Want Ford's New 2015 F-150? Its Aluminum Gamble Could Cost You in 2 Ways


Ford's 2015 F-150 is a big gamble for the company. Source: Ford.

Ford's (NYSE: F  ) F-Series has been the best-selling truck for 37 years and has outsold General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) Silverado and Sierra combined for the past four consecutive years. The F-Series represents nearly a third of Ford's entire sales in the U.S., and analysts estimate it brings in a majority of the company's profits in the homeland. The last thing Ford wants is to deter loyal F-Series buyers because of its recent gamble to remove as much as 700 pounds by substituting aluminum for steel in the truck body. Ford's gamble will bring higher insurance and repair costs to customers, but will it deter truck buyers?

Insurance and repairs
It should first be noted that before we even get into increases for insurance and cost of repairs, Ford will have a huge task in educating consumers how the aluminum is used. I've already heard a friend, who's shopping for a truck, say that he won't consider the new F-150 because of the aluminum. I had to enlighten him that the backbone of the truck, its frame, is actually better than ever and the company increased its use of high-strength steel from 23% to 77%. The aluminum is used on the body, and that's where an increased cost of repairs will come into play. 

Currently less than 10% of more than 30,000 repair shops in the U.S. are certified to work with most aluminum auto body parts, according to an estimate by Bloomberg. In addition to the costs incurred for training and certification, repair shops also need separate tools to work between the different aluminum metals. The fact is the industry doesn't have much experience working with aluminum repairs, and as the metal resists straightening attempts, repair costs are going to increase.

On the other side of the coin, while only 10% of body shops are currently fully certified to work with aluminum repairs, 80% of people live within 30 minutes of such a repair shop -- and 90% are within two hours. Ford also estimates that by the time the 2015 F-150 is hitting dealerships, owners of the new truck will have equal availability of aluminum repair shops.

Repairs aside, Ford is also gambling that its truck buyers are going to brush off the increase in costs to insure a 2015 F-Series pickup. According to Ford, it estimates insurance companies will be charging an extra 10% to insure the 2015 F-150, which it expects truck buyers to be all right with. The main reason for that confidence is that the outgoing F-150 has been historically cheaper to insure than competitors, so the increase in the new model levels the playing field in terms of insurance cost.

The upshot
The decision to lighten the truck by using aluminum was a gamble on many levels, but there are a couple of reasons I believe Ford will pull it off. On the production side, the risk is high, and nobody in the automotive business has produced a vehicle with this much aluminum in such high volumes. It's expensive to use in production, and it could hurt margins on Ford's most profitable vehicle.

However, Ford CEO Alan Mulally worked with aluminum production on a massive scale while an executive at Boeing. I believe his experience at managing such production was one of the key reasons Ford was willing to take on the gamble with its 2015 F-150.

The second reason I believe Ford's gamble will pay off is the company's loyal customer base. For the fourth consecutive year, Ford earned honors for the automaker with the most-loyal customers, according to Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards. Quite simply, Ford has the most truck customers with its best-selling F-Series trucks and returns the most -- expect that to outweigh slightly higher insurance and repair costs. If that isn't enough for some truck buyers, the weight reduction of nearly 15% could boost fuel economy by as much as 20% -- official details will be coming soon. Ultimately, the gamble on Ford's F-150 is a big one, and I believe the company is poised to pull it off, rewarding truck buyers and investors alike. 

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  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 12:46 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    Ford is betting the farm that customer loyalty will continue long term, but that is a huge mistake. When all the negatives begin to surface about aluminum, buyers will switch to Ford's competitors. Big changes. good or bad, are not well excepted by the mass public. Read the book "Future Shock" by Alvin Toffler and you'll understand why people don't like big changes.

