According to a study commissioned by the Aluminum Association, 75 percent of all U.S. pickup trucks will have aluminum bodies by 2025. The study, predicts that aluminum production will grow steadily over a 50 year period, with Detroit automakers leading the way as the biggest users of aluminum sheet. All eyes are on Ford as it prepares it's aluminum F-150, set to arrive later this year. General Motors and Chrysler are expected to follow soon after. While GM and Chrysler have not gone on record stating that they plan to use aluminum, if Ford is successful, and by all appearances they will be, the others will quickly follow suit. Ford expects to sell 650,000 aluminum F-150s per year in the highly competitive pickup truck segment. By 2025, automakers must double their fleet's average fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg. Despite it's higher cost, the use of aluminum lightens a vehicle's weight, which in turn increases fuel economy significantly. By switching to aluminum, Ford was able to shave 700 lbs off the weight of the F-150, and an improvement of fuel economy in the 10 to 12 percent range. It is expected to get about 26 mpg on the highway, and the EcoBoost model should reach 28 mpg.
Ford's monumental task of convincing tough truck buyers to accept aluminum isn't as big of a challenge as some predicted. Dealers are receiving feedback from customers that the all new aluminum F-150 is eagerly anticipated.
Aluminum often brings to mind images of crushed beer cans, not exactly meshing well with the "Built Ford Tough" motto. There is definitely an image problem to overcome, but Ford dealers are pleasantly surprised by the feedback. They say that many customers are waiting for the new F-150 because the idea of aluminum appeals to them.
The new aluminum F-150 will weigh as much as 700 pounds less than it's predecessor, improving fuel economy, performance and capabilities. Aluminum also doesn't rust. Ford had a lot of floor space at the Detroit auto show dedicated to demonstrating how tough this truck will continue to be, and improve people's perceptions of aluminum.
The Ford F-150, the best selling vehicle in Canada and the best selling vehicle in the U.S. for almost 32 years, is about to experience a major change. Ford is introducing an aluminum F series at next month's auto show in Detroit. Ford's marketing has a big task ahead, as it strives to convince consumers that aluminum is strong and safe, having more in common with Humvees than beer cans. Aluminum, which is lighter than steel, is used in combat vehicles. Ford has asked Alcoa Inc, which makes aluminum blast shields for battlefield-bound vehicles to supply some of it's military grade metal materials for the auto show. Alcoa supplies super-strong grades of aluminum to the military, and other grades of the metal to the automotive industry.
It's been said here a dozen times, #pick up trucks are hot right now. Pent up demand and exciting new models have trucks flying off dealer lots. The market is booming and manufacturers all want a larger share of this segment that delivers to them very generous margins. Autumn is traditionally pick up truck season. Football has started, and it's the time that manufacturers roll out their promotional campaigns.