Ford’s success in globalizing the Mustang could lead to a pickup invasion abroad.
It may be hard to see how the Ford Mustang could lend the F-150 any tips on how to go about its business aside from advising the Blue Oval to make a performance model (the F-150 Raptor). After all, the F-150 is America’s best-selling vehicle and the fact is the Mustang and F-150 are two different vehicles, meaning most sales strategies are not likely applicable across the board. Most, that is, except for maybe one: globalizing the model by bringing right-hand drive versions to fruition.
When Ford decided to ditch the solid rear axles and build a right-hand driver version of the Mustang, high worldwide sales handsomely rewarded the decision. And now, according to Australia’s Car Advice, Ford thinks that same logic could apply to the F-150 pickup. Speaking with Ford’s VP of the Asia Pacific region, Peter Fleet, CA learned that the man is a fan of globalizing vehicles. “In the company, when you look at the success we had from Mustang. What did we do there? We took one of our iconic North American brands and globalized it. There is a lesson there. Those kind of things work,” said Fleet. Could the same move that worked on the Mustang work on the F-150?
Well, now that Ford offers the F-150 with a diesel V6, there’s a better chance that the full-size truck could catch on in foreign markets given diesel’s appeal abroad. “Yes, to answer you directly. The availability of diesel in F-150 would make a discussion about a vehicle that could be sold in RHD a less difficult conversation,” said Fleet. “But it’s still a very challenging conversation. But there are lots of markets that’d love to have F-150.” Fun thing about Ford wanting to go global is the fact that the competition is also watching closely. During CA’s Detroit Auto Show interview with Fleet, Australia’s Motoring sat down with Ram boss Mike Manley where it discovered that a right-hand drive Ram 1500 is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
Ram would have a harder time given that it’s decided to go with mild hybridization rather than diesel technology, but the opportunity is still there. “We’re working very, very closely with our Australian colleagues to look to see if its viable for us to do that [go global],” said Manley. Given that Ford’s best-selling vehicle in Australia is the Ranger, it’s safe to assume that pickup demand is strong Down Under. Whether or not that’ll translate to F-150 mania, however, is something Ford will have to find out with firsthand experience. We sure hope it tries.