Ford is going out on a limb with its new F-150, a truck known for being as tough as a ram thanks in part to its steel body and frame. The new version will largely forgo the steel in favor of an 97% aluminum body that results in the 5,000-pound vehicle weighing 700 pounds less. The move was made to make the workhorse, one of the best-selling vehicles in the US for more than three decades, more maneuverable and fuel efficient.
Talking about just that, Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said, “You’re either moving ahead and you’re improving and you’re making it more valuable and more useful to the customer or you’re not. Thus far, dealers seem to be on board with the change. “We’re aggressive, stretching the envelope. I think you have to do that. If you don’t, then you get into that predicament of being a ‘me too’ vehicle,” said Sam Pack, owner of four Ford dealerships in and around Dallas.
Industry insiders believe that the F-150 is just the beginning of the American automaker’s use of aluminum saying that the lighter metal will soon be found throughout Ford’s stable of cars and light trucks.
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