New Pickups Leave Ford on Aluminum Island
It would be more than right to say that steel is making a slight comeback when it comes to trucks. When automaker, Ford, decided to move to an all-aluminum F-150 in 2015 there was a shift in alternative metals across many other automakers. However, one stroll through the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in early January one could see that steel-bodied trucks made by companies other than Ford have not gone anywhere. While Ford continues to stress that it’s shift to aluminum is a permanent one, the other members of the Big Three say they will stick with steel.
General Motors’ North American President that GM never seriously considered making a switch to aluminum when Ford started the trend a few years ago. The strategy has seemed to work for Ford, as the F-150 continues to be the best-selling truck in the world, and the gap between it and the runner-up, the Chevrolet Silverado, is ever-widening. In fact, Ford sold over 300,000 more F-150s than Chevy sold Silverados. Chevy continues to use steel bodies but is looking for ways to decrease the weight of the Silverado by using aluminum only on its exterior swing panels while using varies steels in over 80 of its frame. The weight loss for the 2019 Silverado is just around 450 pounds by using this strategy, along with heavier use of composites.