According to the Motley Fool, the one vehicle segment car manufacturers want to dominate is full-size pickups. That’s because full-size pickups haul in larger transaction prices and profits for automakers – that’s where the money is.
Ford’s F-Series trucks have long dominated as America’s best-selling truck for 37 years, and the nation’s best-selling overall vehicle for 32 years. Ford’s F-Series has even outsold the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra combined since 2009. Rather than resting on its dominance, Ford is doing something that no automaker has done – produce an aluminum-bodied vehicle at such high production volumes.
By using aluminum in the F-Series’ truck body, and then further strengthening its steel frame, the next-generation F-150 is going to have the best of both worlds: a more durable truck frame with less total weight. That weight reduction, of up to 750 lbs., will improve the truck’s fuel economy.
The heat-treated aluminum has better properties than steel when it comes to dent and ding resistance, and at one-third of the density, it can be thicker and more light-weight.
In addition to the truck’s weight reduction, Ford is adjusting its engine lineup to better serve different consumers. Ford will offer a 3.5-liter V-6, a 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6, and a 5.0-liter v-8.
As gas prices rise and consumers demand a stronger truck, Ford’s 2015 F-150 will provide a military-grade aluminum body for better fuel economy and a truck that delivers more towing and hauling capability than its previous generation. Aluminum bodied trucks are coming and competitors will scramble to copy Ford.
“Our assumption is that the Ford F-150 will be successful. There is no way Ford won’t let it not be successful,” Richard Schultz, managing director of Ducker Worldwide said. “And there is no way GM and Chrysler would not follow Ford.”