Ford F-150 Crew Cab Adds New Dimension to Trucks
5 January 1999Ford F-150 Crew Cab Adds New Dimension to Trucks
DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- Ford Motor Company continues its tradition of truck leadership and innovation by adding another branch to its best-selling F-Series family tree and unveiling it -- the F-150 Crew Cab -- at the North American International Auto Show. The F-150 Crew Cab will be the first under-8,500-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) truck to offer four full-size doors and a full rear passenger compartment. Ford's new entry joins the over-8,500-pound GVW Super Duty F-Series introduced for the 1999 model year as another extension of the best-selling nameplate in automotive history worldwide and the best-selling vehicle -- car or truck -- in the U.S. for the past 17 years. "We don't sit still when it comes to providing customers with trucks that fit their needs," said Jim O'Connor, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division president. "We think the new F-150 Crew Cab demonstrates that. It is 100 percent 'Built Ford Tough' and is for customers with businesses and growing families who need additional interior space but also require the rugged functionality and versatility of a pickup." F-150 Crew Cab Today, more than two-thirds of customers choose the popular F-Series SuperCab model for carrying cargo and for occasional rear-passenger use. Many also indicate a desire for a larger rear cabin to accommodate up to six adult passengers -- without sacrificing the capability of the pickup box. The F-150 Crew Cab provides a truck with the same overall length as the 139-inch wheelbase SuperCab model -- which is important for maneuverability and parking in garages -- but with extra interior space and the added ease of ingress and egress for passengers. Unlike the SuperCab, which has smaller hinged doors that swing out from the C-pillar, the Crew Cab has four full-size doors separated by a B-pillar on each side, with inside and outside handles on each door. It is the same type of system currently available on the Super Duty F-Series Crew Cab trucks. The rear-seat package of the F-150 Crew Cab is similar to that of a Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle built on the same platform. Overall, the Crew Cab boasts 12 inches more cab space than the current SuperCab model and a 5 1/2-foot pickup box -- vs. SuperCab's 6 1/2-foot box. Strong Heritage The F-150 Crew Cab has the same muscular, aerodynamic stance and styling as the current F-150 Regular Cab and SuperCab models. It is also common under the skin, sharing the automatic transmission and two Triton(TM) V-8 engines -- a standard 4.6-liter and an optional 5.4-liter V-8. The driveline, chassis and braking systems also are adopted from current-model under-8,500-pound GVW F-Series trucks. The Truck Market In the United States, truck sales continue to grow. In calendar year 1998, trucks accounted for almost 50 percent of all new vehicle sales. One reason is the trend toward personal use in under-8,500-pound GVW pickup trucks. Five years ago, 70 percent of the trucks in this segment were regular cabs used primarily as work vehicles. Today, largely because of extra doors, better interior packages, and added luxury and refinement, 70 percent of customers in this segment use their vehicles for recreation on the weekends and vacations. The redesigned 1997 F-Series raised the stakes in the personal-use segment, offering customers never-before seen features in a newly styled tough truck. Last year, Ford followed up with an all-new over-8,500-pound GVW Super Duty F-Series lineup, answering the increased demand from commercial and heavy-duty recreational-use customers. In calendar year 1998, F-Series sales exceeded 800,000 -- the most sales for any car or truck since 1978. The F-150 Crew Cab extends the F-Series range even further. The F-150 Crew Cab models will be built at the Kansas City Truck Plant in Missouri and will be on sale in early 2000.