Magnetic signs don't work on aluminum panels.
What's the big deal here? This is just a bunch of photos showing a new F-150 with signs on it, right? The full-size pickup isn't just a popular machine for casual commuters – it's a mainstay work machine for many businesses and oftentimes the truck does double-duty for work and play. Peel-off magnetic signs are commonly used in such situations, or at least, they used to be with F-150 owners before Ford swapped steel panels for aluminum.
Basic science tells us that magnets don't stick to aluminum, so those nifty signs popular in the commercial realm literally don't apply to the F-150. It's a minor but notable issue for pickup owners in this segment, which is why these spy shots are so interesting. They clearly show a 2021 Ford F-150, and the manufacturer license plate on the back tells us this truck is owned by Ford. We see a King Ranch badge on the tailgate, but the black signs for "video recording" are certainly not standard issue. We also know they advertise a fake company – the phone number listed is actually the hotline for Ford Customer Service.
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Magnetic Sign Spy Photos
Magnetic paint already exists and is often used on walls in homes. It basically infuses iron filings into the mixture, allowing magnets to stick to any painted surface. On this F-150, faux signs are placed on the hoods, sides, and rear; exactly where we'd expect to see such placements for testing. Sure, Ford could be developing some kind of special sign to use with its trucks, but that theory sounds positively insane. Creating a new magnetic paint option doesn't sound insane at all, especially with aluminum, carbon fiber, and plastic becoming more widespread in the automotive sector.
We have no idea what such a paint option might cost, but it could certainly make the F-150 more appealing to buyers with business to support. We wouldn't be surprised to see such an option offered in the not-too-distant future.