The Redesigned 2016 Ford Super Duty Trucks Will Be Aluminum
Super Duty Aluminum is all but an inevitability when looking at the all new 2016 F-Series Super Duty trucks.
Earlier this month we told you about the runaway success of the 2015 Ford F-150’s new military-grade, industrial-strength aluminum body. Before it launched, few than 20% of F-150 buyers had any skepticism about the new body structure, and since the New Year that number has effectively been reduced to zero. The lighter aluminum body has resulted in a massive weight loss, fewer dings and dents on the worksite, better fuel economy, better maximum towing and payload capacity, and an all around more capable truck for families, fleets, and everyone inbetween. It is currently on track to remaining the best-selling pickup well into its fourth decade. Which is why it isn’t too shocking to learn that the new 2016 Ford Super Duty trucks will likely be built out of the same Aluminum as the 2015 Ford F-150. The Redesigned 2016 Ford Super Duty Trucks Will Be Aluminum for a variety of reasons, but none of those equate to Ford taking a risk.
Ford’s class-shattering move toward the now famous military-grade aluminum body on a traditional ultra-high-strength steel frame initially seemed like a misstep to some people. At the time steel was trading on the market for about $300 per ton for sheet metal and $500 for auto scrap metal. Compared to aluminum’s price of $2,200 per ton, the move just didn’t make sense on the surface. Yes, aluminum is lighter than steel so the price per ton goes further, but the market is on the whole more volatile. For now.
“Those on the outside would say it’s a big risk. We don’t say it’s a big risk. We did all our homework and it was a calculated decision,” said Matt O’Leary, vehicle line director for North America trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. “We’re using less and it is more recyclable and we can re-invest that; something we’ve never done.”
The future of the aluminum market, surprisingly, is in Ford’s hands. When Ford transitions their Super Duty truck bodies to aluminum, they will hold the lion’s share of the aluminum market, offsetting the price of aluminum on a global scale. And as the stronger and more recyclable material would begin to dominate the industry as a whole, it will become even more viable.
Ford is expecting the move from steel to aluminum in the Super Duty line of trucks, including the Ford F-250 and Ford F-350, to be even more readily accepted than the adoption of the new F-150. Partly because the F-150 has proven the new body’s durability, and also because their extensive research has shown that over 90% of Super Duty customers already fully embrace the aluminum body concept=.
“Heavy-duty truck buyers are used to towing aluminum trailers, seeing it in toolboxes, dump truck bodies, wheels on big rigs,” said Doug Scott, Ford group marketing manager for trucks. “They already know aluminum is durable.”