2015 F-150 is expected to feature a design similar to the Atlas concept, shed as much as 700 pounds (300 kilograms) of weight, and go into production in July of 2014.