Ford just boosted earnings the old-fashioned way – strong sales of lucrative pickups and cost cuts.

Adjusted profit for the three months that ended in September exceeded the highest analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey as sales of F-Series pickups surged 14 percent, the truck line’s best third quarter in a dozen years.

Ford said annual earnings will be at the high end of the range it forecast earlier this year.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett is now trying to leverage money makers like the F-Series to accelerate investments in models that don’t offer an immediate payback – self-driving cars and electric vehicles.

Investors remained skeptical after Hackett laid out a plan this month to improve the company’s “fitness” by slashing expenses by $14 billion while pushing into new forms of mobility to take on the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s driverless car unit Waymo.

“As great as the F-Series is, you can’t run the whole company on it,” David Whiston, an auto analyst with Morningstar in Chicago, said in an interview Wednesday.

Demand for Ford’s bread-and-butter models helped lift net income to about $1.6 billion, up from $957 million a year ago, when the company was spending to launch an aluminum-bodied version of its biggest pickups.

Adjusted profit jumped to 43 cents a share in the third quarter. Earnings this year will be in the range of $1.75 to $1.85 per share, the company said, boosting the low end of its forecast.

“F-Series always plays an important role for the company – that’s one of our precious franchises,” Bob Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, told reporters Thursday at the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

“Ford is definitely behind in electric vehicles and flexible mobility,” said David Kudla, chief executive officer of Mainstay Capital Management, whose funds own both General Motors and Ford shares.

The second-largest U.S. automaker is trying to change the perception that it lags General Motors. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said the company is confident in its technology and strategy relative to competitors. “We need to do a better job of telling that story,” he said in an interview in Detroit this week.

Hackett, 62, offered up a couple new details on a Thursday morning conference call. He said Ford would begin testing self-driving cars in a city next year, though he declined to specify the location or number of vehicles. The CEO said Argo AI, which is developing Ford’s autonomous software, has reached a hiring “milestone,” but declined to say how many people it employs.

Hackett also is focusing on cutting costs, promising to pare $10 billion in material spending and $4 billion on engineering outlays over the next five years.

Ford is reducing production at several North American factories through the end of the year while it works to keep inventories from swelling as the U.S. auto market declines for the first time in eight years.

The automaker has scheduled shutdown weeks at plants building models including the Mustang sports car and the Focus compact.

Sales of Ford’s passenger cars have fallen 17 percent this year, dropping the company’s total U.S. market share to 14.9 percent, from 15.1 percent last year.

Toyota Motor Corp. outsold Ford in the U.S. each of the last three months.