By Maddy Perkins

For thirty-five years it’s been the same story.

As advertised, Ford’s F-Series is “America’s Favorite Pick-up Truck.” The nation’s second largest automaker has consistently dominated pick-up truck sales. In fact, the F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle of any kind for 32 years. While the Toyota Camry has come close in the past, it has yet to eclipse the trucks’ overall record.

“I think with Ford, the fact that they have an extremely loyal fanbase and that they’ve consistently been at the top when it comes to things like horsepower and towing capacity has kept them on top,” said Alec Gutierrez, chief analyst at Kelley’s Blue Book. “They have stayed there these 30 odd years when it comes to these quantifiable metrics.”


In terms of domestic market share, the F-Series currently holds on to 42 percent of the pick-up market.

However, these numbers are somewhat misleading. It’s tough to tell whether or not an individual truck could top Ford’s numbers because it reports F-Series sales altogether instead of breaking them out by the various models.

“The thing about the F Series is it’s more than one truck. It’s quite a few,” said Jessica Caldwell, chief analyst at “So when they say it’s the ‘Best Selling Vehicle,’ it’s actually not. Chevrolet, for example, reports its Silverado and Colorado sales separately.”

Still, F-Series sales have only improved over the past 5 years. Ford sold a 5-year high of 70,940 F Series units in March. Sales remained strong in April at 63,387, up approximately 4,000 units from the same month last year.

Based on documents filed with U.S. safety regulators earlier this month, Ford is expected to recall approximately 4,000 of its F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks due to an ignition switch malfunction that may cause the trucks to switch into reverse while driving.

The recall applies to the 2015 units currently on display in showrooms, but are not expected to have a negative effect on sales. Even in the wake of trouble, what is it about these trucks that keep F-Series sales so high above competitors?

In most cases, it’s because Ford posts the best numbers when it comes to sheer power. In other instances, it’s a matter of loyalty.

“People get really loyal when it comes to pick-up trucks. Their choice of truck becomes part of their identity, definitely more so than when people buy compact cars,” Caldwell said. “If you buy a Civic, it’s okay if you change your mind about how you feel about Honda. If you buy a Chevy truck, you’re now a Chevy person.”

Alicia Faubert lives in rural Rhode Island with her father, the long-time owner of an auto garage. Her boyfriend Alan Tefft lives and works on the family farm.

“We’ve been Ford families for generations. My boyfriend’s great-grandfather purchased one of these trucks. Between my family and his, we have over 20 F-Series trucks that are still up and running,” said Faubert.

The two families have bonded over their love of Ford trucks. They often repair the trucks together, exchanging parts when necessary. The model years the Fauberts and Teffts own range from 1977-2008.

“None of us would ever buy a Chevy or Ram. We work these trucks to death,” Faubert said. “Between all of these trucks, we’ve never had any major issues. “They’re all worked constantly for everything from dump runs to farming.”

Faubert cites consistency and reliability as the reasons she refuses to buy another brand of truck. She also says that, in her experience, Ford repairs tend to be considerably cheaper than Chevrolet or Dodge Ram trucks because the parts are more interchangeable.

“You can always swap out parts from both old and running vehicles really easily,” Faubert said. “Fords are more fixable than with any other truck my dad’s worked on. If people pull in here with Chevys or anything else, we’re like ‘Go home.’”

While Ford F-Series trucks sales numbers remain comfortably higher than its competitors, Ram sales have been growing at a faster pace. Sales for Ram pickups are up 22.5 percent this year to date from 2013, threatening the F-Series’ place atop the pick-up market.

“The Ram has picked up quite a bit in terms of share,” said Gutierrez of Kelley’s Blue Book. “They went from controlling 13 percent in the early 2000s. In 2013, they were closer to 20 percent. This shows the Ram is gaining some ground.”


Owen Rinehart of Aiken, South Carolina, was a self-described loyal Ford truck-owner for several years. He used the trucks to pull a trailer of up to 12 horses. He describes two of the four Fords he owned as lemons and added that the repairs cost him a small fortune. He recently switched to Ram.

He made the decision after speaking with a friend who had purchased a Ram truck after his own troubles with F-Series repairs. Rinehart was swayed by how the truck was still working like new after clocking over half a million miles.

“The last Ford I had, I replaced five of the injectors one summer and a year later had to replace three of the same ones,” said Rinehart. “Then, long story short, I gave up and bought a Ram 3500.”

While Fords may be easy to repair, Reinhart thinks the Ram is less breakable in the first place. While he originally identified himself as a Ford man, he’s never looking back.

“I will never own another Ford,” Rinehart said. “Here in the south, I see way more Rams than anything else and I think I know why.”

Gutierrez of Kelley’s Blue Book doesn’t think the F-Series’ dominance is threatened by Ram’s ascension. While Ram trucks have been completely redesigned, Ford has yet to release any of their own redesigns. These are expected to hit showrooms in the coming months.

“In terms of Ford’s ability to maintain their leadership, the future is very bright for them,” Gutierrez said. “I think with Ford, the best is yet to come. I would not be surprised to see the F-Series maintain its position, if not increase their pick-up market share in the years to come.”