Dealers say customers ready for aluminum Ford F-150

Article by Anita Panait, on January 29, 2014

The durability of Ford Motor Co.’s pickup trucks has been partly attributed to its steel composition. Because of this, dealers became worried when Ford announced it was building the 2015 F-150 out of aluminum. "We thought there might be some pushback because of the aluminum," Jeff Carlson, owners of two Ford dealerships in Colorado, told Automotive News.

After interviewing customers, they learned that customers were actually ready and waiting for the aluminum F-150. "Some of the more knowledgeable customers out there [are] saying 'I'm actually going to wait for that truck' because they like the idea of aluminum," Carlson said. Other dealers are also saying the same about the response of customers on the new 2015 F-150.

According to Ford, the new F-150 will be up to 700 pounds lighter than the current truck, resulting to improvements in fuel economy, performance and capability.

"My fear was [customers] wouldn't think it was heavy-duty enough," Ed Joliffe, owner of Gorno Ford in Woodhaven, Mich., told Automotive News, adding that he thinks Ford has addressed that. Dealers and Ford officials remarked that the notion that pickup customers are resistant to change is already outmoded.

"At the customer level, you've got to remember these customers fish with titanium reels; they hunt with carbon fiber rifles. They hold their tools in the back with an aluminum tool holder," remarked Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co. global vice president of marketing, sales, service and Lincoln. Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, quipped Ford has earned goodwill as a leader in the truck market for over three decades so customers will trust the carmaker to get it right.

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