In late 2006, Ford Motor Co. designers were asked to halt their mild refreshening work on the auto maker’s stalwart F-150 pickup. The fullsize pickup market was heating up, and upstarts such as Toyota Motor Corp. and its all-new Tundra were upping the ante. “Chrysler (Corp.) was doing a new truck, and the Tundra was coming,” says Patrick Schiavone, design director-Ford trucks and SUVs. “We had to be absolutely competitive and defend our turf. It was the best decision we ever made.” ...

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