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LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — The pastel glow of sunrise colors the sandstone canyon walls as I motor along a twisty, California two-lane into the foothills that nip the Pacific coast here. I feel like I’m in a moving breakfast room, with coffee and a muffin tucked conveniently in the SuperCrew’s center console, soulful tunes serenading from the F-150’s audio system, a seat with power controls contoured to hold me in comfort, my camera gear and a backpack of warm clothing stowed conveniently in the rear, and a four-wheel-drive system that will allow me to leave the pavement and traffic behind.
It doesn’t get much better than this I decide — a woman and her truck out for an early morning ride. True, a woman behind the wheel of a pickup is hardly a head-turner anymore, but the truck I’m driving — the new 2001 F-150 SuperCrew — clearly is. Not only attractive, this new Ford truck is tailored for this ever-expanding segment of the market.
When opportunity knocks, car companies can be a little sluggish to answer the call. Historically Ford has taken this advice to heart, elbowing into niches and emerging market segments and answering the call of consumers. Their immensely popular Explorer SUV, which sells in droves at a good profit per vehicle, made its debut at the birth of the SUV boom. Likewise, the Expedition continues to be one of the company's hits. And they’ve been successful with one model for what seems like forever: the F-150 is the best-selling nameplate in automotive history worldwide (beyond the Beetle or Model T) and the best-selling vehicle — car or truck — in the U.S. for the past 17 years.
More golden opps
We think Ford has seized yet another golden opportunity with the 2001 F-150 SuperCrew. Introduced last January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and slated for first sales early in 2000, the SuperCrew builds on the successes of the F-150 line of full-size pickups by offering an SUV-like four-door cabin and a five-and-a-half-foot cargo box.