Major Changes to the Ford Truck Lineup Should Put the Company In a Strong Position
Ford is simplifying its lineup after years of offering roughly 6 trillion trims, options, and configurations. Staring down the barrel of the 2024 Ford F-150 mid-cycle refresh, the folks at the Oval have some big dreams. Ford’s new lineup will focus on making fewer versions of new pickup trucks to make them easier to build and sell. So, what does this mean for the 2024 Ford F-150 Hybrid?
What’s new for the 2024 Ford F-150?
Ford’s first move was to drop the base 3.3-liter V6, which leaves the twin-turbo 2.7-liter as the entry-level powertrain. That is one hell of a base powertrain. However, Ford is expanding one V6 with the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid 3.5-liter V6 option by making it available on lower trims and basically pricing it like a normal powertrain.
While these changes are exciting, the biggest change comes in the form of simplicity. This is a mercy not only for customers but for Ford, too. The fact is Ford made its truck line overly complex in a way that is no longer serving the business or the market. Now it’s time to course correct.
“There were combinations where we were only building one a year,” Ford Blue president Kumar Galhotra said. MotorTrend reports that Ford is reducing the number of buildable combinations by 90 percent compared with the 2023 model. Orders are now open for this simplified 2024 lineup. Orders for 2024 will begin delivery early next year.
How is Ford making things simpler?
The main goal is to create fewer options, but the result will be fewer parts. If Ford makes fewer parts, then it has fewer tools, testing, and fitment options. All of these things help to reduce build times and, subsequently, delivery times. For instance, Galhotra said that there used to be hundreds of electrical harnesses for the Ford Explorer. There are only nine major harnesses for the Explorer now.
This is a strong reaction to the ways in which COVID crushed production. Semiconductor chips, factory closures, and increased demand made auto production quite difficult. Ford seems to be measuring the production issues that can be solved and are now solving them. This is heartening information as price increases and interest rates continue to climb.
Does Ford make good cars?
Frankly, Ford is a bit middle of the road. Even Galhotra said the Ford has a long road ahead of it to address the quality issues that have come from hurried production. In order to fix the quality issues, Ford is focusing on these three things: getting quality parts from suppliers, assembling them properly, and ensuring product development is not at fault. Production is also making one major change to testing equipment: Instead of testing to reach a certain standard, the team is testing to failure. This should improve the durability margins for a wide range of truck parts.
All of these changes seem to make pretty clear sense. Ford has spent years struggling to keep up with production for the Bronco, Maverick, certain F-150 models, and more. Smoothing out the production process should certainly improve not only customer satisfaction but the overall health of the company.