    Good luck Ford because you are headed in uncharted waters. It's too bad you felt like you needed to go to such drastic changes to compete with the others. I know the new GM V8 engine which gets better gas mileage than your V6 Ecoboost is giving you a fit, but you chose an extremely dangerous path with aluminum which should have come only by increments.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 12:46 PM, Intrepid68OR wrote:

    I'm still ambivalent in regards to the Aluminum. Hope it works, as it will open a new field in auto production as well. Going to have to wait and see, how it holds up.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:13 PM, vector242 wrote:

    This will be an excellent truck with better fuel mileage, higher load capacity, less stress on body, frame, engine, brakes.

    There are some drawbacks which require more attention to load detail and driving.

    This can be solved by paying better attention to these details.

    Lightweight, high-forged and stress-resistant aluminum is a high performance metal. Nearly all over the road big-rigs use aluminum rims in order to save substantially on fuel mileage. Those rims last a long time when properly installed and when rim bolts are properly torqued-down to 450 - 500 ft lbs on the outside, 40 - 50 ft lbs on the axle outside bearing cap.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:15 PM, mharris13 wrote:

    Not sold on this idea...

    POSSIBLE fuel increase is one thing...

    Especially for individuals who don't really need a truck but for their own personal reasons buy them anyhow..

    BUT it is only ONE thing...

    BUT for fleet/rural buyers where trucks are actually used to for work... KNOWING repairs (ONE) and insurance(TWO) WILL be going up and having no REAL idea how much the fuel savings will offset that?

    Would not be surprised if a lot of mid sized and smaller businesses put off new purchases until the numbers become more apparent... or worse yet (for Ford) switch to other manufacturers...

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:24 PM, jjcimino wrote:

    This author is playing Loose with his assertions. The cost of insurance may go up 10% but that will ONLY be on the collision costs which will be approx. 50.00 to 60.00/month. So, 5.00 to 6.00.month. The fact that the vehicle is aluminum has nothing to do with the liability, uninsured drive, medical coverages. So, there would be no cost increases for those coverages. Spinning it are we, Daniel?

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:30 PM, DABIGMOOSE wrote:

    Truck should not be a problem to repair any body parts just take it to a Boat builder for the metal work then to a painter.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:30 PM, Jazzenjohn1 wrote:

    No mention of Aluminum's rust resistance?

    No mention of the gas you'll save?

    No mention of all the other aluminum body panels out there right now nobody apparently knows about?

    No mention that aluminum body panels have been used since 1899?

    Yes you read that right, more than 100 YEARS.

    Aircraft with gross weights of nearly a million pounds have been built with Aluminum, Making a truck using that material is not a big deal... especially if the company is run by an brilliant engineer that has extensive experience with that material.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:33 PM, todd48229 wrote:

    @Jason. That is where you are wrong. Many vehicles have already been using aluminum hoods and roofs for years. Audi has been using aluminum bodies since around early 2000s. This whole article is wrong in the respect that only 10% of body shops are trained for it. You would have to be technologically impaired not to have Aluminum skills in your body shop. You will never take a true Ford truck buyer and put him/her in a chevy or dodge. Ford fans are very loyal for a good reason, they have great product. This is coming from someone who has been working in a Chrysler Chevrolet dealership for 20 years.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:34 PM, Batterycap wrote:

    Higher insurance, much higher repair cost, no 6.2 liter, higher purchase price, and the continued emphasis on aluminum block, ever smaller eco-boost engines. What could go wrong?

    Tell me, why is the front license plate on an eco-boost F-150 positioned on the left side of the front bumper while the non-eco-boost F-150 has the license plate in the middle? Does it run so much hotter that even this seemingly innocuous alteration was adopted?

    Basically, this truck violates at so many turns the old rule of "keep it simple".

    But, the suits must do the bidding of the EPA, and common sense is nowhere to be found in that morass of rules.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:35 PM, todd48229 wrote:

    I will hold my Ford stock. I do not own GM.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:37 PM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    Did I miss something? What is the second way? I got that insurance will cost more because aluminum is harder to work with and most body shops are not ready to work with aluminum. Obviously higher cost of insurance is the direct result of the higher cost to repair, that really isn't two "ways".

