kscarbel2

Ford Motor Co. at NTEA's Work Truck Show

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Fleet Owner  /  March 15, 2017

Ford announced updates to its broad commercial vehicle lineup and introduced programs dedicated to its fleet and commercial customers here at the 2017 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.

“Ford is deeply committed to the work truck market,” said John Ruppert, Ford's general manager for commercial vehicle sales and marketing. “We are the only OEM to offer our vocational customers vehicles in every segment from Classes 1-7 and have sold more commercial vehicles every year for three decades than any other manufacturer."

He added the work truck industry "is a very important part of our business, and we’re dedicated to continuing to develop new and improved vehicles, technology and support to help our customers get the job done."

Ford also announced updates to its 2018 Transit van lineup and introduced an expansion of its Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program during its press event

2018 Transit

Ford Transit expanded for 2018 with new features designed to reinforce its Built Ford Tough pedigree and help make it even more useful on the job, Ruppert said.

The rearview camera that is standard on the Transit van and passenger wagon moves above the rear doors on medium- and high-roof models for 2018. It will remain next to the license plate on low-roof models.

The full-size Transit van will also get a locking glove box as standard equipment, as well as a new rear door exit handle and rear LED [light emitting diode] cargo lamp switch.

New optional equipment available for model year 2018 includes:

  • Heavy-duty cargo area flooring

  • Heavy-duty rear scuff plate kit

  • Extended-length running boards

  • Push-down manual parking brake

  • Power-folding short-arm heated mirrors with turn signals

  • AM/FM stereo with audio input jack, microphone and Bluetooth interface

  • D-pillar assist handles for medium- and high-roof models

  • Forged alloy dual rear wheel package

  • Charcoal leather-trimmed, heated seat package

 “We’re just excited to have the Transit here,” John Scholtes, chief program engineer for commercial vehicles, told Fleet Owner. “It’s the market leader, and we’re just really pleased to have it here.”

eQVM launch

Ford also announced it has expanded its Advanced Fuel QVM program to include companies that develop and install electric and hydraulic hybrid powertrains so customers can get electrified and hydraulic hybrid work trucks that retain their original powertrain warranties.

The Ford eQVM program kicks off with three developers – XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. These companies offer electrification or hydraulic hybrid solutions for a range of Ford vehicles, including F-150, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis.

Medium-duty truck sales

Ford announced it has sold more medium-duty trucks last year than in any year since 1997. In 2016, the first full calendar year since production began at its Ohio Assembly Plant in August 2015, Ford F-650 and F-750 sales were up 54% year-over-year, with total sales of 15,486 vehicles.

“Customers are embracing our new medium-duty trucks,” said John Scholtes, Ford chief program engineer, commercial vehicles. “They appreciate how flexible the platform is – we offer a choice of gasoline or diesel powertrain, three body styles, a wide GVWR range, and almost limitless customization options to let them spec exactly the right trucks for even the toughest jobs.”

The F-650 and F-750 lineup includes Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab body styles, as well as straight-frame, kick-up frame Pro Loader and a dedicated tractor model for heavy towing applications.

Ford offers its 6.8-liter V10 with 320 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque available for both F-650 and F-750 models with the Ford-built TorqShift HD six-speed automatic transmission.

According to Ford, its 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel delivers standard 270 horsepower and 675 lb.-ft. of torque, plus available engine outputs of 300 horsepower with 700 lb.-ft. of torque and 330 horsepower with 725 lb.-ft. of torque.

Ford Commercial Vehicle Center

The new Ford Commercial Vehicle Center program includes more than 670 dealers nationwide that offer fleets vehicles, financing options and service support.

Commercial Vehicle Center dealers offer a selection of in-stock Ford commercial vehicles, and use a proprietary diagnostic software, Commercial Vehicle Tools, to recommend vehicle specifications for a customer’s specific business needs. They offer test drives at customer locations for maximum convenience, as well as a range of unique fleet vehicle financing options and incentives.

“To maximize customer vehicle uptime, Commercial Vehicle Center dealer service departments are open at least 55 hours per week, and new stocking programs help improve parts availability,” the OEM noted in a statement. “Ford’s new Commercial Advantage Rewards loyalty program lets customers earn a range of factory benefits that can be redeemed at any Commercial Vehicle Center location.”

