Ford Tackles Off-Road Market With Tremor Super Duty Pickup Option

June 27, 2019 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Ford plans to dress up its 2020 Super Duty pickup line by offering a new package that turns the trucks into off-road warriors.

The automaker is adding the Tremor package to its line of heavy-duty pickups.

It’s designed for drivers who need a work truck during the week and an adventure vehicle on the weekend, said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager.

“A growing number of Super Duty customers use their trucks for more than work,” Eckert said. “They’re fishing, camping and towing boats on weekends and they go off-road, so we designed this truck specifically for them.”

It has higher ground clearance, bigger shocks, bigger tires and more off-road capability,  he said.

But there will be a modest decline in towing and cargo capacity to make the truck off-road ready. Ford has not released the numbers or pricing information for the package. It will slot higher than the company’s more modest FX-4 off-road package, which is a $400 upcharge.

TREMOR DETAILS

The Tremor package includes upgraded suspension and off-road running boards, plus 35-inch all-terrain tires. Ford said those are the largest tires fitted to a heavy-duty pickup. Additionally the package provides Ford’s Trail Control, a low speed cruise control for rugged terrain. And it adds a rock-crawl mode to the truck’s selectable drive modes. The higher suspension allows for better approach and running clearance. It also gives the truck a water fording depth of 33 inches.

The off-road package is available on a variety of trim levels. But its just for F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks equipped with either Ford’s new 7.3-liter gas V8 engine or its third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine.

The package is designed to compete with Ram’s Power Wagon pickup and the AT4 heavy-duty GMC Sierra.

EXPANDING MARKET

Going after off-road enthusiasts who need a heavy-duty pickup for their work makes sense, said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigant Research.

“It taps into another part of the market where there are already very healthy profit margins,” Abuelsamid said.

Ford needs to keep the profits flowing from its successful truck line to fund costly endeavors to develop electric and autonomous vehicles, he said.

ACCESSORY DEMAND

The automaker’s investment in giving its Super Duty pickups an off-road spin is minimal, according to analysts.

The package leverages technology already available on other vehicles and increase Ford’s choices in its truck lineup, said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst with IHS Markit.

Automakers are starting to “realize how much they can tap into demand for accessories,” Brinley said. “It is a good opportunity.”

About 15 percent of Ford F-250 and F-350 buyers, for example, replace wheels and tires within six months, Ford said.

And there will be plenty of buyers who will like the convenience of Ford providing a pre-determined package rather than going out and having to figure out how to make their Super Duty off-road ready, Brinley said.

Ryan ZumMallen December 18, 2018
The 2019 Ford Ranger returns to the midsize pickup segment with a powerful and efficient EcoBoost engine as lifestyle buyers turn to trucks.

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