Here Are Ford’s Big Pickup Plans

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Ford (NYSE:F) has announced that it will continue expanding its F-Series line of trucks into 2014 as the company seeks to maintain its three-decade lead in the U.S. pickup market, according to a report from Bloomberg. Ford is planning to introduce eight new F-Series models, which will create the biggest F-Series lineup in the company’s history.

Ford’s rivals, General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler, have also recently introduced new pickups, but haven’t been able to make much of a dent in sales of Ford’s popular F-Series. Similarly to SUVs, pickup trucks aren’t as popular among more energy-conscious consumers as they once were, but high margins on the vehicles still make them desirable for automakers to produce.

According to data from Morgan Stanley cited by Bloomberg, pickup trucks give automakers between $8,000 and $10,000 in profit each and account for the majority of the Detroit automakers’ North American earnings.

Doug Scott, Ford’s truck marketing manager, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg that Ford is also experimenting with using aluminum in place of steel in the 2015 F-150, which will start shipping next fall. Ford initiated a sustainability plan in 2007 that called for the company to reduce the weight of its vehicles by 750 pounds each, and using aluminum instead of steel would help Ford meet those goals.