- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2010

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. | In an industry first, Ford Motor Company will make sure all 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup customers - past and future - receive the added power produced by the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel.

The new Power Stroke is now rated at a best-in-class 800 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower. Owners who purchased a 2011 Super Duty diesel earlier this year will receive a letter inviting them to their dealership for the free 30-minute software upgrade to the truck’s powertrain control module.

The upgrade program will begin by Aug. 31 and continue for the next 12 months. The 2011 Super Duty diesel pickups in dealer inventory also will receive the upgrade.

“We want to take care of our loyal, F-Series Super Duty pickup owners who supported us when we debuted our all-new Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built Power Stroke earlier this year and reward them by offering them the same best-in-class torque, horsepower and fuel economy our new customers are receiving right now,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford Motor Company’s vice president of powertrain engineering.

Samardzich made the announcement at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars.

Marc Cross, co-owner of Jordan Ford in San Antonio, is eager to share the news with his loyal customers. His store is in the center of the largest truck market in the country - about 20 percent of truck sales nationally - and among the top 100 retail Super Duty volume dealerships in the country.

“Simply put, I love it,” said Cross, who has been with the dealership since 1987 and a co-owner since 2003. “Not just the increased power, which is fantastic, but the fact that I can call my loyal customers who bought the 2011 Super Duty diesel pickups at the outset and let them enjoy this upgrade, too.

“It’s human nature to say, ‘Darn, I should have waited.’ But with this program, there’s no penalty for being an early adopter, so to speak.”

Cross‘ affiliation with Ford dates back to 1978; he says this type of program is a first as far as he can remember.

“I think this is unprecedented; I don’t remember anything like this,” said Cross, who added the 2011 Super Duty diesel pickup is outselling the outgoing product about 3:1. “This shows the tremendous alignment between Ford Motor Company and its dealers and its customers. I also think in a way people expect this type of action from Ford. Ford is operating differently - at a higher standard.”

This latest initiative complements ongoing customer service related to the introduction of the new Power Stroke. 2011 Super Duty diesel pickup customers also can return to their dealers for one no-charge DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) top-off. DEF is used in the after-treatment system to help reduce emissions. It generally is topped off during oil-change service intervals, depending on customer use.

“For customers who haven’t yet taken advantage of this free offer for a DEF top-off, the software upgrade might be the perfect time to come in and have both services at once, free of charge,” said Doug Scott, Truck Group Marketing Manager.

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