Ford Motor Company's 2015 F-150 Pickup Is Finally Unveiled Next Week; Here Are 2 Things to Look For

Be ready, investors and car enthusiasts. Ford is about to unleash one heck of a new truck -- look for it next week.

Jan 11, 2014 at 11:10AM

Ford's next-generation F-150 could be very similar to the Atlas concept. Photo credit: Ford.

Ford (NYSE:F) has done an incredible job over the past few years producing popular new designs around the globe and across multiple vehicle segments. Ford arguably now boasts a more balanced vehicle lineup than ever before. That said, Ford's F-Series is the company's most important vehicle hands down. If the world gave away a "Most Valuable Player" award in the automotive industry, Ford's F-Series is the LeBron James or Peyton Manning comparison.

Currently Ford's F-Series is the No. 1-selling truck for 37 consecutive years, and it's about to shake up the industry with a more revolutionary approach to its next-generation F-150, which will be unveiled next week at the North American International Automotive Show, in Detroit. Here are two things investors and car enthusiasts should be looking at when it hits the showroom.


Inside of Ford's Atlas concept. Photo credit: Ford.

Concept to production
The first thing we need to look at in depth is what changed between the Atlas concept, which surprisingly popped up at last year's show, and a more production-type model F-150. Typically, concept vehicles are loaded to the max with features and innovations that don't make it to production because of high cost or lack of perceived value. However, Ford has a track record of not overextending too far with its concept designs, and for that reason analysts are expecting the Atlas' more aggressive exterior look to remain.

The Atlas concept was absolutely loaded with features and a much more rugged look on its front grille. While it's likely we'll see a new EcoBoost power-train, rumors of a 2.7-liter V-6 that approaches 30 mpg are swirling, other features like active grille shutters and wheel shutters that close during high speeds to boost fuel mileage might not make the production model. Hidden cargo ramps, power running boards, an LED cargo box, side mirror lighting, and a 360-degree point-of-view camera may all be axed from final production or added to a list of possible features if consumers are willing to pay up for premium trims. 

Going from concept to production models is a big change. Investors and car enthusiasts both should take a close look at what the F-150 really is -- but expect nothing short of impressive. However, aside from all the features that might not make the cut, Ford plans on replacing a significant amount of steel with aluminum, and that will be the most important factor when it's unveiled next week.


Expect the new F-150 to have major technology upgrades. Photo credit: Ford.

Aluminum sales pitch
The NAIAS show in Detroit is big -- very big. It's the most important automotive show in the world, and countless vehicles look to take the spotlight, as do executives from all the major automakers. More than 5,000 automotive analysts and journalists will make the journey to Detroit, with more than 750,000 hungry consumers eager to see what cutting-edge vehicles are about to be unveiled.

Ford is taking a huge risk by replacing steel with aluminum, with the aim to reduce the F-150's weight by as much as 750 pounds. This will be extremely important to boost Ford's fleetwide miles per gallon, which needs to be 54.5 mpg by 2025, because the F-Series represents roughly a third of the company's sales in the U.S. market. The trick will be convincing the working class, which uses Ford's trucks as tools, and the general population that aluminum's perception of being weak and flimsy won't hinder the F-150's toughness or durability. If consumers remain unconvinced, it could put a serious dent in F-Series sales and leave the door open for the Silverado to gain valuable market share in the world's most profitable segment.

The first step in battling aluminum's weak image will be convincing all 5,000 automotive journalists and 750,00 consumers at the show next week that its new F-150 is less like an aluminum soda can and more like a bulletproof military vehicle -- so expect to hear details, specifics, and convincing sales pitches.

"This is already the most significant debut at the auto show," said Joe Langley, a production analyst for researcher IHS Automotive, according to Automotive News. "Everybody's going to be dissecting that thing for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble."

If Ford can convince the public its additional aluminum doesn't take away from the F-150's performance capablities and durability, it will only be the first victory in a longer war.

Aluminum is much more difficult to work with, and industry experts believe using the new material will change how the trucks are produced on the assembly line. Moreover, rumors are spreading that suppliers of Ford's aluminum panels are already behind, which could lead to costly delays and budget overruns; that's essentially nails screeching on a chalkboard for investors already coming to grips that 2014 will be less profitable as Ford launches more than twice the amount of new vehicles this year, compared with 2013. One thing is for sure: Next week will be huge for Ford, as well as others at the NAIAS show, and I fully expect the F-150 to deliver on its revolutionary design promises. 

Dividend stocks like Ford can make you rich
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend-paying brethren. The reasons are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers