By on June 25, 2014


A recent note by MorganStanley warned of a “slow changeover, with tight supply” for Ford’s new aluminum F-150, and while Ford America’s boss Joe Hinrichs told Bloomberg that “everything is “on schedule and everything is going as planned”, TTAC is hearing different things.

Dovetailing with earlier reports that Ford was having difficulty stamping the aluminum spec’d by the Blue Oval – which forced Job 1 to be pushed back by as much as 10 weeks – our sources informed us that MorganStanley’s prediction is likely to come true.

While our source was vague, he noted that the F-150 launch team was in danger of missing key milestones for the project, and that team members may have to work through the summer shutdown.

So far, Ford has been able to deftly work around the aluminum stamping issue – although an earlier launch was initially planned (we heard initially, launch was planned for anywhere from Memorial Day to Q3 2014), Ford PR never announced anything but a Q4 launch date (or “late availability” as another source put it). But now, word of delays appears to be spreading further.

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13 Comments on “Ford Claims Aluminum F-150 Is On Track, TTAC Sources Report Delays...”

  • avatar

    That’s why they have multiple truck plants and switch to the new model one plant at a time – so they maintain a decent supply of trucks. Any radically new model is going to encounter some kind of delays.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think the problem is worse than Ford is making out. It’s a metallurgical issue.

    How aluminium is alloyed gives it unique properties. It seems the properties of the aluminium that Ford has ordered isn’t malleable or ductile. This is the ability to deform under compressive and tensile loads.

    To change the properties of the metal will require more than just altering the alloyed aluminium. To improve the malleability and ductility of the metal could mean a “softer” alloy that can be deformed and retain it’s shape. This would have weight implications.

    Looking at the F-150 there shouldn’t be to many complex shapes to fold.

    I suppose the F-150 could be made to look like an aluminium Defender.

    A cut and paste of an article.

    It’s being reported that production of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 is going to be delayed by at least three months due to problems with the truck’s aluminum body panels. Ford has decided to employ new aluminum body panels on the next-gen F-150 in an effort to significantly drop the truck’s weight, but it looks like some early quality issues have caused some delays.

    According to The Truth About Cars, the aluminum supplied by Alcoa and other Tier 2 suppliers did not meet internal forming requirements for the “tooling tryout” phase of pre-production. A source told TTAC that the main issue with the current aluminum is its inability to be properly formed. If the aluminum’s ability to return to its normal shape after hitting it with a die is off, then there will be major problems. The switch to aluminum represents a bold move, but the stakes are obviously very high with the F-150, since it accounts for most of Ford’s global profits.

    Right now it looks like the next-gen F-150 will be arrive 6 to 10 weeks later than originally planned, with wide availability not happening until late 2014.


    • 0 avatar

      An article that you copied and pasted from December of 2013.

      Yea…credible source that is.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        And what do you know about metallurgy?

        Do you realise the implications and challenges Ford is confronting?

        I don’t think you do.

        They are attempting to pull a rabbit out of a hat with this F-150.

        It makes great PR for Ford, but now they must produce some results.

        I do work with aluminium alloys for a living. Have you ever tried to bend a piece of metal with a hammer? Then have it reshape itself to 50% of what you thought you’d shaped? This is what Ford is encountering.

        They just can’t change anything unless they change the properties of the metals they are forming. This means softer and thicker metal. The thickness is required to maintain structural integrity.

        Ford might have bitten off a little more than they can chew.

        • 0 avatar

          What kind of aluminum alloy would Ford be using? Someone told me 6061 but I thought that’s way too soft for a large structure. I’m curious what alloy they’re using…

  • avatar

    My (impeccably placed) source also told me that everything is on schedule and everything is going as planned. But it’s not impossible that he’s making his minions work a whole lot of extra hours to make sure that stays true. He didn’t quite come out and say it, but he made it clear that this has been a bear of a project.

    At this point I don’t think anyone’s expecting to see these things at dealerships until well into Q4, and maybe not in real quantity until Q1. They’ve been signaling that these were going to be on the late side for a while, I suspect it’s already priced into the stock. As long as they can keep holding incentives steady on the 2014s, and as long as the 2015s turn out to be as good as advertised (whenever they arrive), profits will be okay.

  • avatar

    great info

  • avatar

    in other news, the planet still rotates upon its given axis.

    • 0 avatar

      Snoozer for sure, but we’re talking the most profitable car on the planet. A lot’s at stake here, and the world kinda rests on its shoulders to be perfectly melodramatic.

      Now back to some real Earth shattering news…

  • avatar

    I’m sure that Ford will be paying a huge sum of overtime to engineers to get their golden goose to the market place on time.

  • avatar

    Ford will say anything until they get caught…

  • avatar

    Insurance companies will just love insuring the new F150. Imagine the cost to “repair” and finding a body shop that can play with aluminum.

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