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Auto blogThu, 12 Sep 2013 19:00:00 EST
Ford can't seem to build F-150 SVT Raptors fast enough. The off-road-ready trucks have been one of the Blue Oval's most reliable sellers, with record sales in eight of the last 10 months and a 14-percent jump in 2013. That's impressive enough, considering that the least expensive Raptor starts at $44,000. Factor in the modded F-150's fuel economy (it's rated at 11 miles per gallon in the city and 16 on the highway) and a national average gas price, as of this writing, of $3.55 per gallon, and its success is as unlikely as Ford's home team, the Detroit Lions, winning the Super Bowl this year (sorry, Lions fans, we're just quoting the experts in Vegas...).
Yet for some reason, Raptors spend an average of just 15 days on dealer lots before being snapped up, which is a quarter of the 60-day industry average. According to Ford's truck group marketing manager, Doug Scott, it's capability that keeps the Raptor selling strong. "What's helping drive Raptor sales is that Raptor delivers unmatched off-road performance to our customers. Raptor is also proof of our commitment to offer a truck for every customer and continuously improving them to meet our customers' evolving needs."
To address the strong demand for Raptors, Ford will bump production from three trucks per hour to five. Not much, we agree. But building an extra 48 trucks per day, at most, seems like a prudent way of addressing demand without oversaturating what is ultimately a niche market. Check out the press release below for more.
Among the many useful pieces of driving advice we've taken to heart over the years, "Safely secure all cargo" is etched pretty high on our personal stone tablets. We've had a couple of frustrating moments over the years (numerous wonky cupholders and too-tall lidded cups; a radar detector that released its suction cups and dashed itself below the dashboard, etc.), but never anything like the scene above.
These photos above come courtesy of the Washington State Patrol, and they show the unfortunate aftermath of a driver, his dog, and his Ford Explorer after it crashed near the town of Belfair last week. According to reports, the man was schlepping five-gallon containers of paint inside his vehicle when he was involved in an unexplained accident. It's not clear what triggered the crash, but the impromptu abstract painting covered the whole of the interior, including the driver and his faithful companion.
The man was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries, and his dog was cleaned and later taken to a humane society.
Kelley Blue Book announced its annual Best Resale Value Award winners, and we weren't too surprised to see the list dominated by Japanese automakers - mainly Toyota and Honda. KBB hands out the awards based on the projected residual value of mostly all 2013 model year vehicles, and Toyota skated home with a number of awards including 10 of the 22 overall categories and having five of its products in the top 10 for models with best resale value. KBB's Best Resale Value Awards were announced in the same week as the ALG Residual Value Awards, and there were many similarities between both lists, especially when it came to Toyota.
To come up with its winners, KBB measures depreciation over the first five years of ownership, and looks for the cars it expects to hold its value the best after this time; on average, the report says the 2013 model year vehicles will lose 61.8 percent of its value in five years. Of the 22 categories, 15 slots were filled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan products, while the Camaro and Porsche (Cayenne and Panamera) each took home a pair of awards. If Toyota has anything to be upset about in this list of cars, it's that categories for Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car and Electric Vehicle went to the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Volt, respectively.
The overall top 10 models for the best resale value in 2013 are, in alphabetical order: