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Pickup OEMs Adding Options to Maintain Sales

Ford F-150 Tremor

OEMs continue to roll out a bevy of upgrades, enhancements, and custom options for their pickup models in part to help sustain the ongoing sales boom in the light truck segment of the U.S. automotive market.

Ford Motor Co., for one, plans to introduce a new “sport package” for its F-150 pickup line this fall –  the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor – which is the first short-wheelbase regular-cab F-150 powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged direct injection V-6 EcoBoost engine.

The Tremor pickup also offers what the OEM called a “stylish FX Appearance” package with “flat-black accents including 20-inch flat-black wheels, stylized graphics on the truck body, and black badges with red lettering.

Even Ford’s Tremor is by the OEM’s admission a “niche-market” product it also exemplifies how light truck makers are trying to capitalize on the surging demand for pickups. “The new Tremor gives F-150 customers yet another option to drive a highly capable, distinctive performance truck with features typically found only in the aftermarket,” said Brian Bell, F-150 product marketing manager.

Indeed, demand is riding high for light trucks, as Ford noted that while its U.S. sales increased 13% overall this past June compared with the same month in 2012, truck sales were up 20%, compared to cars (a 12% jump) and utility vehicles such as SUVs and crossovers (up 8%).

“We’re particularly encouraged by strong retail share gains, especially in coastal markets, where the combination of great design and fuel economy is resonating with customers,” said Ken Czubay, Ford’s VP for U.S. marketing, sales and Service. “We continued to see strong demand across the entire lineup in June [with] F-Series sales up 24% at 68,009 vehicles. This was the best June sales month for F-Series since 2005.”

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