The Great Aluminum Mystery; Ford’s 2015 Aluminum Alloy F-150 Part I
The 2015 Ford F-150 structure: gray = aluminum, blue = quiet steel, green = magnesium
Unquestionably, Ford’s 2015 F-150 made from military grade aluminum alloy, has caused quite a stir in the auto body/collision repair industry. In spite of the great efforts by Ford, April 2014 Collision Repair Conference, to put an end to the negative buzz surrounding their new truck, it would appear that the auto body family, as a whole, are not convinced. I would suggest that you really do your homework when evaluating the pros and cons, and keep your mind open to the changes that are happening whether you are on board or not. It will be a lot less painful if you open your mind.
Let’s start with why vehicle manufacturer’s are scrambling to come up with new, more efficient vehicles. New government standards on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and End of Life of Vehicle (ELV) have had a pretty big impact on vehicle manufacturer’s. The new requirements are stiff and the penalty is even stiffer. The new push is that vehicles need to be more fuel efficient and also safer for new car crash testing requirements. In addition, they need to be lighter by using recyclable materials. As a result, these new lighter vehicles allow for new electronics to be added. These upgrades become a game of give and take. What needs to be given up and what can be added because of it is somewhat exciting. Let’s be honest, electronics don’t weigh near as much as the body so let’s see how it was managed.
An important fact to remember, and one that I made mention of already, is that it makes no difference how much you don’t like the changes, this is where the future is going. Ford is not the only vehicle to go after this new technology, GM is reported to be right behind them. As it sits, BMW and Jaguar quietly went their just two years ago. It’s here, so strap yourself in and get ready for the ride, unless of course you like being on the outside looking in. It’s not the same as what you are used to but it is an adventure of sorts.