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A Show of 'Fours:' All Ford Division Supercabs to Offer Four Doors

7 January 1998

A Show of 'Fours:' All Ford Division Supercabs to Offer Four Doors

    DETROIT, Jan. 7 -_ Ford Motor Company today
announced that its entire line of pickup trucks -_ from the compact Ranger to
the Super Duty F-Series -_ will offer four-door SuperCab models in 1998.
    "What makes trucks so popular is their versatility.  More doors means
greater versatility," said Jac Nasser, president, Ford Automotive Operations.
"From our perspective at Ford:  If the customer is in the market for more
truck with more versatility -_ then we will provide it."
    Nasser outlined Ford's "12-Door Strategy" in November, committing Ford to
be the first manufacturer to offer a full range of four-door extended cab
pickups.  At the North American International Auto Show today, Ford delivered
on the commitment.
    Ford Super Duty F-Series will be the first in showrooms.  The 1999 F-250
and F-350 will be the industry's first SuperCab with four doors standard in
the over-8,500-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) truck segment.  The trucks
will go on sale in early March.
    The 1998 Ford Ranger will follow with a segment-first optional four-door
SuperCab model in May.
    Ford's 1999 F-150 and F-250 will offer a SuperCab with four doors standard
in October.
    Ford sold the under-8,500-pound segment's first SuperCab with a standard
third door in 1996 on the 1997 F-150.  The company earned a patent for its
innovative door design.  All SuperCab doors follow the same design.
    Instead of a B-pillar, Ford pickups use a hidden hinge on the rear pillars
of the trucks that allows the doors to swing out 90 degrees from the door
sill.  SuperCab rear doors eliminate the need to tip forward a front seat to
gain access to the back and allow maximum access to the rear of the cab.
    All models require that a front door be open before the rear doors on the
same side can be opened.  Rear doors are secured with double latches top and
bottom for additional body strength and quieter ride.  With front and rear
doors closed, the rear door is locked automatically.

    Segment Growth
    In 1989, extended cabs accounted for only 17 percent of full-size pickups
sold.  That figure rose to 55 percent in 1996 and was headed toward 60 percent
in 1997.
    Just as the introduction of the four-door sport utility vehicle in the
late '80s triggered a new growth stage for what had become a temporarily
stagnant segment, the third-, and now fourth-door extended cab offers another
opportunity for growth.
    Ford is the pickup sales leader in the world.  It sells more full-size and
compact pickups than any other manufacturer.  In 1995, Ford became the
country's highest-volume truck marketer for the first time since 1970.  Since
then, Ford's lead has been widening.
    Ford's Ranger compact pickup is the best-selling vehicle in its segment in
the United States.
    Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of F-Series trucks through the
1998 model year.  Customers have bought more than 26.3 million F-Series since
1948, making it the best-selling nameplate in the history of the industry.

SOURCE  Ford Motor Company