It’s no secret that the prices of vehicles have been crawling north for some time, due either to inflationary factors, more technology, a company’s greater ability to command higher prices, or all of the above. But no segment has seen an upward swing quite the way that pickup trucks have — what were once vehicles prided on their no-frills attitude and a hardcore work ethic can now approach $70,000 and offer as many amenities as a similarly priced Cadillac. Luxury trucks in the past, like the Lincoln (NYSE:F) Blackwood or Cadillac Escalade EXT, haven’t been met with great sales success — but trends are indicating that feature-loaded, $50,000-vehicles have their place in the market. A big one, too.
For its part, Ford’s anticipated 2015 F-150 — which for the first time features a body made of aluminum alloys, helping it shave several hundred pounds off the weight of its predecessor — starts off at $26,615 for the XL trim. That’s a premium of $395 once the $1,195 shipping and destination fee is applied.
That doesn’t sound like much, but with the exception of the XLT model and its relatively modest $340 uptick to $31,890, the prices for the new F-150 only soar north. The most expensive F-150, the Platinum model that boasts a starting price of $52,155 (including the $1,195 shipping), is staring down the barrel of a $3,055 price increase over the equivalent model from 2014.
The price swells reach an apex with the King Ranch edition, which starts at a lofty $49,690 — a $3,615 spike over the pricing of the King Ranch edition from 2014. Over the range, consumers can expect to pay 1 to 8 percent more for a new F-150 than they would have for a 2014 model.
“Ford is likely trying to signal the dealer base that it expects to remain competitive in the lower end of the market — where Ram has made inroads — while reinforcing its price leadership in upper trim levels,” Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said, as quoted by Automotive News.
Dealer ordering was opened on Monday, and production of the new truck is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. While the expensive Platinum and King Ranch trucks have been keeping the average transaction prices higher, it’s the XL and XLT models that account for roughly 70 percent of F-150 volume, Automotive News said.
The new truck will be available with two new power plants: a potent 325-horsepower 2.7 liter, turbocharged EcoBoost-branded V6, and a naturally aspirated 3.5 liter V6, which will make up the standard engine on the F-Series. The 5.0 liter V8, the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 will carry over from the previous generation.
Johnson added that Ford “has signaled it intends to reopen the $3,000 to $4,000 gap in average transaction prices it has historically maintained against GM,” Auto News said, and that the gap “has currently narrowed to $1k, and with lower incentive spending on the new F-Series and some higher spending on GM carryover trucks, Ford is likely to reach that $3-4k ATP edge,” he concluded.