    To me the second cost is that aluminum is more expensive than steel. That means Ford is asking buyers to pay more upfront with the hopes that future savings in fuel will pay the buyer back.

    As a potential investor Ford's risk could be a potential reward. It's too early to tell. I expect composites to replace aluminum in the not too distant future. So any investment in Alcoa would be short term for me.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:38 PM, cobranut wrote:

    I'm glad to see Ford finally going large-scale with Aluminum. Hopefully this will expand into their full line, including frames and uni-bodies. Imagine a full line of cars that never rust out.

    Aluminum is not particularly hard to repair, it just takes a little practice. I've even done it myself when I had a deep dent in the fender flare on my race trailer, an unpainted piece to boot.

    I simply worked the aluminum back into shape with a ball-peen hammer and wood block, sanded it smooth and restored the brushed finish with a Scotchbrite pad. No filler, no paint, and it takes a close look to find the repair.

    I predict the insurance premium differences will be short-lived.

    Another thing, aluminum will NEVER RUST OUT.

    If left bare, it forms an oxide coating which stops further corrosion, unlike rust on steel, which, once it starts, accelerates further rusting.

    I have an open aluminum trailer that is stored outside. It's 5 years old now and all the maintenance required is a periodic pressure-washing. It looks as good today as when I picked it up at the factory.

    My next race trailer will be ALL-ALUMINUM, for this reason, as well as the weight savings.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 1:51 PM, cobranut wrote:

    I'm glad to see Ford finally going large-scale with Aluminum. Hopefully this will expand into their full line, including frames and uni-bodies. Imagine a full line of cars that never rust out.

    Aluminum is not particularly hard to repair, it just takes a little practice. I've even done it myself when I had a deep dent in the fender flare on my race trailer, an unpainted piece to boot.

    I simply worked the aluminum back into shape with a ball-peen hammer and wood block, sanded it smooth and restored the brushed finish with a Scotchbrite pad. No filler, no paint, and it takes a close look to find the repair.

    I predict the insurance premium differences will be short-lived.

    Another thing, aluminum will NEVER RUST OUT.

    If left bare, it forms an oxide coating which stops further corrosion, unlike rust on steel, which, once it starts, accelerates further rusting.

    I have an open aluminum trailer that is stored outside. It's 5 years old now and all the maintenance required is a periodic pressure-washing. It looks as good today as when I picked it up at the factory.

    My next race trailer will be ALL-ALUMINUM, for this reason, as well as the weight savings.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 2:06 PM, bossbill wrote:

    No worries here.

    I'm certain Ford has addressed foreseeable concerns.

    They wouldn't gamble with the world's best selling and their most profitable vehicle if they weren't confident.

    Nothing succeeds like success.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 2:15 PM, millertimeal wrote:

    The Aluminum panels are not really a problem. The Germans have been using aluminum for years. Audi was a huge pioneer in this and now Mercedes is making all aluminum skinned bodies (i.e. M class). I personally think that the eco boost V-6 is still an untested commodity for the long haul. The higher revs and strain for the torque will be detr4imental over the life of the engine, whereas Ram solved this by using drivetrain gearing ratios to insure the engine does not bear the brunt of the load. The eight speed with the new V-6 is brilliant and will continue to cause nightmares for Ford and GM.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 2:44 PM, bronco77 wrote:

    Keep up the good work FORD dont listen to the nasayers!!! If we would have done that we may still be in the dark living by candle light.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 3:21 PM, CountryBarks wrote:

