Modern pickups are full of features that most people could live without—auto start/stop, for example. They drive the prices of new trucks through the roof, at least compared to a decade ago, and plenty of folks would rather save their cash. Still, one luxury you don't hear many buyers complaining about is power windows. Surely, then, on a truck as technologically advanced as the 2021 Ford F-150, a hand-crank would be out of the question.
That's not the case, though. Hooniverse points out that on a totally base F-150 XL with no options packages, you can still get manually operated windows. This is apparently thanks to fleet companies who buy Ford trucks in droves as they seek to cut down on potential ownership costs. Window motors, wires and computer modules are pricey to replace, after all, and that's exactly what you don't want when servicing 20 to 30 vehicles for hundreds of thousands of miles.
While Ford still had to engineer the somewhat specialized part for the 14th-gen F-150, it's sure to make its money back as fleet sales account for a huge chunk when it comes to unit volume. It's difficult to pin down what portion of F-Series sales are attributed to fleet customers, but given the fact that such companies helped buoy the brand in difficult times last year and during the COVID-19 pandemic, just know it's significant. It's also worth noting the F-150 is the most in-demand fleet vehicle on the market so if enough customers want it, they can pretty much have it.
Take into consideration that Ford will likely use the same cab layout for its upcoming Super Duty fleet models—all the way up to the F-750—and you'll understand why it was worth the trouble.
You're still more likely to find an F-150 on dealer lots with massaging seats than crank-style windows, but hey, that's alright. If you order your truck in total barebones spec, you'll still get Apple CarPlay as standard.
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