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Ford goes solo on new medium-duty trucks


kscarbel2
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Reuters / March 4, 2013

Ford introduced new versions of two medium-duty commercial trucks on Tuesday at a trade show in Indianapolis, vehicles that -- for the first time in years -- will be built without the help of Navistar International Corp., Cummins Inc. or Allison Transmission Holdings Inc.

The 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks, which will go on sale in the spring of 2015, will be assembled at Ford's plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, and feature chassis, engine and transmissions all built in-house.

For years, the two vehicles were built on chassis made in Escobedo, Mexico, under a joint venture with Navistar, using diesel engines supplied by Cummins and transmissions supplied by Allison.

Ford executives say bringing the components back in-house will reduce costs and simplify service issues when they arise.

The production shift to the United States is welcome news for most of the 1,600 UAW-represented production workers employed at the Ohio plant.

They faced the specter of mass layoffs as Ford largely phased out the E-Series "Econoline" van currently made in their plant in favor of the new Transit line of vans, which will be built in Kansas City. By moving medium-duty truck production back to the United States, only a few hundred union members will lose their jobs.

F-650 and F-750 buyers will have two engine choices with the new trucks, according to Ford: a new 6.7-liter V-8 diesel, built at the company's plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, or a V-10 gasoline engine built at its plant in Windsor, Ontario, which can be factory-modified to run on compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas.

Ford will no longer offer customers the option of having a 6.7-liter turbo diesel built by Cummins installed in the vehicles. That powerplant provided the muscle for all the diesel versions of the trucks in recent years but is being discontinued as Ford brings the truck's key content in-house.

Both vehicles have also undergone major redesigns that have put key components under the cab instead of behind the cab or on the frame, a change Ford says will make it much easier for buyers to customize their trucks.

That's important because the F-650 and F-750 are typically sold as cab-and-chassis-only skeletons and customized by purchasers to serve as everything from dump trucks to ambulances, furniture and beverage delivery vehicles to electric-utility and oil-field service trucks.

Ford said it will announce pricing later this year. The current models currently retail for between $55,595 for a gas engine-powered F-650 to $70,075 for a F-750 with a Cummins 6.7-liter diesel.

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Ford Press Release

All-New Ford F-650/F-750 Anchors America's Broadest, Best-Selling Lineup of Commercial Trucks

• Built Ford Tough: Fully designed and developed by Ford Truck engineers in Dearborn, robot-tested over taxing durability courses, 500,000+ miles of harsh dynamometer engine testing at extreme power levels and temperatures and built in the USA by Ford

• Great Value: Ford 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel engine and Ford TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission enhanced for medium-duty use with great power, performance and fuel economy, backed by unsurpassed warranty and national network of more than 3,000 Ford service centers

• Work-Ready: All-new, upfit friendly chassis developed in cooperation with leading industry body makers, clean chassis capable of accommodating vocational bodies with little to no modification, and all-new dedicated tractor model for heavy trailering


INDIANAPOLIS, March 4, 2014 – Ford, America's truck leader, today sets a new standard in medium-duty commercial work trucks with the all-new Ford F-650/F-750 – the toughest, great value and work-ready Ford medium-duty trucks ever.

The new F-650/F-750 joins America's broadest commercial vehicle lineup, delivering an impressive combination of commercial-grade quality, capability and convenience that now includes segment-exclusive Ford gasoline and diesel engines, outstanding performance at an affordable price, and comfortable and modern interiors.

"Every day, we're thinking of new ways to better serve our hard-working customers," said John Ruppert, general manager, Ford Commercial Vehicle Sales & Marketing. "The same Ford engineers who developed the best-selling F-Series have designed this all-new medium-duty lineup that can meet the demands of our toughest customers with trucks that are cost-effective, ready for work, and, most importantly, can help keep them going on the job."

The Ford F-650/F-750 anchors Ford's Commercial Truck lineup – America's best-selling line of commercial trucks for 29 years – giving vocational customers an unmatched one-stop shop to meet their needs, from a Class 1 Ford Transit Connect cargo van to a Class 7 Ford F-750 tractor rig. Every truck and van in the Ford Commercial Truck lineup will be all-new or significantly refreshed in the next 18 months.

