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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck 521

Posted by samzenpus
from the shiny-new-truck dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "USA Today reports that Ford's next F-150 pickup truck will be made mostly of aluminum, instead of steel, in a bid to save weight. It will likely either be hailed as a breakthrough product to buyers who've made F-150 the bedrock of its business or one that draws comparisons to a 'rolling beer can.' The automaker has asked Alcoa, which makes aluminum blast shields for battlefield-bound vehicles, to lend some of its military-grade metal for the automaker's display, according to people familiar with Ford's plans. Ford's sales job will be considerable: The company is eager to demonstrate the toughness of aluminum, which is lighter than steel, to pickup buyers at next month's Detroit auto show. 'This is already the most significant debut at the auto show,' says Joe Langley. 'Everybody's going to be dissecting that thing for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble.' As a transformative product with a potentially troublesome introduction, the new F-150 has drawn comparisons with Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner — an aircraft developed under the company's commercial airplane chief at the time, Alan Mulally, who in 2006 became Ford's chief executive officer. Because of the complicated switch to aluminum from steel in the F-150's body, IHS Automotive estimates Ford will need to take about six weeks of downtime at each of its two U.S. truck plants to retool and swap out robots and machinery. Ford is apparently trying to squeeze more than 700 pounds out of its next generation of pickup trucks. Using aluminum to cut weight would help meet rising fuel economy standards in the United States, which is requiring a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025."
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

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  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday December 27, 2013 @09:44AM (#45795365)

    I'm pretty sure Ford's ability to make anything rust will transcend the laws of physics and we'll see aluminum transmute directly to iron oxide.

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:13AM (#45795567) Homepage Journal
    Oh, it's one of THOSE things. Like, not the first HUMAN to do a feat, but the first black female human over the age of 33 and under 150 pounds with size 8 sneakers to do a feat.
    Kinda sounds like "Everybody gets a trophy" day.
    Anybody remember Hyundais in the 1980s? Aluminum.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:19AM (#45795637)

    Nice try, city boy. Where I live, there are very few places where I can rent much of anything without at least a 45 minute drive each way and the logistics of getting two drivers to make it work.

    And then there are issues like, that 100 cases of shotgun ammunition (it literally weighs a ton) we need for the gun club are on the loading dock at a freight terminal. We need it TODAY. Try putting that in your car or SUV.

    Or, gee, wanna go hunting tomorrow morning? Well, I can't use a compact car to transport a deer carcass and two tree stands anywhere, and even if you could, you wouldn't want the bag of entrails in the car with you.

    Or, we just had a lot of tree limbs come down after that storm. I'd like to cut them up and stack them for firewood.

    Or, I need feed for the chickens. Let's get a bunch of feed in bulk so we don't have to keep going out there again and again.

    We buy pickup trucks because they are the right tool for the job. We have a family hauler. And we have a crew-cab pickup. A more efficient pickup truck would be nice, but hopefully not too expensive. I didn't buy the one I have now for efficiency. I bought it for durability first.

  • by MisterSquid (231834) on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:41AM (#45795835)

    These cars are usually handled in a genital manner. I remember a story where Prince Charles got angry at Di after she sat on the hood of his car at a polo game and left a bum imprint.

    I respect your anatomical specificity and historical knowledge, but just to be clear Diana's bum is not technically part of her genitals.

  • by minstrelmike (1602771) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:08AM (#45796103)

    Most people care more about the status symbol of the new shiney, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it used in a series of Dodge/Chevy ads. "Silverado, tough as steel" or some such.

    Ford: Made battle armor tough.
    I don't think it'll be a hard sell at all to the macho guys. Buy a truck made out of battle armor that reinforced humvees!?! Are you kidding me?
    Calling it a "rolling beer can" is just frosting on the cake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:09AM (#45796109)

    Get your facts and reasonable arguments the fuck out of here. Almost like you though this place was used for discussion rather than epeen measurement, one upmanship, "same as in my day"isms, cynicisms, and conspiracy theory airing. Asshole!

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.