Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ford F-Series Trucks - 1948 Overview

 The Ford F-Series has become the backbone of the American roads and highways, from its beginnings in the late 1940's through to its extraordinary success in the 1980's & 1990's. It was a long haul to the top of the sales charts but the story begins as one of Fords first models produced after the end of World War 2.

In 1998 Ford celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the F-series trucks with the company lavishing a great deal of attention and publicity on the models during the year. This attention was certainly deserved as even though the design and engineering

 have evolved over the years the American truck driving public have accepted this and continued to buy this vehicle with gusto. This has been shown over the last two decades as the F-series has been the best-selling vehicle in America of any category and was the trailblazer as truck mania took the American Auto Market by storm.

After the end of World War 2 Henry Ford II (who was made President in 1945) made a couple of changes that would turn Fords fortunes around. First off he hired a group of people from

 military backgrounds to review and change the internal operations of the company, secondly he appointed Ernie Beech as executive president and General Manager of Ford and moved him from GM owned company.

The new management team were very determined and top of their agenda was the return of Ford to top of the game for car and truck production. Whilst this new team were ambitious they were also realistic and they knew this would take some time to achieve.

 The end of the War in 1945 saw new truck designs rolling off the production lines from the Big Three before their first new design cars. The reason for this was trucks were off to a flying start as production lines during the war really only produced trucks for both civilian and military use and therefore production lines were geared for trucks. Chevrolet and GMC were first off the blocks with new models launched during 1947 whilst Dodge and GMC looked to the start of 1948 to launch their new models.

1948 Ford F-Series Trucks The management at Ford was fully aware of the pivotal role the 1948 F-Series Trucks were to the future of the company and their long term objectives. One of the key factors was the Ford truck range. In 1947 the range consisted of ½ ton series, one-ton series, the Vanette and the heavy duty 1 ½ & two tonne models. Compare this with the 1948 range when launched consisting of eight models ½ tonne, ¾ tonne, heavy duty ¾ tonne, one tonne, 1 ½ tonne, two tonne, two ½ tonne, and three tonne trucks.

The second factor was a change from past engine practices as they decided to use a new engine for the F-Series, it was usual for Ford to use an engine already in use in a Ford car.

The third factor in Fords marketing plan was the basic size rating, this was really a nominal system however it proved very effective. The idea wasn't anything new as International were using a similar system but the badged Fords (F-1 for the ½ ton models through to F-8 for three tonnes) with the F standing for Ford applied vehicle weights in customers minds. At the time the industry standard was for seven weight classes of vehicle.

Ford's long-term objective was to surpass Chevrolet and International. Chevrolet was the industry leader in light duty and medium duty trucks, while International ruled the higher end of the medium duty class and in heavy duties. Ford's F-1 through F-6 vehicles were aimed directly at Chevrolet, while the new F-7 and F-8 models were aimed at International.

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