Photo gallery - http://fleetowner.com/equipment/ford-motor-co-nteas-work-truck-show

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Yawn!:pat: Glad to hear they are still offering a "tractor for towing" .  Must mean.."In addition to a fifth wheel for tractor applications, we offer a factory pintle hook attached to a heavy duty plate on the rear crossmember for other towing applications."

Oh and this guy Ruppert the GM for commercial sales and marketing was crowing about the fact Ford is the only game in town in class 1-7.  When is he going to start advertising that fact?  Saw the Henkels & Mcoy piece-not a new 650-750 shown!

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Ford builds what it sells in Ford plants with Ford parts. Maybe they will never be in class 8, but if you buy a 2017 F-650 there will parts 20 years from now. 

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"Divided responsibility is what scares me away from GM and FCA products- Look at their past history of selling somebody else's products and then dumping them. Heck, GM dealership service departments sometimes look like automotive orphanages! And while the upcoming Cruze diesel's MPG is impressive, with the engine bought in and GM Europe sold off, will there be support for that vehicle 5 years from now, never mind 25?

That said, I'm ticked that Ford can't even supply brake lines for a 19 year old Ranger and I'm having to kluge them together from generic parts. Google "Golf A4 brake lines" and I can get exact fit lines from VW and a bunch of aftermarket makers...

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There are too many Rangers out there for parts not to be around. Dealer did not look hard I think. But still 19 year old Ranger still going.

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I checked the Ford parts online website, no brake lines listed, they just supply bulk tubing and expect you to make your own. Bleeder screws rusted tight too, so can't really do a good job of bleeding. Combine that with the poor fit of the available lines and the 19 year old Ranger is off the streets for good, gonna use it for moving stuff around the homestead 'til it dies completely.

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I think the real reason Ford sold the HM80 was to convert KTP over to light duty production (the all-new 1999 Super Duty).  Profit-wise, it was one of the smarter things Nassar did.  I heard at the time Ford's heavy truck production earned just about enough money to fund their NASCAR effort.

From what I understand, Ford came close to selling their medium duty line to Freightliner in 1997 as well.  As you stated in another post, there was to be a medium duty version of the HM80 and James Hebe was very interested in it.  When Ford decided at the last minute to retain the medium duty F series, they sourced a very limited option Cummins B diesel only F-700 from their Cuautitlan assembly plant.  Freightliner eventually built their own version of an HN80 medium duty, the Acterra.  An HN80 cab on an FL70 chassis, the Acterra was probably fairly close to what Ford's truck would have been. 

 

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Jacque Nassar did not want to sell heavy trucks. He wasted money on Land Rover and Jag. Ford at that time wanted common platforms. Heavy trucks did not fit. Yes  Ford wanted KTP for 1999 Super Duty, but they closed other plants a few years later. Super Duty was to be F-250 - F-550 only. HN80 ( 6500 and 7500 ) was to be medium duty also. I saw some in 1996. It looked like the Acterra. Kscarbel is right. Ford did a great job with the HN80, but Nassar and others wanted out of trucks in 1997 and gave up. Ford dealers were upset too. That is why Ford came out with 1998 F-700 and F-800. There was no plan for F-650 and F-750 at that time.  HN80 was a good looking truck, but had a lot of issues.  

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While Ford did indeed need Louisville for the Super Duty, they had capacity elsewhere well suited for relatively low volume products like heavy trucks- St.Paul was running at half capacity, the plant in Ohio that assembles the Econoline wasn't all that busy, and business is slow enough at Flat Rock that they'll be assembling a bunch of low volume hybrid and electric Fords. But the real villian that did in the HN80 was America's strange fetish for conventionals- The whole American market for class 6 through 8 conventionals could be supplied by just 2 plants, and it's currently divided between 4 manufacturers and around 8 plants.

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Too bad Ford could not get the HN80 cab back, I think they could own class 6 and 7 with it. L6500 and L7500 with Ford gas, Power Stroke and Cummins would out sell the others. There is only a small market for new Cargo at this time.

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3 hours ago, TS7 said:

Too bad Ford could not get the HN80 cab back, I think they could own class 6 and 7 with it. L6500 and L7500 with Ford gas, Power Stroke and Cummins would out sell the others. There is only a small market for new Cargo at this time.

Bob, I think he's 500 percent right. That cab has stood the test of time. If you saw it (the cab-in-white) today for the first time, you'd think it was a fresh design. With updated grooming, it would be very competitive. I'd bet the tooling has not yet been destroyed.

