Ford addresses F-150 aluminum body fears image

Ford Motor told dealers that the radical redesign of the upcoming F-150 pickup will be easier and cheaper to repair than the outgoing model, helping hold down insurance costs for buyers.

Ford touted the savings for customers as a selling point, and the company pledged to help dealers defray expenses of up to $50,000 that some will need to pay for tools and equipment to certify their repair shops for the new truck.

Ford touted the savings for customers as a selling point, and the company pledged to help dealers defray expenses of up to $50,000 that some will need to pay for tools and equipment to certify their repair shops for the new truck.

Among the most important changes is the front structure that holds the fender, Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley said. This piece is no longer welded, and can be taken off the truck, shaving six to seven hours from average repair time on that part.

“You’ll see the dramatic changes we made that will really help save a lot of labor costs in the repairability of the vehicle,” Farley said after meeting with dealers at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association conference.

Ford launched the truck at the Detroit auto show this month and it will appear in showrooms late this year. Ford’s display at the NADA conference features a deconstructed F-150 shaded in different colors to illustrate the modular redesign.

The more extensive use of aluminum in the new F-150 requires dealers and repair shops to use different repair tools. But many already have experience with aluminum because it is used in the hood of the current F-150 and in other models on the road.

It may cost a dealer between $30,000 and $50,000 to be certified to do repairs on the new F-150, but that range applies to dealers who are “starting from scratch,” executives said. Independent shops will also have to be certified by Ford. The No. 2 US automaker told dealers it would defray up to 20 %, or $10,000, of the cost of certification.

Via Reuters