    First, today body panels and parts are treated much like mechanical pieces. Technicians replace damaged items. The days of the panel beater roughing out dents, applying melted lead and filing the piece to a mirror-like finish are long, long gone. Second, if consumers knew the amount of plastic in most vehicle bodies they might never ride in one. Certainly the mystique and mystery about aluminum must be less threatening to the unaware than plastic. Ford is going to remain the flat-out leader in pick-up truck. Now bring on a diesel Ranger from Europe and they'll have the entire market cornered.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 3:26 PM, GaryDMN wrote:

    After owning an all aluminum Audi A8 that lived beyond a dozen years and over 250,000 miles, that had a perfect body when I sold it, I'm totally sold on aluminum.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 3:30 PM, GaryDMN wrote:

    Ford is on a roll. Their trucks have always done well, but the decision to use Mazda designs for their fuel efficient cars, like the Focus, Fusion and Escape and is paying off big time.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 3:44 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    Like they say, history repeats itself, but instead of a car this time it will be an Edsel truck. Keep up the good work Ford. I'll will now buy my trucks from GM instead.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 3:53 PM, coll1951 wrote:

    Ford is using the experience at Jaguar of making the all aluminum XJ. Plus Ford has use aluminum to built car hoods and trunks for almost a decade. Additionally when remove 700 lbs of steel, that's 700 pounds of steel you don't have to purchase. The new F-150 uses special self piercing rivets, the same ones used by Audi, Mercedes and BMW on their aluminum cars and SUVs It's not as difficult to repair as some people are thinking, plus as one commenter has said, the collision portion of your insurance policy is the smallest part, liability is 65% of the cost.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 4:01 PM, rh33 wrote:

    These problems are much exaggerated. Repair shop managers are not fools; it won't take them long to get certified to repair aluminum, especially now that the most popular vehicle in the United States has it. It's not rocket science; it's metal work, their bread and butter.

    Aluminum has many advantages, too. They include: 1) rust proof, 2) strong, 3) light, 4) recyclable. Come to think of it, why are we even talking about repair shop problems?

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 4:01 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    "Want Ford's New 2015 F-150? Its Aluminum Gamble Could Cost You in 2 Ways"

    Most pickup trucks get banged around with scratches and bumps and very few of them are rushed to be repaired. It is just part of the life of a normal pickup and this one will be no different. My Ranger had bumps and dings but it never entered my mind to rush to a body shop to return to looking new. It is a pickup after all, not an exotic car. Besides even if it gets scratched, it WILL NOT rust like steel does. That means less care needs to be done. Now if you are in a major accident, body shops replace whole panels and do not do extensive metal repair anyway.

    So big scare for no real reason. The F150 will do fine.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 4:51 PM, newbiecommenter wrote:

    It's a great truck...better gas mileage...and for those in the eastern part of the country rust wont be an issue for body parts...aluminum doesn't rust!

    The new front end looks 10X better than the outgoing model too!

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 4:56 PM, kreilich wrote:

    Many people don't remember that Chrysler offered an aluminum body version of the plymouth duster. This was in the mid-70's and it was named "Feather Duster". I purchased a 1975 duster and since I lived the rust belt, watched it rust away. Wish I would have bought the feather duster.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 5:05 PM, rocsoe wrote:

    Aluminum is not rust-proof - it forms a "white rust" oxide. Corrosion resistance depends on what alloy Ford selected. If they were going for strength then the alloy chosen will not tolerate salt water, salty roads. Better buy a white one so the white rust will not be very noticeable and it will still look good after it has corroded into swiss cheese.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 5:27 PM, confuseded wrote:

    Can anyone answer this, WHEN are they going to start making REAL trucks again? I am 49 years of age, and I do NOT recall anything today that remotely comes close to the REAL trucks they produced when I was a little kid. For you older gentleman out there,I know you are reading this and saying, "What's this kid talking about?" THAT, my friends is exactly what I'm talking about. It seems every decade, the industry slips farther into the commode.I could care less how many" CUP HOLDERS" it has, I just want a truck that does the job it was intended for! I'm starting to think that there was more metal in my "Scooby-Doo" lunch box for cryin out loud!

