Ford fist fighting Ram, GM with new heavy duty truck package

August 3, 2016

Officials at Ford will admit there's at least one place F-Series trucks don't reign supreme.

Rather, it's one small slice. And even then, coaxing that admission out of Ford officials is tough to do.

New for 2017, Ford will introduce an STX package Super Duty truck meant to take on Chevrolet's heavy duty LT and Ram's SLT trims that have capitalized on an area of the market where Ford admits it has lagged behind. Based on the lower-line XL models—which are the preferred trims for fleet buyers laser-focused on operating costs and the bottom line—the STX package appeals to shoppers looking for a budget truck that doesn't sacrifice, say, a CD player.

MORE: 2017 Ford Super Duty First Drive: Fetes of strength

The STX package adds $1,180 to the price of the base truck, which starts at $33,730 for a single-cab F-250 XL model. It largely follows the F-150 truck of the same name, and adds a handful of goodies. Those additions include chromed front and rear bumpers, a  chrome grille, 18-inch wheels cruise control, and a CD player.

By the time retail consumers add other desired base equipment to those spartan trucks—power doors and windows, running boards—the STX trucks are firmly in the $40,000 wheelhouse.

DON'T MISS: Here's how Ford threw away the old Super Duty and started from scratch

Forecasters at Ford predict a slowing truck market—but not necessarily slow. Housing starts and flat gas prices should keep buyers interested in trucks until 2020 or so, and entry-level trucks like the STX trim build brand loyalty in fat years that pad profits during lean years, they say.

A spokeswoman for Ford said the company is targeting the $40,000 to $50,000 price range for the STX Super Duty truck particularly because it "is the only one where Super Duty does not lead."

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