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Ford To Grow Truck Business In 2005.

-- Ford plans for unprecedented back-to-back annual F-Series sales of 900,000 or more -- New 2006 Ford LCF entry will extend Ford dominance in commercial trucks -- Ford expects to increase sales in every segment of its commercial truck business

SAN ANTONIO, June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ford, the dominant force in the U.S. truck market, plans to extend the leadership of its best-selling line of pickups and commercial vehicles by growing its truck business even further this year.

In the heart of Ford Truck Country in Texas, Ford is announcing that F-Series trucks are on track to deliver unprecedented "back-to-back" chart- topping sales of 900,000 or more for 2005.

The company also promises to extend its stronghold as America's one-stop truck maker by expanding in every segment of its commercial truck business -- including the introduction this month of a new player, the 2006 Ford LCF.

"Ford is undeniably the powerhouse in the truck business," says Ford Division President Darryl Hazel. "We intend to extend our lead over the competition in pickups as well as the commercial vehicle business by continuing to deliver on our promises and build the best trucks in the industry."

900,000 or More, Back-to-Back

F-Series has been the only nameplate -- car or truck -- to cross the 800,000 sales mark in more than 30 years. It has done it nine times -- and 2005 would be a 10th year. Last year, Ford set an all-time truck record with 939,511 F-Series sales. Plans are for 2005 sales of 900,000 or more.

The strong selling rate of F-Series is leading Ford to make strong gains in the market. Since the introduction of the all-new Ford F-150 in September 2003, F-Series' share of the full-size pickup segment has climbed 1.6 percentage points to 36.5 percent.
 In fact, Ford sells one F-Series truck every 34 seconds in the U.S.

 Ford Commercial Truck Business To Grow In Every Segment



Ford also is America's best-selling brand of Class 1 - 7 trucks and rules the commercial vehicle business with more than 40 percent share of the market. With offerings from 19 different manufacturers, two out of every five commercial trucks wear a Ford blue oval. In fact, Ford has outsold Chevrolet and Dodge combined for the last 16 years.

This year, Ford's commercial trucks are on track to outperform their industry-leading 2004 sales of nearly 325,000 units. Ford's full commercial vehicle lineup includes F-250 and F-350 pickups; F-250 through F-750 Chassis Cabs; E-Series van, wagon and cutaway models; and the all-new Ford LCF. While the F-Series pickups appeal to buyers for both commercial and recreational use, Ford's commercial trucks are designed to meet the unique needs of customers who need pure work-truck capability.

"We know that one truck doesn't fit all customers in this market," says Hazel. "That's why we're dedicated to being the industry's leading full-line truck provider with a product to meet every customer need. It's what helps us keep customers loyal. Nothing sells Ford trucks like other Ford trucks. For every medium-duty truck we sell, we also sell five Super Duty pickups."

Among new offerings that will drive growth are AdvanceTrac(R) with RSC(R) (Roll Stability Control) -- now standard on all 2006 E-Series Extended Wagon models -- and the introduction of standard integrated upfitter switches on every 2006 Super Duty Chassis Cab model.

Ford Enters a New Segment with Low Cab Forward

Ford's full line of commercial trucks gets even stronger this year as the new 2006 Ford LCF joins the marketplace. It gives Ford an entry among low cab forward trucks, one of the fastest growing segments in the commercial vehicle industry.

Engineered for easy upfit, superior power and ride, the new Ford LCF is designed to deliver best-in-class maneuverability and the segment's tightest turning diameter. Ford LCF customers will use their vehicles for any number of commercial applications -- from general delivery and utility to landscaping and construction.

"The Ford LCF is designed to answer an unmet customer need with a viable, new alternative in what is for Ford a highly incremental segment," explains Joe Castelli, director, Ford Commercial Truck Sales and Marketing.

The Backbone of American Industry

Ford provides more commercial truck products with more configurations than any other manufacturer. Working closely with upfitters and body builders, Ford provides big and small businesses with the tools to get the job done in virtually any industry -- from energy providers, to the delivery industry, retailers, emergency crews and landscapers. In the past six months alone, Ford has added Fed-Ex, U-Haul, DHL and Verizon to its fleet business. They join hundreds of other customers, including Home Depot, Sears and Time Warner.

"We give our customers the best possible tools to get the job done," says Castelli. "With the industry's broadest and strongest product range, plus the best dealer and upfitter alliances in the business, Ford is well positioned to attract even more customers in 2005 and beyond."

CONTACT: Lydia Cisaruk, +1-313-337-8299, lcisaruk@ford.com , Dan Bedore, +1-313-323-7045, dbedore@ford.com , or Harold Allen, +1-972-334-1871, hallen1@ford.com , all of Ford Motor Company

Web site: http://www.ford.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 2005
Words:851
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