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 5:28 PM, cobrafever wrote:

    Why is this such a big deal? you know Chevy and dodge will follow with aluminum bodies. It's one of the ways to meet new mpg standards. Repair costs may be a hair higher, but it will be mostly replacing panels and using bondo like on steel bodied trucks. Frame is still steel.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 5:39 PM, hambone1969 wrote:

    Love to read this article, and the comments, about how fearful people are about aluminum. Spoiler alert, aluminum and magnesium ARE growing in usage in all vehicles. GM's new SUVs are using A TON of aluminum parts in their engine compartments (watch for galvanic corrosion and failures) but I don't see the complaints there.

    Just more people wholly ignorant of the auto industry and the usage of lighter alloys for the past decade, and only growing. MPG people, duh.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 5:43 PM, hambone1969 wrote:

    Roscoe apparently has never seen an OEM auto plant, and discovered metal primer finishing. Electro-coat primer eliminates the "white rust" nonsense. All the body panels in cars are G90 electrogalv- guess what, ALL metals oxidize. Including galvanized metals. So ALL metal parts in a car are electro-coated. Why do you think cars last virtually forever anymore vs the junk EVERYBODY put out in the 60s 70s and 80s.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 6:32 PM, SwK0212 wrote:

    This is the wave of the future. GM and RAM will be following in Ford's footsteps soon enough. They know the writing is on the wall with respect to fuel efficiency standards. I for one will have no problem making the switch since I have done my homework and I work around heavy duty trucks that pull trailers made mostly from aluminum. That's right trailers that can top out around 60k pounds total weight made of aluminum. The frame on this truck is stronger than ever and still made of steel. By some of the comments its clear the only battle Ford has is educating the masses that have not a clue what they are talking about.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 6:47 PM, leega53 wrote:

    If it is made of marine grade aluminum, it should stand up to salt and salt water i believe. Aluminum Distributing - an ISO 9001:2008 distributor of all types of aluminum such as marine grades 5086/5083 and industrial grade 6061. Call 866-825-9271

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 6:49 PM, bluefighter wrote:

    Range Rover has been using aluminum in its body for a long time.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 7:03 PM, tom47 wrote:

    I have a 2009 Ford Expedition, the tail door is Aluminium and has a problem with the paint bubbling and flaking off. This has been a problem for many years with Ford doing nothing about it. Do an internet search and you will find many sites with this info, there have been lawsuits. Have they addressed this problem, I hope so for the new owners of these trucks. As for me, I'm done with Ford when I get it repainted and traded.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 7:14 PM, CharlieF wrote:

    The biggest mistake Ford made was to discontinue the Ranger small pickup line in the US. Small light pickups are a large world market. Perhaps re-engineering them to also have aluminum bodies, etc. will be the next step for Ford. Until that happens, I and others will have to consider other brands. Engines and power trains are the real heart of any commercial vehicle. Ford and GM seem to be a bit behind in this area. GM used to have the best of both, and has slipped in the last decades.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 8:11 PM, emjayay wrote:

    confuseded: Sooo, just what is it that was so great about those old trucks? Tooth jarring ride? No armrests? So loud inside you had to shout? Flat hard vinyl covered seats? No safety anything? Vacuum wipers?

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 8:34 PM, MaxxTheKatt wrote:

    The kind of Aluminum they will use is the same Aluminum they use on aircraft and boats. It is tough tough stuff. But Aluminum is rather expensive. The understructure is all heavy steel.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 8:53 PM, BNic wrote:

    This is just wishful thinking on the part of GM. The use of aluminum in automobiles is nothing new. My wife's car is a Lincoln LS and it has some body parts made of aluminum. When you raise the hood on that car it is like you have nothing in your hand. Every one said the same thing when they started using plastic. Way to go Ford, GM will follow suite when they see the success.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 10:06 PM, grandpa5x wrote:

    Wait until the first mechanic leans against the fender to work in the engine bay and puts a large dent in it. Or the landscaper leans a shovel against the side of the bed and leaves a dent. they'll not buy another found on road dead. Nor will any of their associates for fear of Driver Returns On Foot.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2014, at 10:38 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    Who buys a truck concerned about gas milage anyhow? If your worried about gas milage buy a yugo?

