Ford's F-150 Beats Chevy's Silverado Again

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Source: Ford.

The full-size truck segment is fiercely competitive and filled with intensely loyal fans. You're either a Ford (NYSE: F  ) guy, or a Chevy guy. I grew up in the Midwest, and you'd be surprised how often that's the first question out of someone's mouth. Not "What's your name" or "What do you do," but "Are you a Ford or Chevy guy?" That's how important it can be.

For those loyal Ford followers, you earned another bragging point today, because the 2013 Ford F-150 topped General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado in a head-to-head test. Here are the details, and what it means for consumers and investors alike.

The winner
Ford's 2013 F-150 beat out five different competitors, including some 2014 models, in tests conducted by PickupTrucks.com and Popular Mechanics. It did so pretty thoroughly, too.

"In our performance-oriented competitive events, the Ford half-ton was dominating," says Mark Williams, editor of PickupTrucks.com. "It finished in either first or second place in 11 of 13 events. If this were the Olympics, there would be a new Ford F-150 on a cereal box."

The competitors in the mix were the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2014 GMC Sierra 1500, 2013 Nissan Titan, 2013 Dodge Ram 1500, 2013 Toyota Tundra, and, of course, the champion 2013 F-150.

All the competing trucks were put through grueling performance tests, including 0-to-60 mph acceleration, both loaded and unloaded, as well as braking, overall handling, towing, and fuel economy.

"The results of this test show why F-Series has been the best-selling pickup truck in America for more than 30 years," says Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. "We know our light-duty customers are looking for a pickup truck that delivers the leading combination of towing, payload, horsepower, torque, and fuel economy, and this shootout proves F-150 continues to lead the pack."

To put some visibility to his words, here's how sales of the top four trucks in the competition look.

The F-Series has remained on top for some time. It's been America's best-selling truck for 36 years and America's best-selling vehicle for 31.

Now, as loyalist GM fans will point out, that isn't a totally fair comparison, because its truck sales are split between two models, the Silverado and Sierra. Here's how that graph looks when you combine those sales and then compare them with the F-Series.

This is a good depiction of how fiercely competitive Ford and GM truck sales are. If you count them up, since 1998, Ford tops GM in seven of the years, and GM takes home the top spot for eight years. More importantly though, is the recent trend in which Ford has consistently sold more trucks since our nation exited the recession, no doubt in part because some consumers refuse to buy GM after it took a bailout, and also because the Silverado is years overdue for a redesign -- which it finally gets in the 2014 model. For consumers, one thing is for sure: Though the F-Series seems to have a slight advantage, both trucks are impressive and lead the U.S. in sales for a reason. 

Investing takeaway
Sales of these trucks are extremely important for two reasons. For one, it's estimated that these trucks can represent as much as 60% of the bottom-line profits for Ford and GM. The F-Series and Silverado are the top two selling vehicles in the U.S., so both represent keys to gaining share in the mature market.

Second, right now is a prime time to take advantage of surging truck sales to boost profits quickly. These profits will be important to offset drastic losses in Europe, which could total about $2 billion per company. Right now is a pivotal time, because GM is hoping its newly redesigned 2014 Silverado will take back the sales lead and market share while the segment continues to increase in sales faster than the rest of the industry.

This isn't a winner-take-all game, but if the new Silverado tops the F-Series in sales next year before the redesigned F-150 hits the market, it will have thrown a good punch at its crosstown rival's profits. Ford hopes that studies like this from PickupTrucks.com and Popular Mechanics will persuade consumers to wait an additional year and skip over buying the 2014 Silverado in favor of its redesigned 2015 F-150. We'll know by the end of the summer how things look to shape up in sales, but it will be a very intense competition for sales going forward.

This is something for loyal Ford and GM fans to watch for bragging rights, and for investors as they hope to see a surge in profits from Ford and GM's most important vehicles.

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Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (17)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 1:25 PM, bcweir wrote:

    GM needs to stop underestimating truck buyers. GM built an all new truck and people still love the Ford more.

    A smart competitor would buy an F-150, disassemble it, reverse engineer it, and then make one that stomps the stuffing out of it. But we're talking about GM here.

    They simply pretend the F-150 doesn't exist, build what the beancounters want, and expect truck buyers to just eat it up blindly.

