US automaker Ford said it would expand its offering of luxury trucks, which an executive in cowboy boots said was one of the company's most prized products.
"This is one of Ford's most important vehicles," said vice president of Ford truck sales and marketing Ken Czubay, dressed in cowboy gear at the Professional Bull Riders competition in Detroit, where the company revealed its 2013 Ford F-450 Platinum truck, The Detroit News reported Saturday.
Ford is sponsoring the "Last Cowboy Standing" event and taking the opportunity to debut its luxury model truck in an arena where there is dirt on the floor, the News said.
The company is growing its Platinum F-150 series trucks by extending the luxury line to F-250, F-350 and F-450 models.
This is a segment of the market where if you got it, you flaunt it, an industry analyst said.
"It's the ultimate status symbol. The idea is, if you can buy the car, you can afford the gas," said IHS senior analyst Aaron Bragman.
"Nobody really knows where the upper end is for luxury pickup trucks. People will spend astonishing amounts for completely lavishly outfitted trucks," Bragman said.
Auto companies are clinging to their shares of the pickup truck market, which has larger profit margins than passenger cars.
"It doesn't really cost (an automaker) more to change the content of their trucks, but they can charge much more," the News quoted Bragman as saying.
Ford did not reveal the price of the F-450 Platinum, which premiered with one of them pulling a trailer full of bulls into the at the bull riding event at Ford Field.
However, Ford spokesman Mike Levine said it would cost at least as much as the current top end luxury truck in Ford's line up, making the price $68,000 or more, the newspaper said.