Ford F-Series

“F-Series gets huge push”

Ford has been dropping the “F-word” a lot lately, but with good reason. The automaker has launched the biggest truck offensive the Middle East has seen. The F-Series is on the charge.

If you’re into the rough trade of a petrol-head lifestyle you’d have to have been on another planet not to know how brutal and formidable the F-Series is. In the land of trucks, the United States, the F-150 has been the best-selling truck for the past 35 years.

And throw in any gong you like – the F-Series has them in the trophy cabinet. Yet, it’s fair to say that over the years Ford hasn’t made the most of its iconic trucks in the Middle East. Cars and SUVs have tended to be priority in the region while some awkward legislation in some countries has made it difficult for private ownership of these big fellas. But in the main regions, that’s been smoothed over.

Ford has now changed the game by bringing pretty much every truck it’s got to the Middle East, and that telegraphs a major message to the competition: get outta the way!

“You’re definitely correct. We haven’t given the big push to a vehicle like the F-150 in the Middle East – it was certainly time we did and it starts right now,” says Ford’s Regional Marketing Chief, Paul Anderson.

“Everyone knows Ford makes trucks second to none and we want the vehicles to realize their full potential here in the Middle East.”

“The market in Saudi Arabia in particular will relish a broad lineup of F-Series. I was at a motor show in Saudi Arabia recently and in the parking lot outside there were so many trucks that were blinged up. The young people want to have fun with these vehicles and, of course, there are those that are extremely loyal to the brand.”

Should there be a subtitle here?

Under the banner of ‘Built Tough’ Ford gave us the opportunity to keen on ‘truckin’ through the demanding but spectacular terrain of UAE’s Hajar Mountains.

There was quite a bit to show and tell. The most extensive powertrain overhaul in the 63-year history of Ford F-Series features three new truck engines in the Middle East: a 3.7 liter V6, 5.0 liter V8 and a 6.2 liter V8 that is the base engine in the Ford F-Series Super Duty.

Ford is the first and only automaker to equip its entire full-size pickup lineup with fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmissions as standard equipment. Technologies such as EPAS, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Integrated Trailer Brake Control, Trailer Sway Control, productivity screen and Sync were to the fore.

From lugging payload to towing to off-roading, it is on offer. If a convoy was on the highway towing all manner of gear, it could do justice to a major rock band on tour. Ford is claiming best-in-class towing, payload, horsepower and fuel-economy across all engines.

Upgrades on the 2012 F-150’s drivetrain include replacing last year’s electronic shift-on-the-fly with a two-speed automatic 4x4 system for Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels. The system still offers four high and four low modes, but now also offers a 4x4 auto mode. The F-150 SVT Raptor is 7 inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components.
The basic trim levels – XL, STX, XLT and Lariat – are again offered in addition to King Ranch, Platinum, SVT Raptor and Harley-Davidson F-150. Joining the XLT lineup is the new XLT Custom package tailored for customers who opt for the 3.7 liter V6.

“There’s no doubt that the F-Series trucks were made to lead,” says Anderson.

While conceding that the push for the F-Series is overdue, Anderson is confident of large-scale success with the truck stamped. Indeed, momentum is already gathering and the product offensive hasn’t even kicked in yet.

Year-to-date sales of the F-Series gone up four-fold while Ford posted a 37 percent increase in retail sales overall across the Middle East during the first quarter of this year.

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