The Wall Street Journal today announced that GM is planning on producing aluminum-bodied pickups for the next generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, due for 2018. This comes on the heels of Ford moving the 2015 F150 to an all-aluminum body, with around 97% of the body structure being aluminum (Including the load floor of the bed), which Ford claims has saved 700 pounds off the curbweight of the F150. GM plans to weld panels together as opposed to Ford’s riveted and bonded aluminum panels, to seek further weight savings.
We received a note from Alcoa, a supplier of aluminum, regarding our story on delays with the next Ford F-150. Alcoa’s Monica Orbe sent us this note
While details of future programs and timelines should come from automotive OEMs themselves – regardless of the platform — we can say that Alcoa does not have any issues with its automotive production lines. It is important to note that aluminum is the second most used material to build cars today. Automakers have successfully used Alcoa materials to produce aluminum-intensive vehicles since the mid 1990s.