New F-150 pickup essential for automaker’s future

Ford (F) wants to make one thing perfectly clear about the new F-150: it’s tough, damn tough.

The automaker revealed the heavily redesigned F-150 redesigned during a live stream Thursday night with an attached press release describing the truck as “tough” seven times. In fact, the F-150 with its enlarged front grille (it has 12 grille options to choose from), larger diameter tires, and a massive infotainment system (12 inches) has all the external cues of a truck ready to pass a place. work or up the side of a mountain.

But there are a few other smart upgrades for the F-150 that aren’t necessarily quantified as difficult, but are very helpful to buyers tempted by Dodge, Chevrolet, and Toyota offerings:

  • Optional interior work surface to help with signing documents or working on a laptop. The car or truck became a work space away from home during COVID-19, after all.

  • Seats that fold almost flat.

  • Over-the-air technology upgrades.

Ford’s tough new truck will be available this fall. It will be produced at the Ford Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri plants.

The importance of the F-150 to Ford’s finances is not lost with new chief operating officer Jim Farley.

“It is critical,” Farley said, the likelihood that the current Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s favorite to take over referred to the importance of the new F-150 to Ford’s finances.

The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in the United States for 43 consecutive years. It represented nearly 40% of the cars Ford sold in 2019, and is considered a high-margin source of cash for the company that helps finance other investments across the company.

Up to this point of celebration for Ford, the past year has been primarily a challenge, to say the least, for the automaker.

The new F-150 is expected to be a major profit generator for Ford.

The company surprised Wall Street in late April by reporting a loss of $ 2 billion when the COVID-19 pandemic stopped production and kept people out of dealership lots. Ford also continued to be affected by the failed launch of its new Explorer in late 2019 that eventually led veteran car strategist Farley to take over as COO and long-time Ford executive Joe Hinrichs, who is retiring.

As a result of these factors, Ford has shown little progress on Wall Street this year in Hackett’s ongoing $ 11 billion restructuring plan designed to increase profit margins. To shore up his finances, given macroeconomic uncertainty, Ford issued $ 8 billion in junk bonds this spring.

Ford shares have lost approximately 40% in the past year, according to data from Yahoo Finance Premium. GM shares fell 32% over the same span, Toyota gained 2.3% and Fiat Chrysler lost 29%.

“The F-150 is the most important vehicle Ford makes,” Autoblog editor-in-chief Greg Migliore told Yahoo Finance. Autoblog is a sister publication to Yahoo Finance, also owned by Verizon Media.

Migliore added, “It has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since the late 1970s, so Ford is playing from a position of strength as its distinctive model evolves.”

Suffice it to say, Ford needs the new F-150 and upcoming Bronco debuts and Mustang Mach-E to be bestsellers. If not, more difficult rooms could be expected.

Farley offered some hope, however.

“June has been a month of real change for us,” Farley added.

is a general editor and co-anchor of The first trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and in LinkedIn.“data-reactid =” 48 “>Brian Sozzi is a general editor and co-anchor of The first trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and in LinkedIn.