Ford rolls out production of first aluminum F-150 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ford rolls out production of first aluminum F-150

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Production of Ford's new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck started Tuesday in Dearborn, Michigan. The company says as the first mass-produced truck to be built with military-grade aluminum-alloy, the F-150 demonstrates the latest in truck innovation.

Ford's President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs says the construction of the new F-150 has cemented Ford's place as "America's truck leader."

"Bringing out an all new truck allows us to maintain that leadership, leap frog the competition, and change the game with fuel efficiency and capability like never before," Hinrichs said via satellite interview.

Ford is hoping that it will win buyers with a truck that is lighter, more fuel efficient, and even more capable. But the project comes with big risks.

F-Series trucks have been the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 37 straight years and are a big contributor to Ford's profits. Quality issues or consumer concerns about the new material could cost Ford its pickup crown.

Aluminum isn't new to the industry, but it has never covered such a high volume vehicle before.

Hinrichs said the aluminum body and truck bed will become almost standard with Ford trucks, as plants in Missouri and Kentucky will start using the material in other models.

"The next generation Super Duty truck, which is built in Kentucky, will be aluminum as well," said Hinrichs. "We're doing it first here in Dearborn, and moving to Kansas City next."

When asked why Dearborn was chosen over Louisville for F-150 production, Hinrichs said the two Louisville plants are at capacity.

"Both our plants in Louisville are full," he said. "We are max capacity at the Louisville plant where we build the Escape and Lincoln MKZ, and we're also Max capacity at the Truck Plant."

Ford made more than 647,000 F-150s last year.

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