Ford: F-series is best-selling truck for 40 years

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NEW YORK – Ford has sold enough F-series trucks to circle the earth more than three times.

The F-series, best known for the popular F-150, has been America’s best-selling truck for the 40 consecutive years since its launch, Ford announced Wednesday. Ford says it’s sold more than 26 million since the model line came out in 1977.

The F-series has also been the best-selling vehicle of any kind in America for 35 years, the company said.

Ford has sold 818,580 of the trucks in the years since it launched the F-series. It started with the F-100 as a base truck back in 1977, and replaced it with the F-150 in 1984.

The evolution of the F-series followed changes in how people perceived and used trucks. Like blue jeans, pickup trucks went from being something appropriate only for work to being a style and lifestyle statement of their own.

Americans weren’t just using trucks as farm tools anymore, to haul around pigs and hay bales. Trucks were being used increasingly for commuting to office jobs, family trips to Walmart and McDonald’s, shuttling the kids to school, and tailgate parties at football games.

That’s why the trucks today often feature spacious four-door cabs with leather seats and empty beds in the back, unmarred by heavy loads.

The F-150 earned top marks for safety last year, but then trucks from model years 2015 and 2016 were recalled for sudden brake failures. A similar recall had already occurred for model years 2013 and 2014.

General Motors trucks are also popular, but GM sells its trucks under two different brands, Chevrolet and GMC.

Ford’s announcement about its best-selling truck comes right after it canceled plans to build a factory in Mexico amid ongoing criticism of companies from President-elect Donald Trump for moving jobs and plants south of the border.

Ford said it would instead create 700 jobs in Michigan as part of a $700 million investment there. Ford CEO Mark Fields told Poppy Harlow of CNN that the investment was “showing our commitment to electrified vehicles,” figuring they would outsell gas-powered vehicles within 15 years.

Ford is planning a hybrid version of its F-150, as well as a hybrid Mustang and an all-electric SUV.

–CNNMoney’s Peter Valdes-Dapena contributed to this report.

By Aaron Smith