Report – GM follows Ford on aluminium trail image

It looks like the ever-lasting US big pick-up battle is going the light way, as General Motors moves to follow in Ford’s footsteps and have its models using aluminum body panels by 2018.

According to a report coming from the Wall Street Journal, the No. 1 US automaker has started to feel some heat on the matter as Ford is seen as an innovator in the segment and ever tougher emission regulations prompt the carmaker to seek new ways to reduce its carbon footprint.

Ford and its new F-150 caused widespread “panic” when it was revealed it would use military-grade aluminum panels to cut roughly 700 pounds of weight (almost 320 kg) – a critical aspect to reach better fuel economy.

“I want to get my hands on it, ” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, about the F-150. “I’m going to be looking at how much aluminum is in it. What are the panels? How are they constructed? I’m going to look at what they advertise as the weight savings from it. Then I’m going to go back and do some math.”

Although Gm officials called to comment the WSJ story refused to confirm the company is focusing on the aspect, GM has actually already secured deals with aluminum suppliers Alcoa and Novelis, according to the paper.