Over a Year Later, the Aluminum F-150 Didn’t Cause the Universe to Implode
We don’t have time machines, at least not yet, but if we did we could travel back a little over a year ago when the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 was getting ready to go sale. During that time, the doomsday sayers were saying that aluminum would ruin the F-150. They said that nobody would buy the truck and that making the change would ruin it.
Now that we’re at the dawn of a new Super Duty, also utilizing an aluminum body with a fully-boxed steel frame, we don’t hear as much concern this time around. Sure, Ford is doing their part by educating everyone with a series of videos and bringing insiders in to see the process, but Ford was also educating back then.
Despite the stories of potential increased repair costs, or the posts showing strange damage from questionable sources, the F-150 is selling well. People are buying them, they are insuring them, and presumably some are even crashing them. While I was hearing horror stories last year that we documented on this very site, I haven’t heard anything in the past few months suggesting that the new truck is any less capable or anymore expensive than the outgoing steel model.
General Motors, who created the steel cage and a bear commercial featuring real people, have even seemed to stop their assault on the F-150. Of course we all know, and GM openly admits, that they use aluminum in key areas of the truck, the Chevrolet steel cage commercial was powerful.
But at the end of the day, consumers vote with their dollars. February 2016 is the closest month we have numbers for, but in February Ford F-Series saw their best month since 2006. In 2015, Ford sold more F-Series trucks than any other manufacturer, and also was the best-selling overall vehicle in the country.
Who’s concerned about aluminum now?
If you didn’t see the new insiders video from Ford, it’s worth a watch. I’ve included it below, as well. What’s interesting about this particular video is that it goes into detail about various construction aspects of the truck. It’s not just a “we’re awesome and build awesome stuff” video. Rather, it’s a “this is how we make aluminum work” video, including a representative from Alcoa talking about the aluminum alloy itself.
Later this year the new Super Duty will go on sale, we’ll drive it, and we’ll share our impressions with you. But more importantly, the world will continue to go on. Work will continue to get done and people will buy Super Dutys to do that work. There was a time where aluminum was the story, but now we’re back to talking about what really matters; performance and capability.
Speaking of performance, when are we going to get the Super Duty Power Stroke diesel torque numbers, Ford? 😉
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts and comments over in our forum!