Will GM Benefit From Ford's 2015 F-150?

Ford's new pickup will have big changes. Will some buyers be turned off?

Jan 12, 2014 at 1:00PM

Atlas

Last year's Ford Atlas Concept was said to be a preview of the 2015 F-150. Ford's new pickup is expected to make its debut on Monday in Detroit. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

Ford (NYSE:F) is widely expected to unveil its all-new 2015 F-150 pickup in Detroit on Monday. The new F-150 is expected to be a lot lighter than its predecessor, thanks to extensive use of aluminum in its construction.

That represents a big change for Ford, and it's something of a gamble. Will buyers looking for a "tough" truck be turned off by an aluminum pickup?

If so, General Motors (NYSE:GM) might stand to benefit. Tightening fuel-economy rules mean that pickups will have to get better mileage in coming years. There are a few different ways to improve a pickup's mileage: Make the truck lighter, make the engines more fuel-efficient, or improve aerodynamics. In contrast to what we expect to see from Ford this week, GM took an incremental approach with the all-new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra last year. The new trucks made gains on all three fronts, but they're not revolutionary products -- just improved ones. 

Some analysts criticized GM's relatively conservative approach to redesigning its trucks. But as Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, if Ford's aluminum strategy turns out to be too much for some pickup buyers, GM could be in a great position to benefit.

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Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.


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