America’s Best-selling Vehicle Still on Top after 42 Years

    08 April 2024

    America's best-selling vehicle has not changed during the past 42 years. And some people might be surprised to learn that the top seller is not a car, but a truck. It is the Ford F-150.

    The American automaker says a new F-150 series pickup rolls off the manufacturing line at its Dearborn, Michigan truck factory every 53 seconds.

    John Emmert is the general manager of Ford North America, Trucks. He noted to VOA News the F-150 has also been the best-selling truck in the United States for 47 years.

    This Is America's Best-selling Vehicle for 42 Years
    This Is America's Best-selling Vehicle for 42 Years

    One of the reasons the Ford pickup has stayed on top for so long is that the vehicle has remained popular from one generation to the next. An example of this is Vaux Adams, a city employee in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He said his father-in-law first introduced him to the Ford-150, and Adams has liked the truck so much that he just got his second one.

    "I'm just going to stick with the truck, because I bought a house, and I've got to move furniture, got to do yard work, so I needed it," Adams told VOA. He said he likes everything about the truck, inside and out. "I have one with a big touchscreen, which is amazing. I'm a tech guy, so that's great," Adams added.

    Ford officials say they believe the vehicle's success is linked to the company's ongoing innovation.

    Emmert said Ford tries to stay in contact with buyers through market research and other methods. "We take all that intelligence, and we develop vehicles, the F-150, to serve their needs at every possible turn."

    The first version of the Ford-150 was created in 1948. Ford was the first carmaker to design a pickup truck for normal citizens instead of just for business use, said Kevin Joostema. He is past president of the Washington Auto Press Association and leads Car-Ed, a website that helps buyers decide which vehicle best meets their needs.

    "The one product [Ford] seems to always put some of their technology leadership into is the F series for consumers, and that goes all the way up to today," Joostema said. He added another reason the F-150 is so popular is because Ford offers several options designed to fit specific consumer needs. These include different kinds of engines and larger spaces inside vehicles.

    "You need people to build vehicles. ... If you look at all the technology that's coming out, it's really about a collaborative space," said Corey Williams. He is the manager of Ford's Dearborn truck factory. Williams noted that every workstation has its own computer that helps employees design the vehicles and control quality on the manufacturing line.

    Williams said there are several reasons he thinks consumers keep coming back year after year after year. "It's the technologies. It's the interior. You're getting into the interior, and it's like a luxury vehicle," Williams says. "You forget that you're in a truck."

    Some industry experts admit one of the less desirable things about the F-150 is its high gas usage. But many Americans do not seem to mind. Tens of millions of the vehicles have been sold since the 1940s. In 2023, 750,789 F-150s were sold in the U.S.

    But for people worried about the gas issue, Ford is now selling an all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup.

    I'm Bryan Lynn.

    VOA News reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for Learning English.


    Words in This Story

    furniture – n. objects such as chairs, tables and beds that are placed into rooms or buildings

    innovate – v. to introduce changes and new ideas

    consumer – n. a person who buys and sells goods and services for their own use

    option – n. one thing that can be chosen from a number of possibilities

    collaborate – v. to work with someone else for a specific purpose

    luxury – adj. something costly that is very nice to have but is not necessary