Ford Sees Success With Smaller Engines In F-150

Ford made the bet America was ready to downsize their pickup truck engines and go for V6 power and it looks like the company was right.

More than 57 percent of Ford Motor Company’s F-150  retail sales so far this year are powered by V6 engines. This is the highest six-cylinder engine mix in the industry since 1967, said Ford, and the company expects that trend to continue for the rest of the year.

V8 engines led truck sales for decades until recently. Ford said over the last three years, retail registrations of light duty pickups powered by V6 engines grew more than 600 percent and the F-150 was directly responsible for 91 percent of that growth. These numbers are based on Ford analysis of Polk retail registration data.

In 2013, Ford accounted for 78 percent of all V6-powered half-ton pickups, according to data from Polk, recently acquired by IHS.

February’s engine mix numbers come on the heels of a very strong demand for Ford’s V6 truck engines in 2013.  Ford added of all the trucks Ford sold in the calendar year, more than 48 percent of them were powered by a V6 engine.

“We expect those numbers to hold for the rest of the year,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager.  “It really is amazing when you consider we are doing that with just two V6 engine choices – the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost and the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine.  When we come out with the new 2015 F-150, we will offer three different V6 engines, so the potential is there to go even higher.”

The new 2015 Ford F-150 will offer a new 2.7-liter Ecoboost engine, to be made in Lima, Ohio, in addition to the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines.

Ford continued by stating in the last three years, no competitor has ever eclipsed a 20 percent take rate for V6 engines in half-ton trucks.  It’s been a predominantly V8 crowd, until the introduction of Ford’s EcoBoost engine.

“There is a new truck buyer out there who doesn’t hold to the old notion that a truck must be powered by a V8 engine,” Scott said.  “Just five years ago, you would have had a hard time making a case for V6 truck engines. Not today. It’s all about fuel effectiveness.  It’s the combination of city and highway mileage, horsepower, torque, towing capacity, payload and value. What is the most efficient package for the work I’m trying to do?  That’s the key question.”