Report: Ford Plans on Limiting Aluminum Bodies Mostly to Trucks
Trucks Yield Biggest Benefit from Use with Higher Capacities
Ford certainly shook up the industry status quo by debuting the 2015 F-150 with its nearly all-aluminum body. It is poised to repeat the feat with an aluminum-body Super Duty line expected for the 2017 model year. That said, don’t expect to see an all-aluminum Fusion, Focus, or Fiesta anytime soon, says Ford president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs. In an interview with Automotive News, Hinrichs said the reason aluminum was selected for the F-150 and Super Duty is because the weight savings enabled by the material yield the biggest competitive gains in terms of increased payload and towing capacity.
Hinrichs said that the company’s future use of aluminum for passenger cars and crossovers would likely be limited to selective use such as door, hood, and trunk panels, and other strategic areas where weight savings is important. He added there were more cost-effective ways to achieve fuel economy gains in passenger cars.
Ford demonstrated many of its strategic light-weighting measures in the Fusion-based Lightweight Concept shown earlier in 2014, which utilized a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum, high-strength steel, and composite materials to pare 800 pounds off the weight of a standard Fusion, giving it an overall curb weight comparable to that of the two-sizes-smaller Fiesta.
Source: Automotive News