January 13, 2014 / 3:35 PM / 4 years ago

New F-150 may spur more aluminum use across lineup -execs

By Deepa Seetharaman
    DETROIT, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co may incorporate
more aluminum into its other models in the future, executives
said, after the second-largest U.S. automaker unveiled a new
lightweight version of its F-150 pickup truck at the Detroit
auto show on Monday.
    The new F-150's body is 95 percent made of a military grade
aluminum alloy typically used in Humvees and weighs up to 700
pounds less than the outgoing model. 
    "Obviously this is our first shot at a big volume vehicle
and there's absolutely no reason why we couldn't think about
taking it elsewhere," Executive Chairman Bill Ford told
reporters after the press conference. 
    "It is a lightweight, high strength material and 700 pounds
out of a vehicle like this -- that's a big deal," he added.
    During the press conference, the company emphasized the
lightweight metal can be tougher than steel.
    Bill Ford said the company may use more aluminum across its
lineup, including in sport-utility vehicles like the Ford
Explorer. Bill Ford added the company had no announcements to
make just yet.
    The new F-150 will help the company meet U.S. fuel economy
standards for the first time, Chief Operating Officer Mark
Fields told reporters. 
    Production of the new F-150 would begin in the fourth
quarter in Dearborn, Michigan and in early 2015 in Kansas City.
The truck will be in U.S. showrooms by the end of 2014.
    Bill Ford as well as Chief Executive Alan Mulally both said
they were happy that speculation about Mulally going to run
Microsoft Corp was behind them.
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