2005 Ford Super Duty Page 1

By Jack Gilbert

The Blue Oval’s most profitable vehicle line, F-Series Super Duty pickups (F-250 through F-550), gets a major boost in the towing department for 2005 allowing it to wrestle tow-capacity leadership from General Motors.

By boosting the maximum tow rating on Super Duty to 17,000 pounds and upping torque on its diesel engine to 570 lb-ft of torque (still lowest of the Big Three diesels), Ford believes the Super Duty can help propel the company to a new F-Series sales record, as promised by Ford Division President Steve Lyons in January.

Ford sells more heavy-duty trucks than its two cross-town rivals combined. Neither GM nor Dodge carry the Super Duty brand cachet, Ford marketing executives say, and neither can run with Ford’s 27-year truck sales leadership record in the U.S.

The Kentucky-built Super Duty contributes about 360,000 units worth of volume to the F-Series total, expected to exceed 912,000 in 2004. Lyons admits the Super Duty lineup provides Ford the greatest per-vehicle profit and says that the company is selling as many as it can make, albeit with sometimes generous incentives.

Holding the line

2005 Ford F-Series Super Duty

2005 Ford F-Series Super Duty

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Those incentives, however, may fall slightly this fall as the newest of Super Duty trucks are rolled out with prices pretty much holding the line from 2004’s $22,500 to $44,000 range. The lineup includes a significantly revised Harley-Davidson F-250, which now features painted-on flames and 20-inch alloys; a King Ranch model that boasts an interior that competes with premium luxury cars; and a new limited-edition Amarillo trim package that will only be available this fall.