Ford Beefs Up F-150 Display for Detroit Auto Show
Ford Motor Company will unveil the next-generation F-150 at the Detroit auto show next month, and this vehicle will no doubt be one of the most highly anticipated vehicle debuts for all of 2014. During the reveal, Ford is expected to announce that America's most popular vehicle will now feature more aluminum, showing off an F-150 that is equipped with aluminum blast shields from supplier Alcoa Inc. The automaker hopes that the addition of the battle-ready aluminum will help show how durable and strong the car's aluminum is, but Ford is still unclear how pickup buyers will see the new model. "This is already the most significant debut at the auto show. Everybody's going to be dissecting that thing for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble," Joe Langley, production analyst for IHS Automotive, told Bloomberg in a recent phone interview. With aluminum F-150 bodies, Ford is saving on cost and weight, but what that means for manufacturing is more hurdles and challenges. Ford will add thousands of salaried workers to help with the production of the new F-150, but profit may dwindle as plants will be closed for roughly six weeks to bring in new tools, machinery, and robots. "F-150 is a very key product, and some of the changes they're talking about this time do elevate the risks in terms of getting that right. They should be able to pull it off," said Warren Gibbon, fund manager at Standard Life Investments, to Bloomberg. To help meet rising fuel efficiency standards, an aluminum body will help the new F-150 cut weight, and a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to achieve better mpg numbers. Ford expects the new model will reach closer to 30 mpg highway, an improvement from the current model's 23 mpg highway. A ten-speed transmission, which has been developed in conjunction with Toyota, will also help the new F-150 reach higher fuel efficiency numbers. Source: Bloomberg
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