Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ford Starts Production of New Aluminum F-150

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ford Starts Production of New Aluminum F-150

Article excerpt

DEARBORN, Mich. * It's Ford Motor Co.'s biggest bet in decades: an aluminum-sided F-150 that could set an industry standard or cost the company its pickup crown.

Ford was scheduled to start production of the 2015 F-150 on Tuesday at its Dearborn Truck Plant, four miles from the company's headquarters. It will arrive at U.S. dealerships next month.

Ford thinks a truck that is lighter and more fuel efficient, but even more capable, will win buyers while its competitors struggle to catch up. Aluminum which is lighter than steel but just as strong isn't new to the auto industry, but this is the first time it will cover the entire body of such a high-volume vehicle. Ford made 647,697 F-150 pickups at its two U.S. plants last year; that's one every 49 seconds.

Ford faces big risks. F-Series trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 37 straight years; last year, Ford sold nearly 100,000 more full-size pickups than General Motors. Any quality problems, production hiccups or customer doubts about aluminum could slow sales and hurt Ford's bottom line. …

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