The moment Ford let slip the rumor that their new F-150 would be built of aluminum, the industry watchers, truck lovers, body shop owners, and anyone else paying attention, immediately began to worry about what that would mean in terms of cost. Not just the initial price (that we still don’t know), but the overall cost of ownership. Aluminum isn’t exactly the standard material for mass produced cars, and according to this report, fewer than 10 percent of independent repair shops are certified to work on the stuff.
That’s not all. Ford estimates insurance costs will go up by 10 percent simply due to the fact that aluminum is a more difficult and more expensive material to work with.
Ford is taking a risk with this truck. It’ll definitely be more expensive to fix, it might be more expensive to insure, and it’ll likely force dealers and repair shops alike to reinvest into upgrading their shops and skills. Short term, it’s expensive. Long term? If Ford keeps integrating aluminum into it’s other vehicles, the initial investment made by dealers and repair shops become less painful. That, and Ford’s lineup would be lighter, more fuel efficient, and probably faster.
Over time, the costs will certainly go down as economies of scale come into effect, but right now, buyers will be taking a bit of a hit. Truthfully though, that extra cost you’ll be paying to insurance company will be offset by the fuel savings of a truck that is 700 pounds lighter than the old one.
Does the extra cost of aluminum turn you off to the next gen F-150? Let us know in the comments!
Originally on F150online