Ford will usher in a new generation of truck in 2015 with its aluminum construction F-150, but that’s not the only truck getting a makeover in the months ahead.
For the F-650 and F-750 2016 model year, Ford will drop the Cummins ISB 6.7 liter engine currently offered in its trucks, offering instead a Ford 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8.
“We are now able to manage every part of F-650/F-750, from design to manufacturing,” says Mike Levine, Ford Motor Company’s Truck Communications Manager. “Plus, we have more than 3,000 Ford dealers able to service the vehicle, including 600 Ford Business Preferred Network dealers who specialize in commercial vehicle sales.”
The trucks will be manufactured at Ford’s van factory in Avon Lake, Ohio. For nearly 15 years, the trucks were manufactured in Mexico as part of a joint venture with Navistar International—Blue Diamond Truck Company. The Blue Diamond manufacturing relationship with Navistar ends in early 2015 but the Blue Diamond Parts will continue.
The partnership was an approximately $400 million-a-year business for Navistar, which plans to soften the blow of Ford’s move by “chasing high-volume, medium-truck buyers such as big rental companies, municipalities and distributors,” according to a report from Nasdaq.com. The report says Navistar CEO Tony Clarke wants to allow more customization of trucks to fit these customer’s specific demands.
The 2016 Ford F-650/F-750 will be available in spring 2015 and will be 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.
“We have a lot of design and feature comforts that you might otherwise find in more mainstream products,” says 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 steering.”
The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel is 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. The 6.8-liter V10 will be 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.
Ford’s newest entry into the diesel engine market represents yet another hill for Navistar to climb as its medium duty marketshare continues to be challenged on all fronts.
International DuraStar and WorkStar trucks account for roughly 26 percent of the North American medium-duty truck market – down sharply from almost 36 percent just three years ago. And the 2016 Ford entries will be yet another competitor in the marketplace.
“An important goal for this year will be to increase our market share in Class 6/7 medium duty and bus,” Navistar CEO Troy Clarke noted in the company’s earnings call in March. “We’ve been strong in these markets in the past. With our new powertrain offerings and the help of our dealers, we’re putting the pieces into place to recover our traditional share of these segments.”