Ford started out 2015 swinging, enabling the F-Series line to post a 17 percent sales increase compared to January 2014. But that wasn’t so much due to increasing sales of the all-new aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150. As expected, it’s currently not all roses for America’s best-selling vehicle and pickup truck: the F-series line dipped into the red in February 2015, dropping 1.2 percent to 55, 236 units versus 55,882 in February 2014; and in March 2015, the F-Series dropped 4.6 percent to 67,706 units compared to 70,940 in March 2014.
By comparison, GM truck sales were up 37 percent in February, with Chevy Silverado up 24 percent in February, the strongest since February 2007, and GMC Sierra sales were up six percent. But GM fans shouldn’t start frothing at the mouth with excitement quite yet: there are a few important factors contributing to the F-150’s slip.
Up until the first half of March, production of the 2015 F-150 was limited to one plant — Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant. On March 12th, Ford started building the new F-150 at its Kansas City Assembly Plant. The automaker announced that it has added 1,550 new jobs to help produce the new truck. Of these, 900 will be in Kansas. The second manufacturing plant couldn’t go online any sooner, as the manufacturing changeover from the last-generation F-150 to the all-new one means Fords has lost about 90,000 sales since mid-2014, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Ford’s Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, remains confident that the new truck will maintain its number one spot among trucks, which it has had for 34 consecutive years, saying” “The all-new F-150 continues to be the hottest vehicles on dealer lots, turning more than four times faster than the industry’s overall full-size pickup segment.
So, while GM makes gains in the sales race and relishes Ford’s downtime, aluminum Ford F-150 production now has a second home, and the new truck will likely start to claw back sales starting in April.