Posted by LambChop
Ford is set to unveil their new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum. Unlike Chevrolet, Ford never took an auto bailout from the Obama administrating and remains competitive as the number one truck automaker for 31 years. Ford is also accountable to its customers – listening to what they want as opposed to Chevy, creator of the unpopular Volt that cost about $250,000 per car to the U.S. taxpayer in subsidies.
Truck owners have asked Ford for a fuel-efficient, nimble truck without sacrificing size or power. Sounds like a tall order, but Ford responded. The new 2015 F-150 with aluminum is 700 pounds lighter – 97% of its body is aluminum which is more expensive than steel. Aluminum also does not rust. Other advantages include the fact that the truck can haul and tow more; accelerate and stop more quickly.
Improvements in aluminum are also driving the change. Three years ago, for example, Alcoa Inc. — one of Ford's suppliers for the F-150 — figured out a way to pretreat aluminum so it would be more durable when parts are bonded together. Carmakers can now use three or four rivets to piece together parts that would have needed 10 rivets before. People are beginning to truly understand the value that aluminum can bring to the table," Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said.
Taking a cue from Boeing and its revolutionary composite body on its new Dreamliner, Ford’s innovation, while a risk for the automaker, may be of historical proportions. It is an example of American entrepreneurialism and innovation at work with a company who resisted government control.