NEW YORK -- Ford Motor Co. says its F series will remain the No. 1 U.S. full-sized pickup, with sales of at least 900,000 in 2006.
Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, made that pledge last week at the New York auto show. If Ford meets the objective, 2006 will be the third consecutive year F-series sales have topped 900,000.
The challenge will be tougher this year, since General Motors is preparing to launch redesigned versions of its own full-sized pickups. Toyota's redesigned Tundra debuts in early 2007.
Through March, F-series sales are up 5.5 percent from 2005.
That gain has come at the expense of Chevrolet, which lost 2.3 percentage points of full-sized pickup share during the first quarter. Ford gained 2.3 percentage points of full-sized pickup share in the same period.
As part of its bid to maintain truck sales leadership, Ford intends to add a new trim line to the F-150 family.
The FX2 Sport will debut this fall as a 2007 model, and Ford expects the new model to account for about 5 percent of all F-150 sales. That equates to around 45,000 annually.
The new trim line essentially is a two-wheel-drive version of the F-150's popular FX4 model. Ford says customers in the South have asked for the two-wheel-drive version.
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