It’s time to put all of the testing and speculation aside. Ford’s aluminum pride and joy, the 2015 F-150, has finally gone into full production, and the first vehicle off the assembly line got a rousing ovation at the Dearborn, Michigan facility. From the Detroit News:
Shortly before 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dearborn Truck plant manager Brad Huff and UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles drove the first 2015 F-150 pickup — painted cherry red — off the assembly line and into history.
Ford Motor Co.’s newest truck, made with an aluminum body and bed that saves up to 700 pounds, marks a significant milestone for the Dearborn automaker and is a potential game-changer for the industry. The launch completes years of research and development after Ford overhauled nearly every aspect of the building process from exterior painting to interior design.
The lightweight material is expected to increase gas mileage 5 percent to 20 percent, but is more costly to make and repair — a big gamble for Ford’s best-selling vehicle. The launch also marks a rebirth for the Dearborn Truck Plant, centerpiece of the venerable Rouge Center that was nearly shuttered before finding new life to build the truck. The plant underwent a multi-million dollar renovation this year.
“We’re here today to make history,” executive chairman Bill Ford said as hundreds of workers cheered. “The Rouge has always been at the heart of Ford to me and my family.”
Now that production is in full force, showrooms are expecting to get their inventory sometime within the next month. The early word in reviews and press has been positive, but the ultimate vote comes down to the consumer. With its increased gas mileage and signature durability, we’re guessing it will be a winner.