The folks at Ford Motor Company are absolutely the best.
For the more than two decades that I’ve been covering the auto industry, I can honestly say that Ford has consistently been the best to work with in terms of media relations.
While all of the manufacturers are professional and courteous, Ford has always gone the extra mile when it comes to service.
Last week my regional media contact with Ford called to let me know they had new vehicles in the media fleet and wanted to know if I was available for test drives.
That’s pretty standard for all the companies.
I usually say “absolutely” and they provide a schedule of what vehicles they will deliver and when they will deliver them.
Ford, on the other hand, followed up my “absolutely” response by asking, “What would you like to drive?”
While I’ve often made requests for a specific vehicle to evaluate, usually my name goes in the hat with all the other auto writers in the region and I get worked into the delivery schedule.
In 23 years of test-driving cars, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked, “What would you like to drive?”
I didn’t know how to answer the question.
I choked at the plate and said the first thing that popped into my head.
“My wife has a long list of ‘honey-dos’ that she wants done and she would really like for me to get a pickup truck to test drive,” I said.
Honestly, these words came out of my mouth.
Of all the outstanding cars that Ford manufactures, I specifically asked for the Ford F-150. Not because it’s the best-selling vehicle in the United States, or that it’s consistently rated as the top pickup truck in the world, or because it has the best tow rating, fuel economy and payload rating of all full-size trucks, or even because it has the best interior loaded with state-of-the-art technology like Ford Sync, RDF tool tracking/job site management — and an outstanding audio system to boot.
I asked for an F-150 because my wife has a bunch of garden stuff that she needs help with and if I had a pickup truck to test drive she could get most of it knocked out with a couple of trips to The Home Depot.
Am I good husband or what?
(That was meant as a rhetorical statement. Please don’t pose that question to my wife the next time you see her. But it has to count for something that I put her needs above the opportunity to test drive a Mustang Shelby GT500. If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is. OK, that was a rhetorical statement as well. Please don’t send me emails explaining what love is.)
That said, I did manage to knock out a few of the items on her “honey-do” list this week because of the Ford F-150.
If you’re in the market for a full-size pickup, begin your test drive list with Ford. Consumers have their choice of four available engines, three cab styles, three bed lengths, rear- or four-wheel drive and 10 different trim levels.
Whatever your full-size pickup needs may be, there is an F-150 model that will handle the job — regardless of what that job may be.
It certainly got me out of the doghouse this week.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.