The Ford F-650/F-750, which will be 2016 model year trucks, will be available spring 2015.

Offered in three cab styles – Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab – and three models – straight frame, dock height and an all-new dedicated tractor model for heavy towing – the new F-650/F-750 features a bold look inside and out, a powerful and efficient second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel, medium-duty six-speed TorqShift® automatic transmission and a host of unique features not found on any other medium-duty truck.

The 2016 F-650/F-750's new exterior styling commands attention on the road with Built Ford Tough looks that also help deliver improved functionality. The all-new mesh grille framed by hallmark Ford nostrils helps improve airflow for optimal cooling performance. Also new are sharp fenders, aerodynamic headlamps and F-650/F-750 badges embossed in "Bold Leadership" font. Available PowerScope® trailer tow mirrors feature large standard and spotter mirrors and segment-exclusive power telescoping and folding design.

The area behind the cab was redesigned to more easily accommodate custom work bodies, such as tow truck, dump truck and ambulance bodies.

Tough Testing
The 2016 Ford F-650/F-750 is Ford's toughest medium-duty truck ever. Before it goes on sale, it will have been torture-tested by people and machines in labs, at Ford proving grounds and on America's highways and city roads.

The grueling testing simulates the demands Ford's customers will subject the truck to throughout its useful lifetime, from hauling heavy loads through the brutal summer heat of Death Valley to towing heavy trailers up steep grades – in temperatures from 40 degrees below zero to 120+ degrees Fahrenheit.

Part of the F-650/F-750 testing includes Ford's robotic test driving program – now in use at the company's Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Mich. – to meet demands that Ford trucks undergo ever more strenuous Built Ford Tough testing.

"Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers," said Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations.

The robotically driven vehicles are expected to repeatedly perform tests on torturous surfaces that can compress 10 years of daily driving abuse into courses just a few hundred yards long, with surfaces that include broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, rough gravel, mud pits and oversized speed bumps.

Tough Powertrains
Newly available for F-650/F-750 is the Ford-built and proven 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel paired with a commercial-grade six-speed 6R140 automatic transmission with available power takeoff provision to run accessories in the field, a dump body, crane or other vocational equipment.

Building upon the success of the Power Stroke in the F-Series Super Duty lineup, the F-650/F-750 6.7-liter Power Stroke and TorqShift have been developed and tested for medium-duty applications, with three horsepower and torque levels and a five-year/250,000 mile limited warranty.

Ford is the only medium-duty truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination, ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations – from concept to execution. This approach also enables Ford engineers to optimize the vehicle's performance across the entire lineup.

Key innovations on the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel are its compacted graphite iron engine block and so-called reverse-flow layout. The advanced design places the exhaust inside the engine's V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V. This segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes:

• Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the turbocharger sitting between the engine's cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness – key to providing torque quickly to truck customers when they need it most
• Positioning the turbo inside the engine's valley helps isolate the engine's hottest temperatures, helping improve performance and efficiency, while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness to improve driver comfort

Power Stroke drivability is enhanced with tow/haul mode that includes a switchable integrated engine brake. The driver can regenerate the diesel particulate filter on-demand to clear out trapped soot from the exhaust system to help maximize performance. Intelligent Oil Change Monitoring is standard so oil changes are based on driving patterns and load demands instead of fixed distance intervals.

During testing, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 endured the equivalent of 500,000+ miles on an engine dynamometer, replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer.

The fuel-efficient transmission features a low first gear ratio for optimized takeoffs under load and optimized gear ratio span across all gears for optimized fuel economy. It's also strengthened with new materials and extra pinion gears for medium-duty service.

Ford remains the segment-exclusive automaker to offer a gasoline-powered engine for a medium duty truck. The 6.8-liter V10 is now available for both F-650 and F-750 models with the 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission. The 6.8-liter V10 can be factory-prepped for converting to compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas as cost-effective alternatives to unleaded gasoline.

Great Value
By controlling every aspect of development in-house, from design to manufacturing to service, Ford will be able to offer F-650/F-750 customers exceptional value, convenience and cost of ownership.

