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Ford to overlap old and new F-150 production

Production of an all-new F-150 is expected to begin about July, 2014

Published: July 31, 2013, 9:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:05 PM

2013 Ford F-150 Limited - side 3/4 beauty shot

Ford will reportedly keep on building the current F-150 pickup for about six months after start-of-production of the next-generation model in 2014.

The company hasn't confirmed those plans but it would seem like a prudent strategy given that truck sales have rebounded strongly and that all the F-150's major competitors have strong new product that will be produced at full-speed during Ford's changeover period.

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Ford previewed the new F-150 with a concept vehicle called the Atlas at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Keeping current production going while the new truck gets on-line and up to speed will keep dealers' inventory levels up and ensure there is no problem of supply, as often happens when major changeovers take place. And, critically, it provides a hedge against start-up problems that often delay the launch rate of significantly new vehicles, as happened to Ford with its Fusion and Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedans.

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The new truck is expected to be a major departure from the old, particularly in its extensive use of lightweight materials, which could rduce its mass by as much as 340 kg. It is scheduled to start production about July of next year.

When the current F-150 was launched in 2008, truck demand was not as strong as it is now so there was not the same urgency to maintain production levels.

Two Ford plants currently build the F-150, one in Kansas City, Missouri and one in Dearborn, Michigan. It is expected that the Dearborn factory will be the first to produce the new model.

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