First 2015 Ford F-150 Rolls Down Assembly Line
New Truck Hits Dealers Next Month
The very first production-spec 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off of the historic Ford Rouge Center yesterday in advance of the truck’s on-sale date in December. The Dearborn Truck Plant, where the new F-150 will be built, underwent the most extensive retooling in its history this summer as Ford prepared the plant to build the aluminum-bodied F-150.
The Rouge Center was thoroughly updated to build the new F-150 as well. According to Ford, new press lines enable the company to stamp four different high-strength aluminum alloys, while new hydroforming lines produce strong support rails to increase structural soundness. A heat-treating area hardens the aluminum, and a new chemical-coating system prepares the materials for high strength adhesives. Additionally, new processes needed to be added to accommodate the Ford's extensive new electronics suite.
Increased automation in the paint booth helps improve paint durability, but that automation doesn’t come at the expense of job creation for humans. About 850 additional workers joined a team of more than 4,000, which certainly keeps the United Auto Workers (UAW) union happy.
“The all new Ford F-150 is the true definition of America-made and speaks to the commitment of the hardworking men and women of the UAW,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department.
Ford says that interest in the new F-150 has increased steadily since its January reveal at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The company claims 200,000 people have provided their contact information to Ford for more information on the 2015 F-150, so it looks likely that the new truck will maintain its predecessors’ best-selling status. The F-Series has been America’s most popular vehicle for 32 years running, and it has outsold all other pickups for 37 consecutive years.
We drove a prototype F-150 in some demanding conditions and came away pretty impressed with the truck. We'll be eager to round up a production model soon to see if it lives up to its legendary name.