Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
December 11, 2013
The Ford F-150 is a very important model for the blue oval since it's the top seller and one of the key ways Ford makes a profit. With a new model on the horizon, it has been rumored that Ford would be utilizing aluminum in it as way to improve fuel economy and give the F-150 a unique edge. But that decision seems to be causing more problems.
The Truth About Cars has learned from a number of sources that Ford has rejected aluminum from Alcoa and other Tier 2 suppliers since it didn't meet internal forming requirements for the “tooling tryout” phase of pre-production. Because of this, Ford has pushed back the launch date of the next F-150 from Memorial Day to late 2014 and shorten the validation process.
The problem with using aluminum in vehicles is that it can return to its original form after being struck with a die. This in turn could cause a program to be completely derailed.
Now Ford usually will go through two phases of pre-production vehicles before building production vehicles (MP1 and MP2). They have decided to put these vehicles into the sales channel since they are considered saleable units. This also introduces increased risk for bugs and problems for Ford's most important product.
Source: The Truth About Cars