Super Duty tops Ford's sales hopes
Buyers are snapping up fully optioned F-350s, such as the Lariat and King Ranch, in greater numbers than expected. The F-450 pickup also looks like a winner.
The Super Duty, Ford's most profitable vehicle line, is one of the company's two key launches this year. The other is the reintroduction of the Taurus sedan this fall.
Through April, Lariat sales are up 30 percent and King Ranch sales are up 53 percent compared with the same period a year ago, Ford says.
But the biggest surprise is the F-450. Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood says that through April, the F-450 was the hottest selling of the new Super Duty pickups in terms of days to turn: less than 15.
In volume for the quarter, the F-250 remained the top-selling Super Duty.
Ford sales analyst George Pipas says that in the January-April period, Super Duty sales ranged from 38 to 43 percent of all F-series sales of 228,343 units.
Ford's profit on highly optioned models could reach as high as $17,000, says Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore. Most 2008 Super Duty pickups sell for close to full sticker price, which can exceed $60,000.
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