Ford's Radical New F-150: How Will Buyers Respond?

The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 was revealed in a lavish event at January's North American International Auto Show. Photo credit: Ford Motor Company.

Lots of big news came out of the North American International Auto Show in January, but some of the biggest had to do with Ford's  (NYSE: F  )  new pickups. The new F-150 doesn't look particularly revolutionary at first glance, but it sports something radical for an American pickup: aluminum body panels.

It's a far cry from flimsy beer-can aluminum, though. Ford worked with Alcoa  (NYSE: AA  )  to develop a special high-strength aluminum alloy similar to what the U.S. military uses in its armored vehicles, and then put its new trucks through tough real-world testing before revealing them to the world.

We -- The Motley Fool's John Rosevear and Rex Moore -- were at the Ford event that opened the show, where the trucks were unveiled for the first time. Ford's event was an impressive one, and the new F-150 definitely had everyone talking. In fact, the new pickups were the talk of the show, at least among the industry analysts and experts in attendance.

Did Ford make the right move by switching to aluminum? How would Ford's loyal buyers respond? Was this the right time to make such a radical shift? How will Ford's rivals in the huge and lucrative pickup market be affected? Questions like those, and many more, were hotly debated.

We were right in the middle of some of those conversations. While at the show, we spent some time talking to several key auto industry analysts about Ford's new truck, including Edmunds.com's senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. She's an expert we at The Motley Fool often look to for insight into sales trends in the U.S. pickup market.

In this short video, Jessica and John talk about how consumers are likely to respond to Ford's aluminum trucks. Will Ford be able to steal customers from rivals like General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) -- or will Ford's loyalists start to look elsewhere? Check out the video to hear Jessica and John give their thoughts and then scroll down to leave a comment with your own.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 9:52 AM, vidar wrote:

    will probably cost 200 000 dollars where i live

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 4:09 PM, domesticlovers1 wrote:

    Domestic lovers can now drive a coke can on wheels. Should be worth a couple of hundred dollars at your local recycling center. What a joke.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 7:32 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    "People like to try something different", not so. Read the book "Future Shock" by Alvin Toffler and you will see people oppose changes.

    I think a lot of buyers will be skeptical about Ford's new truck. Besides, GM is not going to sit still and not lighten their trucks which is already 300lbs lighter. I think they will lose some sales.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 8:09 AM, vsawmike wrote:

    What a couple of dumb comments. You obviously did not read the article. The body panels are made of an alloy. Not the same stuff as a can. Ford does not need dumb people like you buying their trucks.

    This truck will be just the first of many vehicles to use aluminum this extensively. Many vehicles already use aluminum panels.

    Big rigs have had all aluminum cabs for decades and some new trucks have plastic cabs. Get a clue and do a little research before you make a dumb comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 8:41 AM, armyltc wrote:

    GM has already announced they are going to do the same. I never would have considered an F150 but if they are going to get 30MPG on the highway as I have heard I will be buying one.

    It is military grade and actually a lot stronger and lighter, the comments so people are making are ridiculous.

    This is the future, embrace it. 30 years ago people thought personal computers were dumb, those same people are saying similar things about the new F150. No vision or common sense.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 9:33 AM, TRoup wrote:

    To me, this is a dream come true. Living in the "Rust Belt" since the 1960's, I, for one, have always hoped for the auto makers to start using aluminum. At my age though, I can't justify purchasing any new vehicle but if I could, this F150 would be the one I'd snatch-up in a minute!

    I purchased a new 2004 F150 and though it's starting to show some rust now, it's been a great truck. My big complaint with Ford is with the sparkplug issue with this year of truck. $2,500.00 is too much to pay for a tune up. Ford should have done a recall on these models.

    I hope nothing like that happens with these new motors they're using in these 2015's!

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