102-year-old man buys his 16th Ford pickup
The automaker knows such loyalty is key to maintaining its dominance in this ever-more-hotly contested market.
Yet 102-year-old Floyd Pullin of Confluence, Pa., did just that when he picked up his latest -- a 2013 F-150 STX -- at his local dealership earlier this week. According to USA Today, Pennsylvania State Sen. Rich Kasunic came to note the occasion and Ford workers prepared a video for Pullin to thank him for his brand loyalty.
Those little events and anecdotes make a big difference as Ford's F-Series trucks duke it out with General Motors' (GM) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra -- which GM recently got around to updating for the first time in years -- and Dodge's Ram line for U.S. road supremacy.
Though Ford boasts that its F-Series has been the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 31 years and the best-selling truck for 36 years, GM claims Ford isn't counting its largest competitor's combined truck sales. By that measure, MotorIntelligence and The Wall Street Journal say GM's 11% of the light truck market halfway through 2013 just eclipses Ford's 10.5% stake.
From there, it gets ugly. Ford proudly points to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's American Automobile Labeling Act reports that indicate the F-Series is not only built out of 75% U.S.-made parts, but is produced exclusively at plants here in the U.S. Its GM and Dodge pickup rivals get only 67% of their parts from the U.S. and, in some cases, are assembled in Mexico.
With that information in its back pocket, Ford announced in early August that it planned to add a third shift to its Kansas City assembly plant to meet demand for the F-150. Through July, Ford has sold more than 427,000 F-Series trucks alone -- a 22% improvement from the same period last year. That's nearly 144,000 more vehicles than Chevy's Silverado line and nearly 40,000 more than the Silverado and Sierra combined.
Trotting out stories about Ford's long-time pickup loyalists may make it seem as if Ford is piling on, but its lead isn't nearly as big as it looks. Pickup sales are up more than 16% this year, but a whole lot of that growth isn't coming from Ford. Silverado sales have grown 27% over the last year, while both the Sierra and the Dodge Ram have seen a 24% surge. Each have outpaced the F-Series' 22% growth.
Maybe they don't have the same pickup history as Ford, which invented the vehicle with its Model T Runabout in 1925, but they're aware that Ford doesn't have a monopoly on the great American vehicle. With even Toyota's (TM) Tundra and Tacoma carving out a small, but growing niche in the pickup market, it's in Ford's interest to share stories like Pullin's to ensure loyalty like his amid tougher competition in years to come.
His 16th truck from Ford. Take a look Ford, you should have given him the truck. You made your money from him. Give him a break.
And to the article of a 102 year old man driving down the street, I guess that person hasn't watched the younger generation drive lately. I don't see a difference.
I sure hope he got a good senior citizens discount....
If I make it to 102 years I sure aint gonna waste my time and money buying another vehicle....
No extended warranties either......
I really think Ford missed a great publicity opportunity when they elected not to just give him the truck. Or at least provide the truck to him at no cost until his death I mean how long can it be.
You have all heard of racism, well after reading alot of your posts how about "Ageism"? How about some respect for our elders? In the state where this gentleman lives after reaching a certain age they have to have physicals and eye exams in order to retain their drivers license. Have you seen some of our young drivers out there on the Interstate texting while driving with their music cranked up? Scary.
Constitution AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! and bailed 'em out. So now they continue to dupe their loyal customers
into thinking they'll (GM) take care of them (customers). ie Onstar, which is part of big government's
plan to run everything for us by spying on us. "It's for your safety." or convenience or what ever.
Everyone of you who have purchased a GM since the bailout IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the
continued fall of this country. You have just been told, do what's right.
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