DEARBORN, MI - Kelley Blue Book announced Ford Motor Company is the winner of the 2009 Brand Image Award for the "Most Rugged Truck Brand."

The 2009 Brand Image Awards are based on consumer data collected from Kelley Blue Book Market Research's Brand Watch study, which surveys more than 12,000 shoppers on Kelley Blue Book's who are in the market for a new vehicle.

"The winners of this year's Brand Image Awards exemplify automotive brands that are on the right track, making a great impression with consumers not just on a specific model level, but across the entire brand lineup," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and

The all-new 2009 Ford F-150  continues to make a strong impression on consumers and critics alike as America's best-selling vehicle and the country's safest full-size pickup truck, according to Ford. The vehicle has received a host of prestigious awards and accolades, including 2009 North American Truck of the Year, 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year and "Truck of Texas" by the Texas Auto Writers.

"What experts think of your brand is very important, but what shoppers think is equally important," said Nerad. "These awards, which are the direct result of opinions given by shoppers who are in the market to buy a new vehicle, are a great honor and something for which your company should be very proud.

"In a vehicle segment where 'best' often equates to 'toughest,' it would be difficult if not impossible to maintain that kind of track record without building the most rugged truck around," said Nerad.

There is no doubt about the toughness of the F-150, said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Marketing manager.

"We have more trucks on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other manufacturer," Scott said. "That's one of the proof points of Built Ford Tough, and it certainly speaks to the ruggedness, durability and quality of the vehicle."

To be rugged, a vehicle also must be capable, added Scott. 

"We've raised the bar in capability with the new F-150, delivering best-in-class trailer tow and payload across all cab types," he said.  "The 2009 model provides class-leading towing capability of 11,300 pounds and hauling capacity of 3,031 lbs. - a combination no other competitor can match."

The new F-150 also delivers more horsepower and unsurpassed fuel economy, according to the manufacturer.