    I'm happy to see Government Motors reaping the fruits of their harvest of ignorance. American taxpayers still own 14 billion dollars in GM stock, and you're looking at the result. GM has apparently not learned its lesson after nearly going under in 2008.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 1:46 PM, Vance1965 wrote:

    Would NEVER again purchase a GM. The Obama bailout was a huge scam. They used the money to bail out their union pension fund. GM is a poorly ran and is controlled by Obama loving union thugs. I would buy foreign before I would ever purchase from GM again.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 2:01 PM, homelessgdog wrote:

    I owned a 1999 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab small V8 vortec. A 2002 Ford F150FX4 Crew Cab, 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 V6, and Dodge Diesel 2006.

    All these trucks were excellent. I have seen the scale tip on Fords side more times in these comparisons. I feel like Motor Trend, Car & Driver are all getting a big knobber from Ms. Ford.

    They all have problems. They all have good points.

    What happened to the Toyota Tundra that pulled the space shuttle? No where? Exactly.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 2:17 PM, chicken4you wrote:

    I use to be a Ford man, but I don't like the style now or for years. I have a 2004 Silverado that I purchased new and it is still in better shape than any Ford I ever owned. I will never buy a Ford again.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 2:28 PM, scout13fox11A wrote:

    Finishing 15.75 points behind Ford’s 1765 points should hardly be seen as a wake-up call for GM. Read the PickUpTruck.com article this draws from. The Ford, for an example had a "max-tow" package while the GM trucks did not. Since towing and loaded tests were a large portion of the qualitative measures, the examples without a max-tow package did worse. That's also why the GM V-8s easily beat the Ford twin-turbo V-6 on fuel economy. Of course this contest did not account for expected quality, residual value or maintenance costs either. The GM redesign will probably overtake Ford again in sales. I expect the Ford twin-turbo V-6 will hold together since Ford does know turbo, but its maintenance will be higher because it is much more complicated.

    The “test” was a “contest” purposefully aimed at allowing each manufacturer cherry-pick the quotes it wants. The trucks were not at all equal, just given the same set of parameters to provide one example for the contest. It is like saying "Ford makes the best selling light truck" and "GM has sold more light trucks". Both are true since Ford sells more than GMC or Chevy, and GM builds both GMC and Chevy.

    Dodge has a good truck. Dad owns two. He purchased them because he does his own maintenance and his "previously owned" examples were far cheaper, for whatever reason, than the same year similar model trucks of the other manufacturers - just sayin'.

    I've owned Ford, Chevy and GMC.I prefer the GMC, but wouldn't pay more for one over the others. I just don't want a truck that looks like 85% which are either Chevy or Ford.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 3:06 PM, ptavvs51 wrote:

    All I can say that I see a lot more old Chevy's on the road than old Fords.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 3:47 PM, lm1b2 wrote:

    As a retired construction worker i can tell you a majority of construction workers swear by Ford Trucks,and would buy nothing else.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 4:03 PM, cliffvettej wrote:

    I worked for GM for 18 years and the trucks were great trucks and sold well. It is a miracle that GM can make any intelligent business decisions at all anymore. Since the bailout engineered by obamler to save the unions he put a czar in place that has never run any business before in his life. The automobile decisions are made by completely untrained puppets installed by obamler and the unions. When you have people in high positions trying to run a business they have never worked in before this is what you get. Any working person knows that if someone took over the company you worked for and installed management that had never worked in your industry at all that they would create chaos. Welcome to today's GM.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 4:07 PM, fishgod3 wrote:

    I had a 1960 ford 1/2 ton I drove for 200.570 miles. I changed the oil every 50k whether it needed it or not . Hauled the food , water and diving gear for the ten members of our club to Mexico every year for ten years . Finally blew the engine racing against a T-bird in 73 . Best truck I`ve ever had.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 5:14 PM, fryhead wrote:

    The wake up call is a 2013 ford beat out a 2014 chev

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 7:59 PM, ghelmz21 wrote:

    GM builds two pickups, Chevy Silerado and the GMC Sierra. If GM's sales are combined what is the result?

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 9:28 PM, Azulita wrote:

    Have 3 Fords - newest is 2005, Drives 120 miles a day to work. Get 30 mpg, no extras or whatever just drives great - get great mileage and passes all of the damn Chevy's in my way every morning - the idiots who've never heard of drive left, tootle farther right and pass left.

