Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
July 27, 2012
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is considering using a aluminum body in the next generation F-150 pickup. The move would drop about 700 lbs, a 15% drop in weight from the current F-150.
The reason as to why Ford is exploring the aluminum pickup is due to upcoming CAFE regulations that by 2025, the U.S. vehicle fleet has to average 54.5 miles per gallon. Also, the regulations would ramp up fuel economy goals for vehicles of different sizes each year.
Analysts aren't too sure if Ford will go the aluminum body route, saying it wouldn't be too practical.
"Full-aluminum structured vehicles are much more expensive to insure because they are much more expensive to repair," said Jim Hall, analyst with 2953 Analytics LLP to the The Detroit News. Hall also said that most body shops cannot work on aluminum cars.
Analysts also point out aluminum isn't as durable as steel, which could pose a threat to the F-150 since part of its reputation is built on durability.
Analysts believe Ford will use more aluminum in the next generation F-150. Currently, Ford uses aluminum in the F-150's hood and the lower control arm on the SVT Raptor.
A source at Ford confirms this to The Detroit News, but also said a design hasn't been finalized.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.