Ford Starts Production Of New Aluminum F-150

November 12, 2014 3:29 PM

Ford Starts Production Of New Aluminum F-150
" DEARBORN (AP) – It’s Ford Motor Co.’s biggest bet in decades: an aluminum-sided F-150 that could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.

Ford was scheduled to start production of the 2015 F-150 Tuesday at its Dearborn Truck Plant, four miles from the company’s headquarters. It will arrive at U.S. dealerships next month.

Ford thinks a truck that is lighter and more fuel-efficient, but even more capable, will win buyers while competing trucks, still made of steel, struggle to catch up. It hopes those advantages outweigh any customer doubts about the durability of aluminum — which is lighter than steel but just as strong — or potential repair costs for the pricier metal.

There are big risks. Any quality problems, production hiccups or customer worries could slow sales and hurt Ford’s bottom line. Morgan Stanley estimates F-Series trucks account for 90 percent of Ford’s global automotive profit.

The trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 37 straight years; last year, Ford sold nearly 100,000 more full-size pickups than General Motors "

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