As Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager, Doug Scott is always ready to talk trucks. Below are some snips from his live chat from today.
Ben: I was just wondering why you guys were the first to put a fully boxed frame in a 8500.
Doug Scott: We were the first to use a fully boxed frame in the U8500, light duty segment, in our F-150, the 2004 model because it made sense for the light duty pickup customers needs. As you know, heavy duty pickup customers are even more diverse, including pickups, chassis cabs with service bodies, and numerous other considerations that must be factored into the decision. At the end of the day, heavy duty truck customers are most interested in capability (maximum payload and towing), durability, and performance, not as much in how it is delivered.
Kyle: thought Dodge was bold to switch to coil springs for their 1500. Your thoughts on that?
Doug Scott: Bold, but not meeting the needs of the capability oriented buyer who compromises the majority of today’s full size pickup customer. It shows up in their declining market share performance.
Bobby: How do you feel about the new Chevy truck coming out?
Doug Scott: Since they are upgrading the front suspension and the Duramaz diesel, I expect that it will be a formidable competitor than the 2010 Silverado HD has been. We’re anxious to get our hands on one and really see what it can deliver.
Craig: Truck quality/performance is always the major consideration – how is Ford continuing to stay ahead of the pack in this area especially with the larger truck class 450+
Doug Scott: Our watchword is continous improvement in all aspects. As such we spend an incredible amount of time and effort analyzing customer survey feedback, focus groups discussion, and face to face meetings learning for opportunities to give our customers a better product. Additionally, at the manufacturing level, better design, CAD, CAE, and a dedication to being the best has helped us achieve our current position of having the best quality in the industry. Obviously, you don’t get to be the Best Selling Truck in America for 33 consecutive years if you aren’t delivering a durable, reliable, high quality product.
Mike: Some news I read about the new F250 ford diesel was claiming 28 avg mpg. Is that possible?
Doug Scott: The fuel economy on the 2011 Super Duty (all models) is 18% better than the previous model. Some versions such as the F-450 boast up to a 40% improvement. Every day, we are hearing that customers are getting in the 20’s. When we did our media drive out in Arizona a few months ago, we had an 80 mile fuel economy challenge and one journalist actually got over 34 mpg.