The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford has said it may offer discounts on its new F-150 pickup when it launches the important new truck this summer.

Steve Lyons, head of the carmaker’s US Ford Division, told the WSJ: “Even if you have to spend $1,000 a unit on the new one, you’re still $2,000 ahead of where you are. So your margins still improve pretty well.”

Ford is offering rebates of as much as $3,000 on the current F-150.

Flagging possible incentives on the new F-150 at this stage surprised industry observers who said that they would have expected the carmaker to avoid such talk on an upcoming model.

Ford has recently suggested that its new flexible manufacturing system – which will be employed on the new F-150 – enables the producer to achieve a better match of supply to demand, reducing costs and obviating the need for incentives to shift volume.