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F-150 buyers could face lengthy waits, steep price

CUT LUNCH: It remains to be seen if Ford’s move to import the F-150 directly will take business away from established conversion specialists.

Local conversion specialists support Ford’s decision to remanufacture best-selling US truck

31 Mar 2022

FORD Australia’s announcement that it will sell the F-150 Down Under by mid-2023 is a “great decision” that will offer more Australian buyers the opportunity to experience America’s best-selling truck, which is a great alternative to the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, say conversion specialists Harrison F-Truck and Performax International.


However, GoAuto understands that wait lists for the F-150 are growing in the United States as Ford ramps up production of its all-electric F-150 Lightning for domestic and export markets, including China.


A spokesperson for Harrison F-Truck and Performax International’s national sales manager, Kevin Thoroughgood, both declined to comment on what yesterday’s announcement would mean to their respective businesses, but said they looked forward to seeing more F-150s on Australian roads.


“The F-150 will be another terrific thoroughbred in Ford Australia’s stable. We embrace the decision by Ford Australia to sell the F-150 as we know what a great product it is – after all, we have almost 50 years’ experience selling the truck here in Australia,” the Harrison F-Truck spokesperson told GoAuto.


“I’m sure we will see the continued supply of the full range of F-150 models through various independent conversion companies, including the five-litre V8 that is incredibly popular with Australian buyers – it probably makes represents up to 60 per cent of F-150 sales here in Australia.


“Harrison T-Truck and other independent conversion companies will also continue to offer the F-150 Raptor, Super Duty (F-250) – which accounts for around 70 per cent of our sales overall – F-350 and F-450 variants, Tuscany models, and Shelby and Super Snake variants,” he said.


Mr Thoroughgood also declined to comment on how Ford Australia’s decision to sell the F-150 locally would impact his Queensland-based business, but echoed the sentiment of Harrison F-Truck’s spokesperson by saying his business would continue to offer a broad range of F-Series trucks.


“The great thing for us is that we’re able to sell what everyone wants, we’ve always got something of a ‘boutique market’, in a sense, that allows us to offer something that’s a bit upmarket, or a different variant that someone else may not offer. We’re always going to have that,” Mr Thoroughgood told GoAuto.


Despite the rosy optimism of local conversion specialists, GoAuto understands F-Series truck sales are under pressure globally as Ford struggles to match demand for the popular range. US dealerships have expressed frustration in matching supply with demand, while some F-Series truck customers have taken to social media and automotive enthusiast community forums to express their concerns over wait times for specific variants.


According to F150 Forum, NewF150Forum and other F-Series truck forum users in the United States, Ford dealers are asking for proof of residency before ordering a vehicle from the OEM in the belief that Ford Motor Company is working to protect the margins set for its number-one selling model.


Users of the forums, including operators of small-business fleets, say Ford has also halted the sale of F-150 variants to fleet buyers with long-standing discounts now a “thing of the past”; a fact that, if true, could drive the price of F-150 variants sold by Ford Australia to levels matching those of its locally converted competitors, in particular the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado.


Ford Australia has yet to reveal pricing of its US-sourced F-150 range but says it will offer dual-cab versions in both XLT and Lariat grades. Both iterations will be powered exclusively by Ford’s 3.5-litre EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.


All F-150 variants delivered by Ford Australia will come as standard with Ford’s SYNC4 infotainment system, collision assist with automatic emergency braking, BLIS (blind-spot information system) with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping system, rear-view camera, auto high beam, reverse brake assist, reverse sensing system and post-collision braking.


With a 4500kg braked towing rating (using the Genuine Ford tow pack and subject to State and Territory regulations), the F-150 offers “incredible lugging ability for work and recreation”, Ford says.


Further specifications and pricing will be shared closer to launch in mid-2023.

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