Ford’s F-Series Trucks Still No. 1 For 2019-Will Ram Beat It In 2020?

Why was 2019 the 43rd year in a row that Ford’s F-series was the top-selling pickup truck in the US? Or asked another way, Why was Ford’s F-series the top-selling vehicle in the US for the 38th year in a row? How is it that Ford sold just shy of 900,000 F-series trucks in 2019? And, will Ram beat it in 2020?

“It’s still a good, solid performance for the industry,” Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service told Automotive News. “I believe the economic backdrop that supports sales is solid. We have no reason to believe any of that will be different in 2020.”

But 2020 will be different from 2019-Ford and Ram know it

A ribbon sits on the hood of a Ford EcoSport SUV
A ribbon sits on the hood of a Ford EcoSport SUV | Yen Duong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

But it will be different in 2020-nothing stays the same. Chevy never expected to be anything but solidly in second place for truck sales back in 2018. It would debut an entirely new truck for 2019 with a bold front end and lots of improvements. Chevy had high hopes.

Then, the Ram pickup-also new for 2019 began to gain and then surpass Chevy’s production numbers. In the first quarter of 2019 Ram was outselling Chevy. Then in Q2 the Ram continued to sell more than Chevy. And by the end of 2019 Ram was solidly in second for truck sales in the US for the first time ever. 

Ford has always had the magic when it comes to pickups. That might be why it will debut an all-new F-series later this year. Chevy and Ram had their new pickups last year.  Ford knows it needs to have something new to maintain its lead. 

Ford could only carve out third place for midsize trucks

Ford Ranger Raptor
Ranger Raptor | Smith and Sniff

For midsize trucks, Ford could only notch third place behind the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. Though the Ranger the US got had been selling in other countries since 2017, it was new here for 2019. Ford is also working on a replacement for it. An all-new Ranger will likely debut in 2021. 

Ford will have dropped all of its cars, with the exception of the Mustang, by 2021. It needs to make up for the loss of sedans with new models. Those are on the way as well. We’ve seen the 2020 Mustang Mach-E SUV set to begin manufacturing later this year. Its first year’s production is already sold out. 

“We’ll obviously be in a much better position to go after sales gains as we start to get the majority of that car volume behind us,” says LeNeve. Those sales gains are right around the corner based on everything Ford has in the works.

Ford’s product cadence is loaded with new products

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Bronco R race prototype | Ford

We’ve mentioned the Mustang Mach-E but there’s more. The new Bronco and baby Bronco are also hitting later this year as 2021 models. Ford will also be launching PHEV versions of the Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. Those hybrid versions will spice up the midsize SUV offerings soon. 

Ram sold 633,694 trucks in 2019, so Ford is far ahead in the sales race. Still, to maintain that lead Ford knows it needs the next F-series to be better in every way than Ram. Will it be able to do it? We know it has for 43 years.