Why The Harley F-150 Stiil Makes Sense
In the age of declining truck volumes, it may be worth questioning the validity of such niche truck products as Ford’s latest F-150 Harley-Davidson model.
In the age of declining truck volumes, it may be worth questioning the validity of such niche truck products as Ford’s latest F-150 Harley-Davidson model. Matt O’Leary, chief engineer of the F-150, admits the business climate has changed dramatically from the time the F-150 development team began engineering the base truck and its multiple variants, but he says the Harley-Davidson model, which has accounted for more the 74,000 of F-150 sales over the past 10 years, still makes business sense for Ford because of its minimal cost.
Besides sharing its basic structure and platform with the rest of the F-150 family, the Harley also borrows parts from other members of the extended Ford family. The truck’s all-wheel-drive system is borrowed from the Lincoln Navigator, although a new two-wheel mode has been added; leather seating is sourced from the same company that provides the leather for the F-150 King Ranch edition; power folding running boards are shared with the F-150 Platinum edition (although chrome trim end caps have been added). The Harley’s “exclusive” lava paint will be shared with other Ford products in the future, while the tuxedo-black finish originally debuted on the Lincoln MKS. It’s this kind of smart sharing that keeps development costs low. Still, O’Leary admits demand for the Harley-Davidson F-150 will likely be impacted by the market: “Our absolute number of units will be lower.”