DETROIT – To increase earnings in its commercial vehicle division, Ford Motor is overhauling a key product lineup, relying on new software and connected data measures.
The 2023 F-Series Super Duty trucks from the Detroit carmaker were unveiled on Tuesday. The portfolio includes large pickups, commercial trucks, and chassis cabins that are used for emergency response, towing and ploughing, and construction or utility work.
The vehicles, which are a part of Ford’s best-selling F-Series truck lineup, have a high margin, are essential to keeping fleet clients who purchase frequently, and are a vital component of Ford’s aspirations to expand its commercial business.
These are really significant. The revenue of Super Duty is comparable to that of Marriott, Southwest Airlines, or Nordstrom. It’s a significant portion of the business,” Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis told CNBC. And right now, we’re bringing them up to speed with technology.
While Southwest, Marriott, and Nordstrom most recently reported yearly revenues of between $14 billion and $16 billion, Cannis declined to provide financial information for Ford’s Super Duty series. In 2021, Ford recorded total revenues of more than $136 billion.
According to Ford, which cited information from S&P Global Mobility, Super Duty trucks have more than 50% of the market share in utility, mining, construction, and emergency response vehicles.
The new trucks have significantly altered exterior features, including wider grilles and revised C-clamp lights. The most significant modifications for Ford, though, include new electrical architectures, or the brains, of the vehicles, which are not visible to the naked eye. According to Cannis, the changes will enable Ford to roll out new software, data telematics, and fleet management systems.
Businesses will be able to track maintenance requirements, vehicle whereabouts, driver behaviours, lost idle time, and other metrics with the use of the software solutions. Fleet managers can also specify start and stop times to stop the vehicles from operating outside of those times.
Aside from routine maintenance and repairs through franchised dealers, automakers like Ford have not been able to generate recurring revenue throughout the lifecycles of the cars. These services are seen as big prospects for Ford to do so.
Ford Pro’s goal, according to Cannis, is to serve as a one-stop shop for both vehicles and the software management that businesses use to monitor them. This will pave the way for subscription-based businesses and additional recurring revenue opportunities for Ford, which have traditionally been the purview of outside firms.
A first for pickups in the US, inbuilt 5G connectivity powers the connected features. AT&T service and a Qualcomm modem are used.
Raj Sarkar, general manager of product marketing and strategy for Ford Pro, stated during a media conference that the company is “focused on optimising productivity, maximising the bottom line for businesses of all kinds.”
According to CEO Jim Farley’s Ford+ restructuring strategy, which aims to expand and create value in all three business sectors over the next few years, Ford Pro is one of the company’s three core business categories.
Additionally, the Super Duty trucks have updated cabins and additional trailering and towing features that are crucial for owners of larger trucks. A second backup camera that may be used when a truck’s tailgate is down is among the new features. Trailer navigation designs routes that can be safely travelled with a specific trailer’s dimensions and weight to avoid potential problems with low bridges and tight corners.
Despite Ford’s massive investments in electric vehicles, one of four V-8 gasoline or diesel engines powers the new trucks. For the foreseeable future, traditional engines are anticipated to be used to power large trucks like Ford’s Super Duty.
The Ford assembly locations in Kentucky and Ohio are where the 2023 F-Series Super Duty is made. In early 2023, closer to the debut, pricing will be made accessible. The automobiles currently have beginning prices that range from from $40,000 to almost $100,000.
A day after its crosstown rival, General Motors, presented changes to its 2024 Chevrolet Heavy-Duty pickup, which is anticipated to go into production in the first half of next year, Ford unveiled its new Super Duty goods.