2015 F-150 launch staggered so Ford can ensure a constant supply of trucks

Article by Anita Panait, on January 22, 2014

Ford Motor Co. will commence building the predominantly aluminum 2015 F-150 in the fourth quarter of 2014 at its Dearborn Assembly Plant. The carmaker will still build the predominantly steel 2014 F-150 until the first quarter of 2015 at its Kansas City site in Missouri. "We're going to stagger the launch," said Ford COO Mark Fields.

According to Ford executives, they are on time with the launch of the F-150 in spite of extensive modifications it must make in its sites as its switches from the current truck. Ford is staggering the launch to ensure a constant supply of trucks. Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager, remarked that the prices of the new F-150 would be in the same range as the current model at between $24,500 and $55,000.

Some analysts had speculated that Ford would have to increase its prices because of the switch to aluminum. Ford is switching to aluminum to save weight and as well as to improve fuel efficiency.  Ford said the 2015 F-150 will be up to 700 pounds lighter than the 2014 truck, depending on the model.

According to Scott, the current truck is around 5 percent aluminum while the new F-150 is about 95 percent.  The new F-150 boasts of an aluminum body, aluminum doors, and an aluminum hood. The ladder frame, however, is still made of steel. Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said the carmaker must modify its plants to handle aluminum. The alloys that Ford uses are a thicker gauge than the steel used in the current F-150.

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