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20 hours ago, RoadwayR said:

I think the real reason Ford sold the HM80 was to convert KTP over to light duty production (the all-new 1999 Super Duty).  Profit-wise, it was one of the smarter things Nassar did.  I heard at the time Ford's heavy truck production earned just about enough money to fund their NASCAR effort.

From what I understand, Ford came close to selling their medium duty line to Freightliner in 1997 as well.  As you stated in another post, there was to be a medium duty version of the HM80 and James Hebe was very interested in it.  When Ford decided at the last minute to retain the medium duty F series, they sourced a very limited option Cummins B diesel only F-700 from their Cuautitlan assembly plant.  Freightliner eventually built their own version of an HN80 medium duty, the Acterra.  An HN80 cab on an FL70 chassis, the Acterra was probably fairly close to what Ford's truck would have been. 

 

I was told by someone that Daimler's original plan for the Acterra was it was going to be offered as a separate franchise.  Thus the reason for a distinct name vs. just a numerical designation like "Sterling 750".  The only problem was the dealer organization was still in an uproar over the sale and threatened some sort of suit if Daimler continued down that road

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3 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

Bob, I think he's 500 percent right. That cab has stood the test of time. If you saw it (the cab-in-white) today for the first time, you'd think it was a fresh design. With updated grooming, it would be very competitive. I'd bet the tooling has not yet been destroyed.

Kevin, I would have to believe it would be a cold day in hell before Daimler would do ANYTHING to make it easier for Ford to get back in business in a serious fashion.  They accomplished their objective-killed Ford and picked up 10% of class 8 and 20% of class 7 for not a lot of money-and avoided being sued by the dealers!

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I think the basic HN80 cab design would still be reasonably competitive if it were still around today.  I don't think anyone faulted the design of that cab, only the assembly quality and material selection.  I didn't have much first-hand experience with either the Ford or Freightliner built versions of these trucks, but I do remember hearing some horror stories about them.  One in particular was from a driver (I think he was working for a local grocery store chain) who hit a deep dip and had the whole dash assembly break loose and fall into his lap!

Freightliner put considerable effort into these trucks for some time after acquiring the line from Ford, and I got the impression the Sterling versions were better than the Ford versions.  Of course, Ford would likely have also improved the line had they held on to it.

One casualty of the Freightliner take-over was the de-emphasis of the OTR versions of the HN80.  Ford introduced the HN80 line with a new Aeromax version, replacing the LTLA-9000 and it even came with the tag line "Together We Will Run the Country".  It didn't survive under the Sterling name, as Freightliner saw Sterling as a vocational and regional haul line only.  Ever see a Sterling with a sleeper?  I never did.  BTW- Ford built a long-nose HN80 prototype the was to replace the LTL-9000!  It was shown at one truck show (Mid-America?) in 1996 and was never seen again.      

As for the tooling, I think the whole Sterling assembly line was scrapped when Daimler closed the St. Thomas plant.  Sterling's are not easy to find parts for these days.    

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Sterling's are hard too find parts for. Daimler wants too kill Ford and Sterling off for good. I still say 1970 - 1996 Ford L-Series were a good truck. Ford was good at vocational. Nassar in 1997 wanted out of all trucks ( class 6-8 ). I think funding was cut back and Ford did not plan on fixing what was wrong. How could they spend what they did on HN80 and just give up? This man hurt Ford for years. Daimler did put considerable effort in Sterling at first. They wanted Ford's vocational sales, but I think they waited for the right time to drop it and did in 2009. Also a Sterling dealer in 2013 told me the dash's were still not good in 2009. Mack should have taken all these sales. As Kscarbel has said many times there are no real truck men running Mack. 

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The HN80 was a huge missed opportunity... Ford got out of big trucks because most of the profit was made by the engine makers and they had to compete with a half dozen brands, driving prices and profits down. Now we're down to just four big truck makers and truck making is a lot more profitable, except for Navistar. Thus the HN80 would be profitable today for Ford, even if they only built them on one shift with a leisurely line rate. The HN80 gone, that opportunity is lost- It wouldn't pay for Ford to spend a billion to bring a new heavy conventional to market for the American market and slivers of the export markets alone, and the Cargo wouldn't sell well enough here to make it worth building here... Sorry, that's the economics of big truck building in an oddball market.

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