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Ford's F-150 Will Continue to Dominate Chevy's Silverado

Ford's F-Series has been the country's best-selling vehicle for 31 straight years. Photo credit: Ford.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it's all about full-size pickup truck sales for Detroit automakers Ford (NYSE: F  ) and General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) . It's no secret that Ford's and General Motors' full-size pickups bring in the majority of company profits and keep the lights on, thereby making one of the greatest rivalries in the automotive industry sales. Recently, in terms of full-size pickups, Ford has topped General Motors in sales, and that trend looks to continue.

Setting the stage
Already this year Ford's F-Series has surpassed its total number of trucks sold in 2012, more than 645,316 units. If you want to do some math, that means roughly every 42 seconds Ford sells one of its most profitable vehicles to some hungry consumer. That puts Ford easily on pace to win the best-selling vehicle sales title in the United States for the 32 consecutive year – and the best-selling truck for 37 straight years.

"Through October, our leadership margin is nearly 220,000 units over Chevrolet Silverado and 67,000 over Silverado and GMC Sierra combined," said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager, in a press release. "F-Series has outsold Ram by more than 330,000 units in the first 10 months of 2013, almost 50,000 more trucks than the gap a year ago."

Those results haven't always been the case, and it's only been since the recession that Ford has secured an edge over the Silverado's and Sierra's combined sales.

Graph by author. Information from Automotive News DataCenter. 2013 Projected from sales through October. 

Next year will shape up to be a tighter race as long awaited redesigns of the Silverado and Sierra will have a full year of sales to try to surpass the F-Series, as its next-generation model won't hit the showrooms until spring. However, I'm not so sure General Motors' having a full year of sales with its new model will be enough to turn the tide.

Brand loyalty
Topping the industry in sales for more than three decades means Ford has designed a valuable product that can perform in any rigorous condition, but sustaining success for that long means you're doing other things right.

In the automotive industry, brand loyalty means more than with most retail products. There's a line drawn in the sand between Ford and General Motors -- you're on one side or the other -- and that doesn't change often. You're a Ford guy born and raised, or you're a Chevy guy, period. Looking at information from R.L. Polk Automotive in the first quarter, you can see Ford dominates in brand loyalty, bringing more consumers back to its F-Series, and other models, time and time again.

Graph by author. Information from R.L. Polk & Co. 

It goes deeper than just one survey earlier this year, and according to Ford, it has won the R.L. Polk Automotive Loyalty survey award in the full-size pickup category 15 times in the past 17 years – an absolutely huge advantage when it comes to the two most profitable vehicles in the U.S. market, and the world.

In addition to a solid product, and industry leading brand loyalty, Ford is succeeding because it positions its lineup better than competitors. According to Ford, the F-Series is driving sales in key markets that are leading our country's economic rebound, the Northwest, West, and Southeast, where sales of the F-Series is outpacing the nearest competitor by 50%. Ford also has a new F-150 STX value model that is aimed to customers hit harder by the economic downturn but still have work to do in the housing and energy markets. STX sales surged to 10% of all F-150 sales this year – up from 3% a year ago.

Bottom line
Ford's doing everything needed to continue winning the full-size pickup sales war with cross-town rival General Motors. It has a solid product, a well-positioned vehicle lineup and brand loyalty second to none. General Motors' Chevrolet Silverado has a year before Ford's next-generation F-150 hits the markets, but I believe Ford's trend of out-selling the Silverado and Sierra are here to stay -- and that's great news for Ford fans and investors alike.

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Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (13)

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 December 01, 2013, at 8:17 AM, corvettesam wrote:

    Maybe the Ford guys should have been around in Arizona last April when Our Ford F250 left us stranded in the Arizona Desert and then after a 218.00 diagnosis was told it would cost $3,700.00 to repair plus 10.1 % sales tax. We bought a new GMC from Tates in Show Low Arizona deliverd from Gallop NM and left the Ford with them.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 8:35 AM, sodajerk wrote:

    "corvettesam" The world might have more sympathy for your plight if you had mentioned the age and mileage of your F250. A 2013 with 500 miles on it or a 2006 with 275,000 miles on it? It does matter

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:18 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    When the word gets out that the Silverado is better than the F150 through reviews and tests, buyers will flock over to the better truck which is the Silverado. I do not believe the writer is correct on his assumption.


    One thing I'd like to mention is: while writing this, I noticed spell check recognized "F150 and yet gave me a spell error for the word "Silverado". That tells me the web site I'm on is pro F150 web site if it does not recognize the word "Silverado".

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:22 PM, geocal99 wrote:

    well, I've been a steady Ford guy since my first car in college was a used Ford Escort.