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 12:48 AM, thesituation wrote:

    I live in the rust belt and was dreading going out and buying another truck just to have the road salt they now use eat the truck up. This use of aluminum may just be the answer I was looking for. I am willing to give it a try.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 1:14 AM, ispep wrote:

    Isn't there some kind of violent and explosive chemical reaction between aluminum and iron oxide? Might mounting an aluminum body on a steel frame possibly not be a good idea for some reason according to that? Something to think about maybe?

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 1:42 AM, harryo wrote:

    my 2012 f-150 has aluminum hood

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 4:25 AM, duudaa wrote:

    I figure its a good thing. The recyclers will be stealing Ford Trucks to get the aluminum and will leave my air conditioner alone!

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:21 AM, kca124cain wrote:

    Confuseded, I thought the same thing. I wanted a truck from the late 50's. Found a cherry 59 F250. Very cool, until I took it for a test drive. I couldnt drive it a mile before I was in pain. A few days later, I was talking to a friend who collected vintage trucks and he said. "Yep, it drives like a tractor with a body on it".

    The F-series are great trucks. Once you get the hang of it, you can often do more with aluminum than you can with steel. Many cars over the past 2 decades have had aluminum body parts. Some of the Range Rovers had aluminum bodies. They are still around and not like swiss cheese as som readers claim.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:23 AM, kca124cain wrote:

    Interesting that the insurance companies are jumping right on this with a 10% premium, but look the other way on Tesla's, which if you get your battery stolen, the Tesla is "totaled".

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:27 AM, kca124cain wrote:

    Ispep. do you see any aluminum bodied Range Rovers exploding from the reaction? NO. The Range Rovers, when Ford acquired them, did not have a dielectric break between the body and frame. Ford spotted that right away. Ford will have the dielectric break to prevent a corrosive reaction.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:30 AM, kca124cain wrote:

    Gradpa, aluminum comes in many different strengths, just like steel does. Also, most aluminum used is actually an alloy. They have alloys with impact strengths similar the sheet steels used in auto bodies.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:35 AM, kca124cain wrote:

    Compared to 30 years ago, most auto body repairs now consist of replacement rather than repairing. Labor costs have gotten too high to repair dents. They have already been working with aluminum if they have been working on cars with aluminum body components, or Range Rovers (most had aluminum bodies at least up into the late 1980's). Others will adjust and learn.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 8:53 AM, rdmcdonald48 wrote:

    The bulk of bodyshop's today are parts replacer's, they do not repair panels as we did in the old days. You cannot work the aluminum panels as far as we could the steel panels in order to save a quarter or roof panel. Ripples and waves become an issue in aluminum as does brittleness of the panel.

    Today, every bolt on panel is easier and faster to replace than it would be to repair it.

    We've been dealing with aluminum hoods, fenders, doors and deck lids for years. In the trucking industry, aluminum panels have been here for decades. Adding welded aluminum panels will require training and tooling upgrades, but most shops already have the skill sets in place, they just need the repetitive work to hone them.

    Comp and Collision rates will go up; and hail, more than collision will be the downside of owning an aluminum vehicle. Comprehensive rates will take the large jump in cost. Collision rates on these vehicles will also see a marked increase in high traffic areas as well.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 10:36 AM, phoebeisis wrote:

    Pretty sure the old 1950's-1960's LAND ROVER-one on the old nature shows-chasing rhino etc

    Had an aluminum body-

    Nothing new about using aluminum-it just costs more than steel

    Guessing the brits had plenty of experience using it in WW2 airplanes-

    so did EVERYONE involved in air plane production WW2

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 11:03 AM, krazygranny wrote:

    better watch where you park or those new shiny aluminum panels will end up in the scrap yard

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Rockyvnvmc wrote:

    I was trained in aluminum work, as an Army Airframe repairman,(helicopters & small, light, fixed wing aircraft)) then spent 35 years working with a wide variety of metals, as a Journeyman Sheet Metal Worker.

