Ford has asked suppliers at Alcoa to provide a sample of “military grade aluminum” for display alongside the new 2015 Ford F-150 set to be unveiled at January’s Detroit Auto Show. It’s believed that the move is meant to put a tough “spin” on Ford’s extensive use of aluminum, rather than steel, in the construction of the new pickup, and keep the marketing message away from any comparisons to pop cans.
Ford’s switch to aluminum in the new 2015 Ford F-150 is part of a recent Ford trend to tech-ify its trucks, improve the fuel economy of its truck fleet, and is a logical next step in the modernization of Ford’s truck line-up, along with better suspension, more isolated cabins, and the addition of the Ecoboost 6-cylinder turbo engines which supplanted the old-tech “Modular” V8 engines in Ford’s half-ton trucks a few years ago.
Whether or not the public will “buy” the idea of tough aluminum, though, remains to be seen. “This is already the most significant debut at the auto show,” explained Joe Langley, a production analyst for industry research firm IHS Automotive in a telephone interview with Bloomberg a few days ago. “Everybody’s going to be dissecting (the 2015 Ford F-150) for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble.”
What do you think, dear readers? Is Ford going to have a hard road ahead when it comes to selling aluminum trucks? Will the average truck buyer even realize their new truck is aluminum? Will the weight and fuel economy benefits of aluminum lure fleet customers away from GM and Mercedes-Benz? Let us know what you think in the comments, below.