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The “F” in Ford Stands for “Fleet” – Ford Fleet Sales Lead Industry

When Ford and GM owners brag about sales figures to somehow “prove” their trucks are the best available, I say three things:

  1. Consumers aren’t always rational – They don’t necessarily buy the “best” car or truck on the market. There’s a lot of emotion in car purchases.
  2. Sales figures are influenced by a variety of factors – From incentives to geography to politics to a consumer’s previous experiences. You can’t study them in a vacuum.
  3. Fleet sales – Ford and GM roll massive numbers of fleet trucks into their sales figures.

I’m going to focus on #3 right now (you can read more about #1 and #2 here).

The news today is that almost one-third of Ford’s sales are to fleets, which are defined by convention as companies owning at least 15 trucks. Chrysler-Fiat? 30% GM? Just 26%.

Here are fleet sales numbers for the first quarter of 2012, courtesy of Automotive News (subs. req’d):

F-150 Reputation Resistant to Rust, Fire, and More. Why?

In the last 5 years, the Toyota Tundra has had some serious quality issues:

  1. Frame rust problems
  2. Weak tailgates
  3. Unintended acceleration recalls

While this list is definitely bad, can anyone honestly argue that it’s worse than the F150’s list of problems?

  1. 1.5 million trucks recalled for spontaneously exploding airbags
  2. Faulty cruise control modules that have been linked to dozens of vehicle fires
  3. 2+ million trucks likely to be recalled for rusting fuel tank straps

Granted, Ford has yet to recall the F-150 for rusting fuel tank straps, but all signs point to an imminent recall.

The question is: In light of all of this info, how can anyone honestly argue that Tundra’s reputation for quality or safety is any worse than the best-selling truck in the industry, the Ford F-150?