Ford not conceding in ‘heavy-metal’ battle of pickups

Chevrolet Silverado and Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup trucks may be the top choices of Consumer Reports (see yesterday’s blog post), but Ford, led by the F-series of trucks,  still is the sales champion, reports Automotive News.

“The autumn pickup wars have been joined, with Ford aggressively defending its segment leadership against redesigned rivals from General Motors and Chrysler Group’s Ram brand,” wrote the News’ Bradford Wernie.

Toyota and Nissan round out the top five truck makers.

Ford’s market share remained at 39.4 percent for the first eight months of the year compared to 2012, but both General Motors, with the Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra, and Chrysler Group picked up a little ground, according to data from the Automotive News Data Center. GM’s market share was 35.5 percent for the first eight months of the year compared to 35.1 percent in 2012, and Ram took 18.5 percent of the market, compared to 17.9 in 2012. Toyota and Nissan, each with small market shares actually gave ground during through August 2013.

Automotive News also reported:

“Ford will defend that turf,” said Tom Libby, analyst for Polk. “If they can’t defend it with the product, they’ll defend it with incentives. The benefits to them of having the most popular vehicle in the country are huge. For the next several months they’ll be in a defensive situation. They now have the oldest product in the segment, so for the next 10 months they’ll have to defend it with other means.”

The Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 currently provide slightly more in incentives than the Ford F-150, according to data from Edmunds.com.

“In a heavy-metal duel between two top pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s ‘Excellent’ road-test score makes it Consumer Reports’ top-rated truck,” the product-testing organization said of its two top-rated trucks. But CR testers said the second-place Ram 1500 “may be a better daily driver,” we posted yesterday on The Open Road blog at RoadLoans.com.

Consumer Reports previously tested the Ford F-150 XLT, which was outscored by Ram and Silverado.

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