US: Ford’s aluminum F-150 awareness bigger than expected image

The “school” is in session for both buyers and sellers of the new, aluminum intensive Ford F-150 pickup truck.

The US automaker has its F-Series lineup as a continuous range since 1948 and the very popular F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for no less than 32 years in a row. With that mythology on the “driver’s license”, there’s little surprise about the hype surrounding the sales launch of the thirteenth generation of the model. More so, as the model foreshadows an auto revolution – it has switched from the traditional steel production to an aluminum intensive setup.

Now, dealership training has started, Ford is busy with consumer test drives planning and the focus of the traditional publicity campaign is on the new features and advantages, rather than the aluminum build.

“It is becoming less of an issue,” Scott said. “People are more educated about aluminum than we anticipated. We don’t have as much work to do there as we originally anticipated. So we can stress light-weighting and efficiency more.”

Doug Scott, Ford group marketing manager for trucks says that 11,000 dealership sales consultants are in training now, with five cities already finishing “school” and another 21 pending by mid-December. Also, around 1,950 dealerships purchased the “Truth about Trucks” display that has a 32-inch monitor teaching consumers in a very iPad-way about the virtues and advantages of the F-150’s features and technologies.