By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 9:57 am
 
New evidence suggests Ford's next-generation F-150 pickup truck will indeed rely on aluminum construction to help reduce weight.
Reports have been circling the internet room mill for over a year that Ford's all-new 2015 F-150 will incorporate aluminum in order to cut weight, but the Dearborn-based automaker has declined to comment on its next-generation truck. However, aluminum producers may have spilled the beans ahead of the truck's anticipated 2014 market launch.

"This has been the holy grail for the aluminum industry," Lloyd O'Carroll, an analyst at Davenport & Co., told Bloomberg. "I've talked to a number of aluminum guys who are saying 'I'm getting calls from Detroit every single day on what can I produce, when will I be able to produce it, and what kind of commitment needs to be made.'"

Ford outlined plans in a 2007 sustainability report to reduce vehicle weight by up to 750 pounds. It would be extremely difficult to squeeze that kind of weight from Ford's passenger cars, but the switch to aluminum could trim that kind of weight from its trucks, such as the F-150. Land Rover was recently able to slice more than 700 pounds from its Range Rover vehicles by using more aluminum in their construction.

Ford is still keeping quiet on the subject, but says it remains committed to improving the F-150 line.

"We put so much importance on continuous improvement and making sure that we're delivering a better solution to our customer every year," Doug Scott, Ford's truck marketing manager, said.

The 2015 Ford F-150 is scheduled to begin shipping in about a year from now.