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.
As Ford’s newest F-150 dons an aluminium crown in place of steel, the usurpers waiting to take the throne of Truck Mountain are running to secure their own supplies of the lightweight metal.
Though a Ford Motor Co. executive told the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans that repair shops would need factory certification to work on the new aluminum bodied F-150 pickup truck, in a report by Karl Henkel at the Detroit News, Ford now says it will not require service center and repair shops to be certified if they they want to do body work on the new F-150. However, Ford will have a voluntary training program, and those businesses that do participate will be certified and be able to use that certification in advertising.
Automotive News is reporting that assembly plants in Dearborn and Kansas city will be shut down for a total of 13 weeks as it retools to switch production to the all new F-150 pickup truck that has an aluminum body. The launch of the 2015 F-150 will be closely watched, as Ford and its competitors see how consumers accept the lighter, more expensive truck.
Meanwhile, an analyst report seems to confirm TTAC’s initial story that Ford was forced to delay production of the new truck by up to three months due to difficulties with the new aluminum body.
The mid-sized mass-market luxury car segment is defined by the BMW 3 Series. Jaguar once tried to enter that segment with the X Type, but the “mini XJ” never caught on, in part because it was derided as a badge engineered Ford Mondeo. According to Automotive News The C-X17 crossover concept revealed in Frankfurt this week is based on a new all-aluminum platform that will underpin a “range of future Jaguars”, the most important of which will be a mid-sized sedan to again take on the BMW 3 and its competitors. Jaguar has a core competency in aluminum construction and having the first all-aluminum car in the C and D segments will be a selling point for the new models. While Jaguar Land Rover’s current sales are the strongest the British car maker has had, JLR’s owners, Tata, are hoping that JLR will reach three quarters of a million units by 2020 and ultimately joining the ranks of automakers selling a million or more cars a year. To do that Jaguar needs a volume product, the most logical being a mid-sizer. With CUVs sales booming, a crossover based on the C-X17 will also help reach that volume. While differentiating between a Jaguar crossover and the Land Rover lineup will be an issue, Jaguar does say that the CUV will have some off-road capabilities. (Read More…)
The Ford Mondeo based X-Type failed to get Jaguar a foothold in the segment that is usually defined by the BMW 3 Series and the cars that compete with the 3. Now the Financial Times has reported that Jaguar will be launching an entire line of entry level luxury vehicles for that critical segment and that the new cars, said to be ready for sale about two years from now, will benefit from Jaguar’s expertise with lightweight aluminum structures.
No, that’s not a typo. Al is the periodic table symbol for aluminum – the stuff that the next F-150 will be made of.
I’m a long time lurker, first time asker. I was curious about the effects of E85/E90 ethanol laced gasoline. I have read a bunch about how older cars are susceptible to corrosion damage to various parts of the fuel line. (Read More…)
In July, the good old boy contingent was horrified to hear that Ford would contemplate building Ford tough trucks from a material considered good enough for beer cans: Aluminum. Now, they will be absolutely terrified by the news that GM wants to build trucks from a material known to treat heartburn: Magnesium. (Read More…)
The Wall Street Journal has a long article about Ford “working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.” Ford will make parts of its next generation F150 from aluminum to save some 700 lbs, which “would enable Ford’s trucks to go farther on a gallon of gasoline, and open the door to other changes, such as the use of smaller engines.” The fear is that some people will think Ford is building a truck for sissies. (Read More…)
A TTAC lede should intrigue and excite, yet what’s to snark on a Ford Super Duty with an aluminum bed? So here I am, being good friend to a girl that bought a home, tore it apart and reassembled with over 1600lbs of stone flooring: stuff that’ll eat up an Urban Cowboy’s prissy $30-50,000 rig. Or in this case, a self-made woman’s stainless steel infused Lincoln Blackwood. Is it any surprise she’d need a rental?
Light-weight materials such as carbon-fiber, aluminum and magnesium are widely touted as key components of the drive towards greater fuel economy. Which explains why the automotive steel supplier industry is suddenly calling for an end to tailpipe emissions testing and a switch to the more holistic life cycle analysis testing. According to a press release from WorldAutoSteel, an industry group, the production of steel alternatives can create up to 20 times the carbon emissions of steel.