Ford's Great Aluminum F-150 Gamble, In Detail
The new 2015 Ford F-150 is a truck that is as groundbreaking as it is polarizing, and for one central reason: aluminum. The choice of the lighter material has already earned it plenty of praise, and the expected heaps of skepticism.
But it was a major gamble for Ford, and we applaud anytime an automaker is willing to take a risk (like why I love Nissan for at least TRYING with the CrossCabriolet). In this recent Forbes article, the process of taking the aluminum F-150 to compete in the 2013 running of the Baja 1,000.
For the Baja, the truck had a body that looked like the outgoing model so as not to give competitors any insight to the all-new all aluminum truck. It was a risk taking the new F-150 to Baja, just like it was a risk moving Ford’s “crown jewel” product to aluminum. Especially when you consider what the F-150 means to Ford…
According to Forbes, around 33 million F-Series trucks have been sold since 1950, which is twice as many as the iconic Model T. The report also points out that if you regarded the roughly 765,000 F-Series as a single brand, its $31,1 billion in revenue would put it at 100 on Forbes 500 list. Crazy to consider.
All of this is meant to underscore what a gamble Ford is making on moving its bread and butter product line to aluminum. Ford is also aware of the concerns surrounding aluminum– like the fact that you need specially trained aluminum collision repair shops– and has been attempting to address them. We are sure the take rate will be impressive on the new F-150. The real test will be how they hold up over time.