Back in November, Ford announced a partnership with RV builder Thor Livin Lite to bring Ford-branded lifestyle products to market. These products would go hand-in-hand with Ford’s new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150, and would include such products as tent campers, travel trailers, truck campers, toy haulers and fifth wheels.
In the collaboration, Thor Livin Lite licenses Ford trademarks and is fully responsible for designing, engineering and manufacturing Ford-branded recreational products with input from Ford Design, with the products being sold through Thor Livin Lite dealers. But Ford hasn’t always partnered with third-party companies to bring Ford-branded RVs to market.
In the 1970s, the automaker had a dedicated RV division that consisted of a team of engineers and marketing professionals. This particular setup has us somewhat intrigued, and makes us wonder if Ford should explore getting back into making RVs for its vehicles.
The idea intrigues us because bringing RV design, engineering, and production in-house would equip Ford with some interesting competitive advantages that other automakers simply don’t have. Besides RVs styled to go along with its pickup trucks, we could see the Ford recreational department being responsible for various customization options for its new full-size Transit vans as well as making luxury RVs to go along with the Lincoln Navigator, to name a few possibilities. Furthermore, Ford can ensure that when customers couple Ford vehicles to Ford RVs, the two work in seamless harmony — much like how Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV work extremely well together compared to working separately, or in conjunction with non-Apple products. And from a financial standpoint, Ford can win big time by selling its own RV equipment.
In the true sense of the word, the possibilities for The Blue Oval to truly immerse itself into the RV space are rather vast. So, what do you think? Should Ford revisit the idea of having its own RV division? Talk to us in the comments.