2011 Ford Super Duty - Is that in Houston or Denver? Click above for high-res image gallery

According to data just released by Ford, it is sometimes possible to pigeonhole certain areas of the country with specific colors and engine choices. For instance, Texas is synonymous with trucks. As such, it's not surprising that Houston leads the country in percentage of pickup truck sales. Diesels, duallies and four-wheel drive, though, are more common in Denver, Colorado. Makes sense – turbocharged engines perform well at high altitudes and the snowy climes in the Rockies make four-wheel drive a must.

Surprise! Drop tops are be common sights in Los Angeles and Miami, says Ford. Similarly, its not a shock to hear that white cars sell well in sun-baked cities like Phoenix, Arizona. But some other trends are more difficult to explain. Why are blue cars popular in Philadelphia? Why do Boston buyers choose brown cars with four-cylinder engines while Detroiters prefer sixes in red?

We could hazard a few guesses as to why hybrids sell like hotcakes in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Boston, but we'll leave those conclusions to you. Interested in knowing more about what sells where? Click past the jump for the breakdown.


Related Gallery2011 Ford Super Duty


PRESS RELEASE:

BLUE IN PHILLY, DIESEL IN DENVER: STUDY SHOWS TOP MARKETS FOR FORD VEHICLE COLORS, OPTIONS


* Ford sales data shows which vehicle colors, options and powertrains are most popular on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the 22 top U.S. metropolitan areas
* Climate plays a key role in vehicle option choice. For example, customers in Phoenix choose the highest percentage of white vehicles; Denver residents buy the most four-wheel-drive and diesel vehicles; and Los Angeles and Miami are the top Ford convertible markets
* The data showed some regional quirks. Why are Detroiters so fond of V-6 power while Boston customers choose the highest percentage of four-cylinder vehicles?
* Ford uses knowledge of regional preferences to stock the right vehicles on dealer lots around the country for better sales performance and higher customer satisfaction

Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 13, 2009 – Shopping for a blue Ford in Philly? An F-150 in Houston? A Super Duty diesel in Denver?

You're not alone: According to Ford sales data, Philadelphia is the company's top market for blue cars, Houston leads the country in percentage of pickup truck sales, and Denver is the top market for vehicles equipped with diesel engines and four-wheel drive.

Ford analyzes sales data for insight into consumer preferences by region, helping the company ensure ample supply of popular vehicles, colors and options for different parts of the country. Not only does correct vehicle mix result in better sales performance for dealers, it also has a positive effect on customer satisfaction when buyers can find what they want quickly.

Much of the Ford data followed logical patterns, but there were some results that weren't easily explained. For example, white is most popular in Phoenix, where the color's reflective properties are a boon to car seats and air conditioners – no surprise there. But the second most popular market for white Ford vehicles is Memphis, Tenn., for reasons yet to be determined. Is it the heat, or is it due to the fact that one of Memphis' largest employers is FedEx – known for its stark-white vehicles and aircraft?

The color red is most popular with customers in Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. One possible explanation: Customers who live in regions with longer winters and drearier weather prefer brighter and more cheerful colors.

"If you have to suffer through a long, cold winter, a little splash of color can brighten the mood," said Susan Swek, Ford group chief designer, Color and Materials Design.

Red might also reflect Midwestern optimism however, since New York City, an area not known for its mild winters, is in the bottom three markets for percentage of red Ford vehicle sales. Instead, New York tops the lists for black and gray.

Data on drop-tops
Customers in Los Angeles are most likely to choose a drop-top like the Mustang convertible, with Miami close behind. But customers in decidedly less balmy New York and San Francisco also are in the top five metro markets for percentage of convertible sales.

When it comes to vehicle size, Seattle customers choose the highest percentage of smaller cars such as the Focus, while Houston is at the other end of the spectrum as the leader in both pickup and sport utility sales. In fact, all five of the top markets for trucks are also the largest markets for SUVs, with Memphis, Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul rounding out the list.

"The Pacific Northwest has embraced green as a status symbol and it comes through in their choice of smaller vehicles and fuel-efficient powertrains," said George Pipas, Ford's manager of sales analysis. "Larger vehicles are still the norm in the southern plains, Texas, and the Rocky Mountains."

Personalities and powertrains
While Denver is big on diesels, San Francisco and Seattle are the top two metro areas for percentage of Ford Escape Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid sales. L.A., Washington, D.C., and Boston make up the remainder of the top five hybrid markets.

When it comes to conventional gasoline engines, the top V-8 markets are Houston, Memphis, Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul. On the other end of the spectrum, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia all are among the top four-cylinder markets. Despite its reputation for V-8 power, Detroit is the top market for V-6 engines.

Knowledge of preferences helps Ford prepare for customer needs
Ford's extensive sales analysis on vehicle configurations has been combined with customer and dealer comments in various geographic regions to optimize the model mix. Ford has developed "Rapid Spec" packages that cluster popular options, and provide customers with a higher level of vehicle content and value.

"Concentrating on delivering the combinations our customers want most can yield benefits across the board," said Brad Munn, Ford's cross-vehicle product strategy manager. "It's a win for our customers, our dealers, and our product development and manufacturing operations."

And the Top Five are...
The charts below represent the top five markets for various Ford, Lincoln and Mercury colors, features and options in 22 major U.S. metropolitan areas.


Colors

Black

Blue

Brown

1. New York

Philadelphia

Boston

2. Los Angeles

Washington

Minneapolis

3. Chicago

Boston

Phoenix

4. Miami

Seattle

Chicago

5. Detroit

Detroit

Pittsburgh

Gold

Gray

Green

1. Orlando

New York

Boston

2. Miami

Boston

Seattle

3. Pittsburgh

San Francisco

Philadelphia

4. Denver

Los Angeles

Pittsburgh

5. Washington

Pittsburgh

Washington

Red

Silver

White

1. Cincinnati

San Francisco

Phoenix

2. Minneapolis

Phoenix

Memphis

3. Detroit

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

4. Kansas City

Charlotte

Los Angeles

5. Pittsburgh

Washington

Dallas

Powertrains

Four-cylinder

Six-cylinder

Eight-cylinder

Hybrid

1. Boston

Detroit

Houston

San Francisco

2. Pittsburgh

New York

Memphis

Seattle

3. San Francisco

Chicago

Dallas

Los Angeles

4. Washington

Kansas City

Denver

Washington

5. Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Minneapolis

Boston

Drive Configurations

Four-wheel drive (4WD)

All-wheel drive (AWD)

1. Denver

New York

2. Seattle

Boston

3. Minneapoli

Denver

4. Boston

Seattle

5. Pittsburgh

Philadelphia