Don’t Expect a Brand-New Ford F-150 for Quite Some Time

The arrival of the fourteenth generation of the Ford F-150 brought along some significant improvements for the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. Aside from the sharper aesthetic, the newest F-150 benefits from nicer interior materials, a tech-filled cabin, and fuel-efficient engine options. However, AutoBlog report that this newfound tech could result in fewer model redesigns.

Why won’t Ford redesign the F-150?

For the first time in its history, the 2021 Ford F-150 can receive over the air updates from the manufacturer. Aside from allowing the American carmaker to fix issues remotely without a trip to the dealership, it can track all sorts of vehicle data. As we reported just last week, Ford has begun axing features its data showed truck owners aren’t using frequently enough.

In an interview with Automotive News, Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform, and operations officer, claims that these updates can result in more power from the engine, as well as greater efficiency over time. This means that the truck may improve during your ownership despite offering a great product out of the box. As Autoblog describes it, these updates will appear on the main infotainment screen, at which point the driver has to initiate the download.

The ability to tweak the Ford F-150 remotely means big things for the model. As a result of this new technology, there is less of a need to make physical changes and redesigns. According to Autoblog, Ford plans to extend the popular truck’s life cycle, leading to fewer redesigns in the future. While this certainly saves the American carmaker a significant amount of money, other potential perks exist.

You may be able to add features after you’ve bought it

An image of a 2021 Ford F-150 outdoors.
2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid | Ford

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Over the past few months, over the air updates have routinely been linked to carmakers’ planned subscription services. In short, buyers will pay a separate fee and add additional features to their vehicles. While this has in no way been confirmed by Ford, Autoblog seems to allude to its possibility.

Take the Ford F-150’s Active Drive Assist, for example. A truck equipped with all of the necessary sensors and computers to run the system may receive updates to improve the system. Since Ford has yet to confirm any of this, there is no current price associated. For example, Cadillac and Tesla allow buyers to pay either a monthly or one-time fee for upgraded features.

Expect other Ford models to follow this model

The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch Truck appears at the Ford Built for America event at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant
2021 Ford F-150 | Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Ford F-150 isn’t the only brand-new model to offer over the air updates. In fact, the all-electric Mustang Mach-E will also include them. As a result, Autoblog reports that this system will likely spread to other new ford models as they receive major redesigns or new generations. As you’d expect, this means that Ford will likely extend the life cycle of a majority of its new models.

In the case of the F-150, this business model makes sense. Since a large portion of truck buyers use their vehicles for work, significant updates will likely be welcomes. Given the longer terms of new auto loans, knowing your vehicle will only get better will likely sweeten the deal. Since this is a brand-new business model for the company, only time will tell how buyers react.