There were those who doubted whether Ford’s EcoBoost pickups would find buyers. Three years later, and Ford just sold its 500,000th EcoBoost equipped F-150. It’s a major milestone for America’s most popular vehicle, and a sign of things to come in the full-size truck market.
The 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine first became available in the F-150 in 2011, and it remains the most potently powerful engine in the EcoBoost lineup. Over the past three months about 57% of Ford F-150 sales are for V6 models, and 45% of those sales are for the EcoBoost V6. I’m no math wiz, but that more or less seems to equate to about 25% of total F-150 sales, at least so far this year.
That’s a pretty big deal considering many analysts considered it a fool’s errand to try and sell smaller displacement V6 engines as a replacement for tried-and-true V8s. But V6 pickup sales have increased 600% in the last three years, with Ford accounting for some 91% of that growth, signaling a major shift in the light-duty truck market.
While Ford expects these numbers to continue, keep in mind the increasing competition from both Chrysler and GM. While the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel dominates the MPG ratings, the smaller Chevy Colorado and GMC Sierra should be cheaper and more appealing to those not wanting or needing a full-size pickup.
But Ford hasn’t been resting on its laurels either, as an all-new 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 is ready for duty in the re-designed and mostly-aluminum 2015 F-150. Ford’s EcoBoost engine line has name recognition, no doubt, but it is never easy to stay on top.
Unbiased reporting aside, as an unabashed Blue Oval fan, let me just raise my tumbler to Ford, and to the next 500,000 EcoBoost F-150s.