Supersize Me: the 2015 F-Series Super Duty has just been announced and will enter production in the coming months - the main change is a revised Power Stroke diesel V8 and a restyle for the high-priced King Ranch variant

Supersize Me: the 2015 F-Series Super Duty has just been announced and will enter production in the coming months - the main change is a revised Power Stroke diesel V8 and a restyle for the high-priced King Ranch variant

All sorts of things can be found in seemingly boring sheets of data. Take, for example, the monthly production stats for its North American plants that Ford sends me. The company is clearly readying itself for a belter of a final quarter.

GM has been steadily adding more derivatives of its new 2014 Silverado and Sierra twins in recent months as it attempts to move closer towards the seemingly uncatchable F-150. But Ford's pick-up is old and will be replaced by a radically lighter, aluminium construction model for the 2015 model year. So GM is right to try to push its new products ever harder as the F-Series could in theory be vulnerable to attack by Chevy and GMC's fresh, new rivals.

The production total for the whole range of F-Series models, not just the F-150, was 85,213 in September, or nearly 9,000 more trucks than it built in September 2012. Year to date, Ford has manufactured 687,402 compared to 621,711 in the prior year equivalent period.

The plants that are benefitting from this production rise are Dearborn and Kansas City (Claycomo), the former churning out over 32,000 F-150s (following on from 34,000 in August), while some 28,000 were built in Missouri.

Over 60,000 F-150s being made in one month is a great thing for Ford's bottom line but as we know, even bigger bucks are made by the Super Duty versions of the F-Series. So here's a point of interest: anyone who agrees with what we assume is Ford's view on the sort of final quarter the US construction sector is likely to have needs to see this number: Kentucky Truck in Louisville built 24,869 units of the Super Duty in September. That's more than were made in any other month of 2013.

If, if, if....the federal government partial shutdown turns out to be a mere blip and the United States soon returns to business as normal, then Ford's decision to build so many big trucks for a strong and expanding economy will have been a gutsy and enormously profitable one. But there is the pressing matter of the country's national overdraft. It needs to urgently have its limit raised yet again to avoid a sovereign default in around 14 days' time. Leaving aside the likelihood of solutions such as the minting of a trillion dollar coin*, you do wonder just what plans Ford, plus of course GM have ready to put into play should the US economy suddenly plunge into a steep downturn.

*As coins are not government bonds, they don't count against the debt ceiling. Ergo, the Treasury could pay for Congress' spending programmes via a simple minting mechanism

Author: Glenn Brooks