For service needs, a network of more than 3,000 Ford Commercial Truck and retail service dealers are ready to tackle any service need with minimized travel time and extended service hours, to keep work trucks on the road and in the field longer.

Leveraging the best-selling F-Series Truck lineup, the F-650/F-750 interior is designed and engineered with a level of fit, finish and refinement that matches that of Ford F-Series Super Duty F-250 through F-550 trucks. New features include a 110-volt power outlet, available SYNC® and Crew Chief™ factory-installed fleet management telematics, and a rapid-heat, supplemental cab heater that quickly warms the cab in cold climates. Remote start is also available. A new steering wheel has advanced controls to focus driver attention on the road, and a click of the turn lever features automatic five-blink turn signals. A choice of hydraulic or air brakes is available.

"We have a lot of design and feature comforts that you might otherwise find in more mainstream products," said John Davis, Ford Commercial Truck chief nameplate engineer. "Comfort and convenience additions include our quiet diesel, hands-free mobile device connectivity and improvements to ride and handling."

An all-new Ford engineered frame and suspension include a new anti-roll bar for enhanced roll control and longer leaf springs for an improved ride over the previous model.

Work Ready
The 2016 F-650/F-750 is easier than ever to prep for medium-duty jobs. Auxiliary components such as the diesel exhaust fluid tank and standard fuel tank are now located under the cab instead of behind it on the frame. This clean cab-to-axle design satisfies more truck body applications and makes customizing easier, which helps reduce the customer's final costs and time to delivery.

Aluminum fuel tanks replace steel and are lighter to help efficiency. The electrical system is more robust than the outgoing model to handle larger component loads.

"We leveraged our strengths from being the leader in classes 1-5 to create a better F-650/F-750," Davis said. "We brought the new medium-duty program in-house to utilize our expertise from our other tough truck and commercial vehicle lines which ultimately results in a better product at a competitive price."

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The only surprise is that Ford will foolishly terminate Cummins as an engine option and go it alone with a couple of pickup truck engines in their medium trucks.

In addition, Allison automatic transmissins will no longer be an option. A beefed up pickup truck auto transmission will be offered instead.

This is all further proof that Ford is no longer serious about the commercial medium truck segment.

As I said before, Ford has allowed their medium truck market share in the U.S. to dwindle to nothing. Despite having had a second chance when GMC withdrew from the market, Ford wasn’t interested and now Navistar and Freightliner dominate the medium-duty segment.

Despite not having invested any meaningful amounts of money in Brazil and Turkey, the company continues to be a major player in both the medium and heavy truck segments. Ford excites me in those markets. Just imagine what Ford could do there with some truly new models including a serious Class 8 that could take on the European truckmakers head-to-head?

However in the US, Ford has made a decision to focus on cars and light trucks. Ford has the money and wherewithal to re-enter the US heavy truck market tomorrow, or to lead in medium truck sales. But their thoughts are elsewhere.

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The only surprise is that Ford will foolishly terminate Cummins as an engine option and go it alone with a couple of pickup truck engines in their medium trucks.

In addition, Allison automatic transmissins will no longer be an option. A beefed up pickup truck auto transmission will be offered instead.

This is all further proof that Ford is no longer serious about the commercial medium truck segment.

As I said before, Ford has allowed their medium truck market share in the U.S. to dwindle to nothing. Despite having had a second chance when GMC withdrew from the market, Ford wasn’t interested and now Navistar and Freightliner dominate the medium-duty segment.

Despite not having invested any meaningful amounts of money in Brazil and Turkey, the company continues to be a major player in both the medium and heavy truck segments. Ford excites me in those markets. Just imagine what Ford could do there with some truly new models including a serious Class 8 that could take on the European truckmakers head-to-head?

However in the US, Ford has made a decision to focus on cars and light trucks. Ford has the money and wherewithal to re-enter the US heavy truck market tomorrow, or to lead in medium truck sales. But their thoughts are elsewhere.

