The era of aluminum is about to begin.
It is perhaps one of the most significant changes to any full-size pickup truck in decades. While the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 may resemble its immediate predecessor from the outside, Ford has taken a huge gamble by making massive changes underneath. In place of a steel body, Ford has invested heavily in lightweight aluminum, resulting in a weight loss of around 700 lbs. for the best-selling and much beloved truck.
And now Ford has reached the end of an era; the final steel-bodied 2014 F-150 has just rolled off the assembly line at the historic Dearborn Truck Plant. Work will soon begin to tear down the line and replace it with the necessary equipment to build the aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150. The price for that change over is a cool $359 million. That doesn't include all of the R&D and other major expenses needed for the aluminum revolution. The investment Ford has made is obviously huge and it's betting big that the public will respond in kind by continuing to buy the new F-150 in the same or, ideally, greater numbers than ever before.
Already production delays have plagued the new truck. The first customers likely won't receive their orders until around Christmas time. But just give it some time. Ford is convinced that steel-bodied trucks are a thing of the past, and it intends to keep the iconic F-150 as the segment benchmark.