2021 Ford F-150 can be had with manual crank windows

Ford recently introduced the new F-150 pickup truck. It seems like a solid upgrade to the existing model, with its standard wireless Apple CarPlay, lane keep-assist, and automatic high-beams. Available options include things like a panoramic sunroof, massaging and air-conditioned seats, cameras in places where other cars don’t have places, a damn desk, and seats that turn into beds. And, of course, a new generator that can literally power a house.

With all those features, it is puzzling, interesting, and surprising that the base XL version of the 2021 Ford F-150 can be had with manual crank windows. The press release omitted that feature but the crank windows do come up when configuring the XL model, one with no options packages. Further, the side windows on the rear door of the SuperCab models are fixed on models with the entry-level manual windows. And, along with the missing power windows, power door locks are equally missing in action.

2021 ford f-150 manual windows door locks

This seems crazy to me – developing a model with manual windows and door locks, knowing that 99% of these vehicles produced won’t be such equipped. It requires additional engineering time, additional parts, and just additional costs. And it’s for a feature that most people will pay to avoid. Or maybe now.

When I questioned the F-150 Marketing Manager about this, he chuckled. He said that fleet buyers wanted as simple of a truck as possible, and that included the manual windows. And the fleet managers’ voices were loud enough to be heard by Ford. It’s also worth noting that Ford will likely use the same cabs for their next Super Duty trucks and those features, manual windows and all, will likely carry over.

It’s worth noting that commercial fleet truck procurement contracts often specify manual windows as a means of cost savings. However, there almost always is a statement that reads “equivalent or better” in those very contracts. So the excuse of “the government wants it that way” does not work.

11 Comments

  1. I keep staring at that photo trying to understand how these would even work.
    So you have to open the door, to clear the seat, to crank the windows down?

  2. Even if just 1% of F-150’s get crank windows, that’ll still work out to about a quarter of a million trucks – the sheer volume of these things make it much more feasible.

    Plus, it’s not just government spec trucks, construction fleets (and assorted other contractors and service people) and U-Haul use a ton of basic white trucks.

  3. Far more than 1% will go out the door with the manual windows, fleet sales are significant so over the cab’s life cycle across the full range they will easily make a million or more with hand cranks.

  4. Personally, I like manual windows. In this world of touchscreens and voice control, tactile controls make me happy.

  5. They’d surely have to be carrying over the mechanisms for it to be worthwhile as surely there can’t be much cost saving versus power windows once you factor in design and development costs plus the added production complexity.

    Plus if manual windows weren’t available, would anyone really object?

    1. Yeah fleet buyers would complain. There is a definite incremental cost increase for power windows. Switches, wires, motors and nowadays a computer module to make it all work. As it is there are a number of door panels for the various trim levels so one more doesn’t really add complexity to assembly. The cab will likely be used on the F-250 up to 750 and those truck are even more fleet heavy. So there were be more than enough to spread the development and tooling cost across hundreds of thousands of truck over the full life cycle.

      Plus you can now sell the XL Plus package for good money to give buyers who want cloth seats, or power widows, or power locks or power mirrors with their rubber floors and boast a low starting price.

  6. “This seems crazy to me – developing a model with manual windows and door
    locks, knowing that 99% of these vehicles produced won’t be such
    equipped.”

    It seems crazy to me that someone writing such a piece can fail to understand the how many of these trucks are sold to commercial fleets where they want manual windows, door locks, seats, etc.

    In a commercial fleet they want as few things that can break as possible. These trucks are beat to hell in commercial use so they never want to have a truck need to be out of use for a window or seat motor being broken.

  7. “This seems crazy to me – developing a model with manual windows and door
    locks, knowing that 99% of these vehicles produced won’t be such
    equipped.”

    It seems crazy to me that someone writing such a piece can fail to understand the how many of these trucks are sold to commercial fleets where they want manual windows, door locks, seats, etc.

    In a commercial fleet they want as few things that can break as possible. These trucks are beat to hell in commercial use so they never want to have a truck need to be out of use for a window or seat motor being broken.

  8. Everybody dances around the truth. Everything follows back to money or power. Follow the money. Yes fleet is 18% of sales. That’s a lot of trucks. Fleet wants low price, so who subsidizes that low cost? We do. Let’s say Ford sells a bunch of low cost fleet vehicles that have a convenience package. Those vehicles are purchased in large negotiated package deals for a low cost. And at 100k they are sold off. A higher demand truck like that hurts Ford’s bottom line. More people will seek those more optioned fleet trunks out, instead of passing up that “junk base model” and Ford will lose money. The residual value loss incurred by the fleet company is written off as depreciation, and partially subsidised by .gov .. Us tax payers. The whole thing is a buisness model scam as such things usually are. Funny thing, the same goes with Many other items. Ford contracts to Continental Tires to buy 4 million tires a year. Ford wants low price, so Continental makes special low tread tires for Ford, and Ford promises to push customers to buy the full tread much higher priced tires at the service center when your New Ford has bald tires in 1.5 years. On and on and on and on … This goes. They all do this. New fridge for 1500 yay … 4 years later it’s dead and you have to buy another. Toaster, coffee maker etc etc, all junk or has a cost offset of some kind hidden in there. In the end we get shafted. Cuz Americans have become weak minded and weak willed dolts that just consume the trash laid before us

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