    Yes, aluminum is lighter, but it's harder to work with and there are certain things that you have to know about, in order to do so, successfully.

    The important thing that I want to bring up, is that if it's scratched, it will Crack along that scratch line.

    It also work hardens quite easily, to the point of developing Stress Cracks, due to vibration, etc.

    I doubt that I would use it, for a truck body... Much preferring stainless steel, especially for the box, which sees a lot of activity.

    What you do is up to you, but I won't even Buy a New vehicle ,as they lose 20% of their value, as soon as you drive them off of the lot and they lose fully 40% of their value in the first two years... A Waste of Money, in My opinion.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 11:59 AM, mpatter894 wrote:

    this is not a new concept landrover defenders have been made from aluminum for over 50 years ford is just looking for a new concept to sell trucks

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 3:03 PM, bigwilly007 wrote:

    OK I get the ford Chevy ram thing. Toy what ? The f150 is the best selling vehicle on the planet I have owned a truck all my life.both fords and the other brand the big three have to meet the cafe standard any way they can we like our big trucks so making them smaller is not a option .lighter truck more gas per mile

    Gets us there I have a boat for years it gets used hard run up on rocks in sand towed all over no holes no white rust it still looks good iI will buy a new ford when the time comes

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 3:57 PM, Leatherdaddy10 wrote:

    Ford is betting there will be shops to work on the body panels. But that doesn't necessarily that there will be one in your neighborhood. So then where do they go?????

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 5:05 PM, chris39j wrote:

    The only reason people may be hesitant about the aluminum is because articles like this keep saying they will be.

    I own a Ford pickup (an F250) and would use the aluminum as a REASON to buy it. Our bodies rust away here in Vermont. Unfortunately the F250 won't get the aluminum treatment, but maybe by the time I am in the market again??

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2014, at 6:53 PM, vams wrote:

    Ford is no stranger by a long shot to Aluminum. Did you know 100% of semi trucks on the road today use a lot of parts out of aluminum. Ford built the Louisville Semi Truck out of aluminum replacing iron and steel to get the weight down. Weight to strength aluminum is superior. Ask any aircraft manufacturer. Good for Ford

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 12:39 AM, gmerchant11 wrote:

    I've been reviewing all the comments regarding the switch to aluminum in the 2015 F-150 and find it quite amusing. Yes, Ford is the first to head down this path but no one has yet to mention WHY Ford is blazing a trail to increase fuel economy by taking weight off the truck while increasing payloads... CAFE standards continue to become more strict and within a few years, you'll find GM and Ram heading down this same trail, along with Nissan, Toyota, etc. All of the hand wringing is for naught. If you opt to switch to GM or Ram BECAUSE of the aluminum components in the Ford, go for it, but you'll be driving the last of the heavier and more fuel thirsty trucks and in a few years they'll all have switched to aluminum. As usual, Ford is pioneering the way and the others will follow; they have no choice.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 11:59 AM, cityperson wrote:

    I thnk this media aluminum hype is getting carried away with the Ford F-150. Many vehicles have aluminum parts and many pieces of plastic. The GM has been using aluminum for years in thier suspension parts.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2014, at 2:29 PM, rpace1906 wrote:

    My father in law asked if I could get online and help look for some semi trucks for sale, and then I found this. I want a truck so bad that I can hardly stand it! I wish I had the money my father in law had so that I could get one. Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to buy one. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Jason | http://www.arrowtruck.com/docs/locations.details.aspx?branch...

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