KS-You hit the nail on the head- I just posted this on the Ford "loyalist site:

IMO, very disappointing. They stole a page from Henry's book-"Any color as long as its black". The press release says it all...."F-750 tractor for heavy towing"..Huh-who writes this stuff? Its a TRACTOR- it pulls trailers! But guess what, It won't be pulling any 27' pups that say..ABF, or Old Dominion or UPS or Coca Cola etc. etc. Rather it will pull Reginald's polo ponies, or tow Harry's camper trailer etc.

Bottom line those who said this was nothing but a gift to the UAW for the last contract are probably correct. Are they bringing class 6 and 7 back to the US? Yes-contract paid in full. Will this half assed approach increase sales? Certainly not to the degree that it would have had they given buyers a reasonable choice-like a real truck diesel, a real choice of transmissions etc. Notice no mention of .."up to class 8? I guess that means the 37,000 lb option is dead- can't imagine a Power Stroke/Torqueshift combination at 37,000lbs getting out of warranty before it grenades all over the road. I'm sure a 6.7 Power Stroke/Torqueshift will satisfy some classes of trade. But I'm sure the marketers at Paccar, Navistar F'liner and even Hino are resting easy tonite SOS from Ford.

Have to admit, the headlights are gorgeous! Headed to the barn to sit in my B-61X!

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If Ford went at it alone to design the new V8 for the pickups why not design a straight six heavy duty engine like International did with their DT 466? I agree with with Mr. Scarbel that Ford is not that serious and will sell this truck to people who have no mechanical skills and can get talked into by a salesman.

Rob

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If Ford went at it alone to design the new V8 for the pickups why not design a straight six heavy duty engine like International did with their DT 466? I agree with with Mr. Scarbel that Ford is not that serious and will sell this truck to people who have no mechanical skills and can get talked into by a salesman.

Rob

At Ford Otosan in Turkey, they have produced a 7.3 liter 260hp 24-valve in-line six-cylinder since 2003. In 2008, Ford upgraded it with a compacted-graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block and head. This is the kind of commercial truck engine that should be in these new F-Series medium trucks.

http://www.ford.com.tr/agir-ticari-araclar/ford-cargo/ecotorq

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/29676-mack-vs-volvo-11-13-16-l/page-2

*CGI has revolutionized the auto and truck industry. CGI engine blocks and cylinder heads provide 75 percent greater tensile strength, 45% greater stiffness and double the fatigue strength of conventional grey cast iron and aluminum. CGI allows engine designers to improve performance, fuel economy and durability while reducing engine weight, noise and emissions. CGI users now include Aston Martin, Audi, Caterpillar, Chrysler, DAF Trucks, Ford, General Electric Transportation Systems, General Motors, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, MAN, Navistar, Porsche, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, VM Motori and Waukesha Engine.

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I agree. I was reading this last night. I think it's a big mistake by Ford. First is putting the 6.7L as the only diesel option which I have one in a F450 and think it would be severely under powered in a 33,000 class truck. Next not using Allison so they are putting in a pick up truck transmission too? Doesn't make any sense. Looks don't make you money.

Edited by earthmover
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This is just my opinion but I wouldn't even consider Ford for anything over a 550. There are so many other options out there. Personally I would buy a Mack MHD single axle with an Allison trans.

Edited by earthmover
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The more I hear about this truck, the more I believe it is going to get its share of business on price- the in house engine and trans should allow them to be very aggressive with their pricing. A dealer friend of mine thinks the all Ford powertrain is a plus. He has nothing but confidence in the engine and trans plus as he sees it-"no more fingerpointing between Cummins and Allison evertyime there is an issue.

Again, not thrilled with the idea of no choice but I can see their point where it will be an attractive alternative to some-in particular if price is right. Seems to me though this makes the thought of a tandem "F-800 doubtful.

Agree with KSC-when are they going to bring that 9 liter Duratorque here???

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In Canada I find the F-650/750 way more expensive than a loaded FL M2 106" or International. And Ford dealer shop/parts rates are way higher than class 8 truck dealers.

So they better hope they can drastically reduce their purchase price with that engine/trans. I can't see them gaining market share....especially with Allison just announcing a new trans in the FL M2's that supposedly increases fuel mileage 20%.

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