It's a new year, which means automobile lovers are looking at the road ahead, anticipating new 2021 releases and futuristic concept unveilings.
But, at the end of a year, it's also beneficial to look in the rear-view mirror. How did the automobile landscape change in 2020, and in what ways did it remain the same?
For many industries, 2020 was an unconventional year - and that's true of the auto industry as well. The global pandemic shifted consumer trends and interfered with production, even as manufacturers continued to make strides in emerging technologies and techniques.
Some things remained the same, however. Namely, the new Ford F-150 held onto its crown, topping auto sales in Canada for a tenth consecutive year and in the US for a 38th straight year. In this post, let's take a closer look at Ford's 2020 accomplishment and attempt to answer the burning question: Why does Ford's flagship truck perform so well?
The Meteoric Rise of the F-Series
You can trace the rise of Ford's F-Series (which includes the ever-popular F-150) back to the post-war boom in the 1950s. Prior to that time, trucks were mainly marketed to farmers and transport businesses.
Savvily, Ford saw an opportunity to appeal to a broader demographic, and began to add broadly attractive features, like added cabin space and, later, sophisticated infotainment systems. As history proves, this is precisely what consumers needed: a vehicle that mixed functionality and comfort.
Despite 2020's Challenges, the F-Series Holds Top Spot
The fact that Ford's F-Series held the top spot again in 2020 came as no surprise to automobile pundits, but the circumstances under which the company achieved its top spot were unexpected.
This time last year, no one could have forecasted the slumping Q1 sales across car manufacturers. That's because, as with most disruptions in 2020, the flagging sales figures were a direct result of the novel coronavirus, which stalled consumer spending and kept people (mostly) indoors throughout the year.
But the Ford F-Series, true to its reputation as the brawny, persevering workhorse, bounced back in the following quarters. It may have seen a decrease in sales compared to 2019, but the sheer fact that it retained its top spot amid 2020's chaos and consumer austerity attests to its popularity and enduring value.
Why Ford's Flagship Truck Continues to Dominate
As mentioned above, the Ford F-Series - particularly the F-150 -is attractive because it marries two things many automobile consumers look for: powerful functionality and family-friendly comfort.
The engines in the F-series are high-strength, high-performance machines that allow users to take care of whatever tasks they need, including hauling and towing. But the interiors are luxurious and spacious enough, and the technology cutting-edge enough, that they appeal to all family members. For many, the F-150 represents the sweet spot between work needs and family preferences. Couple that with the F-Series' generous customizability, and it's easy to see why it continues to dominate.
No one knows what 2021 will bring, but if the trend continues, expect to see the Ford F-150 back in the new this time next year.