US: Ford F-150 discounts could spell deliver trouble image

Ford, the second largest US automaker has resorted recently to unusual discounts for its all-new 2015 F-150 pickup truck, which has been the best selling pickup truck in America for decades.

The move to offer hefty F-150 incentives is rather unorthodox since the model is almost new to the market and the decision could point to deeper sales issues, with Ford offering depending on the region rebates of up to $10,479 for its most important North American vehicle. The incentives have been featured this week on the company’s website and are region dependant – the biggest turnover was in areas such as Washington, D.C., but even well known pickup strongholds such as California saw incentives of at least $7,000. They were mostly targeting the bigger, upscale versions that usually carry the heftiest price tags. The F-150 is the best sold vehicle in the US and is among the more profitable models – compared to cars – Ford has. “The truck hasn’t sold up to expectations for the most part, and most of that attribution is said to be supply issues,” comments Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “However, this may be a hint that in certain parts of the country, the issue might just be more than supply.”

But the deliveries have been off 8.9 percent in June and with 55,171 units the F Series lineup only managed to climb past the traditional second place pickup – Chevrolet’s Silverado – by around 4,000 autos. And the Silverado was jumping 18.4 percent for the month amid the market segment boom that saw Americans snatching mostly crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks. The industry observers say the real hints would be if Ford takes regional discounts to a nationwide level and if the incentives also expand towards lower trims.