Ford F Series tops list of most profitable cars image

Ford’s F Series pick-up truck is the world’s most profitable model of modern times, according to Bernstein Research in London.

Analyst Max Warburton and his team came up with a list of the top global vehicles in terms of profit since 1990. According to Warburton, in order to be on the winners’ list, cars should combine high prices, huge volume and long periods of production that spread development costs over a long period. The researcher found three categories of the so-called “cash-cows”: German luxury cars, Japanese mid-sized sedans and American full-sized pickup trucks. The latter category proved to be the winner eventually.

With huge volumes, the Ford F series, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram took the top three spots as they generated $108 billion in pre-tax earnings since 1990, roughly the same profit as the next nine models combined.

“The sweet spot for the industry is high prices and decent volumes (BMW 5 series, Mercedes E Class) and medium-sized price points and massive volumes (Ford F-series pickups, SUVs),” Warburton was quoted as saying by the Automotive News Europe.

Very expensive Ferraris and Aston Martins provide huge margins but no volume, while big sellers such as the Volkswagen Golf don’t offer a big enough margin despite a massive volume, so neither of these made it to Bernstein Research’s top 12.

Bernstein Research’s 12 most profitable vehicles since 1990.
1. Ford F series
2. GM full-sized pickups
3. Dodge Ram
4. Mercedes S class
5. BMW 5 series
6. BMW 3 series
7. Mercedes E class
8. Lexus RX SUV
9. Jeep Grand Cherokee
10. Honda Accord
11. Porsche 911
12. Toyota Camry