    GO FORD!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 10:06 PM, guysisson wrote:

    I work on all makes of trucks for a living. Since the 2007 Silverado came out, GM trucks have suffered terribly in quality. I often show my customers why they have so many problems with the GM trucks and they regret their decision. The Ford is simply a better truck. They have been America's favorite truck for almost four decades. This is not by chance or mistake.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 10:20 PM, 11281Nezbit wrote:

    I have owned both. I liked my Chevy but went back to Ford. I am driving my third one now 263000 miles with regular oil changes, still hauls everything I can put in it and runs great. I'll stick with what works for me!

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 12:04 AM, john4828 wrote:

    All I've seen down here are chevy's and gmc's on the used lota and no doges or fords because there the ones people want. I've had 3 chevy's and had nothing but problems. never had a problem with a ford or dodge

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 3:54 AM, autotek40 wrote:

    I don't need better homes and gardens to vindicate a vehicle is the best.Ford is the best selling truck,The Taurus was the best selling bla bla bla.Ford jumps around with pushrod engines then overhead cam now turbo charged.The chevy small block sold over 100 million.They can make a pushrod engine with half the reciprocating and rotating parts for less money and the same horsepower in a smaller package.I guess Ford should have theft problems but carma will get you in the form of a recall.

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 4:21 AM, adam1racing wrote:

    Dont get me wrong Ford has done amazing things in the decade. I would seriously consider a Ford now, whereas I wouldnt in the past. But dont let one article like this sway you to the F-150. Read the JD powers most recent report. GM was #1 in America and get this, No# 2 in the WORLD second only to Porsche.

    Ford did not even show up on the list until 27th!

    For more details on the study, go to www.jdpower.com/quality.

    1. Porsche (80, +2)

    2. GMC (90, +10)

    3. Lexus (94, -2)

    4. Infiniti (95, +3)

    5. Chevrolet (97, +10)

    6. Acura (102, same)

    7. Toyota (102, +1)

    8. Honda (103, -3)

    9. Jaguar (104, -7)

    10. Hyundai (106, +8)

    11. Kia (106, +8)

    12. Mercedes-Benz (106, -3)

    13. Audi (108, +3)

    14. Cadillac (108, -10)

    15. Buick (109, +2)

    16. Chrysler (109, +9)

    17. Lincoln (113, +3)

    18. BMW (114, -8)

    19. Volvo (114, +2)

    20. Smart (115, +19)

    21. Land Rover (116, +7)

    22. Jeep (118, +1)

    23. Volkswagen (120, +8)

    24. Mazda (125, -13)

    25. Subaru (128, -3)

    26. Dodge (130, +3)

    27. Ford (131, same)

    28. Ram (132, -14)

    29. Mini (135, +3)

    30. Nissan (142, -17)

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 5:45 AM, philip17 wrote:

    Adam, I went to your JD link..... All I can say is HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA All of the advertisements on the website are chevy and GMC trucks!! Let the construction companies speak for all truck owners. They all buy the more expensive truck and that is the Ford. O and let overall sells speak of what trucks are better. Once again Fords.....

    JDPOWER LOLOLOLOL

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 10:35 AM, GotTradinSkills wrote:

    That JD Power study is in regards to design quality. If you read through and talk to the autjor the reason ford is so low is the SYNC and MyTouch infotainment system -- not bc the overall quality is poor. It's a narrow study and well known that SYNC needs to be improved by Ford.

  • Report this Comment On June 23, 2013, at 12:42 PM, Rooster223 wrote:

    I am retired from GM and I can tell you that ford sells trucks to themselves if in jeopardy of losing out on total number of sales for for that model year. Just a little info you learn when you work for the otherside.

    In the end...Buy American.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 3:02 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    I could not find any comparison as claimed for either magazines. This comparison test does not exist and has yet to happen. This comparison has been totally fabricated to promote the Ford trucks by the GM haters. In the first place, why would they use the 2013 Ford F150 and not the 2014 F150? After all, it's comparing itself against the 2014 Silverado.

    Second such test were conducted last year with the 2013 Ford and Silverado and the Silverado blew the Ford F150 away.

    http://www.dailytech.com/GM+Tired+of+Fords+EcoBoost+V6+Bragg...

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