    But that will change in my next truck as Ford has eliminated their small truck. So good chance my next vehicle will be the new Chevy Colorado.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:48 PM, mypal00000 wrote:

    Wait till the consumers figure out that the Silverado is no longer made in the US. Australia is the new home of the Silverado.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 3:47 PM, Chevyisajoke wrote:

    That's because Chevy is a "made-in-China" POS. Assembled in the US and Canada using parts from Suzuki and Daewoo, wow Chevrolet... talk about awesome....

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 4:30 PM, rons23 wrote:

    I will stick with my Tundra! There's not one truck out there that is purely american made, so quit thinking there is. It's all about dependability and resale value and Tundra is by far the better choice and better looking truck. Some come over to the dark side, you won't regret it.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 4:55 PM, Tommylee2 wrote:

    Of course Ford trucks will dominate Chevrolet tincans on wheels. Everyone knows Ford builds real trucks; trucks that do what is promised and trucks that last. Chevrolet builds, well they put together anyway, something that they try to pass off as a truck, It has glitz and glitter but is hardly a truck to rely on for much of anything. I'll take even a Dodge over a Chevy or GMC, but my real love is the faithful FORD.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 5:21 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    For the misinformed people who says Chevy trucks are not built built in the USA. Keep dreaming of false disinformation.

    And for those who's minds are polluted with hatred for Chevy trucks. Eat your heart out!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 6:56 PM, lem2004 wrote:

    Thanks Jason87467 I was going to set them straight but you beat be to it.It is amazing how people will say something without knowing what they are talking about.BTW Daniel Miller is quite biased towards ford in his articles.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 8:01 PM, Rolland wrote:

    Is Ford counting wrong again.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 8:28 PM, stevewen1 wrote:

    Jason87467 No truck is 100% made in America. The truth is Toyota & Ford by percentage of components domestically made top the charts usually somewhere between 70%-80%, which is considerably more than Dodge, Chevy, or Nissan which are typically 60% to 65%. Here is a good article that backs this info up:

    I will not support GM given their roll in the bailouts, Ford earned my support by standing firm against our government and not taking any tax payers dollars.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 8:40 PM, Chevyisajoke wrote:

    It's funny how many dumb rednecks support Chevy. They use bottom of the barrel parts and assemble their garbage in the US and Canada. The rest of the world knows that Chevy is a joke. They are the laughing stock of the automotive world. Except for the morons here who buy them. Don't hate on the rest of the world because your truck is made by Daewoo

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 7:37 AM, cartoph wrote:

    I wish Ford would bring back the Ranger and actually improve it. I, like many others, are still upset they simply gave up on that market. I can't afford a large truck with the driving I do, but I want a truck to be able to move stuff around. I think they were very narrow focused on this decision.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 7:52 AM, guysisson wrote:

    I work on all makes of trucks for a living. The Ford is the better truck. If you drive a F-150, then drive a Silverado, you will immediately notice the difference in quality. The Silverado feels cheap, the Ford feels like a much more quality truck. People try to dispute this, but the proof is in the numbers, Americans are smart consumers, and they have made Ford their first choice for almost 40 years. It is very simple, day in and day out, the Ford is a better truck.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 8:00 AM, Ostrowsr wrote:

    It's obvious why Ford is worth $20 per share, at least. Competitive advantage and a worldwide growth plan.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 8:50 AM, jimatmad wrote:

    "Ford's F-150 Will Continue to Dominate Chevy's Silverado"

    Based on what? Certainly nothing in this article. It's an opinion that is arrived at without having driven the new GM pickups for comparison.

    Two facts we have learned from the last few years. One, product, not history, drives sales. Ford and GM have had superior products when it comes to pickups and have dominated. They have had inferior products on the car side and have allowed imports to gain market share. In the last couple years both domestic makers have started to turn that around.

    Two, GM has made HUGE strides in coming out with superior product. The Cruze and Impala are markedly better than the products they replaced, and Cadillac is enjoying a strong resurgence.

    It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see GM's full-size pickup sales surpass Ford.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 8:52 AM, jimatmad wrote:

    Wow! Even on here the Hate America First Tea Partiers are spreading lies about General Motors.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 9:37 AM, gottodoit4 wrote:

    I always wanted a ford f150 and i recently brought a used 2005 f150 in florida.and i like as the best trucks and they keep improving on there product.

    so far i have had two ford vehicle and they were both am still driving a ford today.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 11:56 AM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    Actually lem2004,

    I'm quite pro for both Ford and General Motors in my articles. However, because of many factors outside of the products themselves, I believe Ford's F-150 will continue to drive better profitability for the folks at the Blue Oval.

    Thanks for reading all,


  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2014, at 10:23 AM, ragusauce wrote:

    Go get your recall ticket before you guys want to talk about REAL TRUCKS.

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