For years, Ford’s slogan has been “Ford Tough!” Now, with the North American International Auto Show less than a week away and the new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 ready for its big coming out party, Ford is looking at how to reinforce that familiar statement. Despite aluminum being a significant part of the manufacturing process for many successful vehicles, including Tesla’s award-winning Model S, the notion of being “tough” is still a sticking point with the core buyers of F-150 trucks. Enter Ford’s marketing gurus (courtesy Clean Technica):
Ford has asked suppliers at Alcoa to provide a sample of “military grade aluminum” for display alongside the new 2015 Ford F-150 set to be unveiled at January’s Detroit Auto Show. It’s believed that the move is meant to put a tough “spin” on Ford’s extensive use of aluminum, rather than steel, in the construction of the new pickup, and keep the marketing message away from any comparisons to pop cans.
Ford’s switch to aluminum in the new 2015 Ford F-150 is part of a recent Ford trend to tech-ify its trucks, improve the fuel economy of its truck fleet, and is a logical next step in the modernization of Ford’s truck line-up, along with better suspension, more isolated cabins, and the addition of the Ecoboost 6-cylinder turbo engines which supplanted the old-tech “Modular” V8 engines in Ford’s half-ton trucks a few years ago.
Whether or not the public will “buy” the idea of tough aluminum, though, remains to be seen. “This is already the most significant debut at the auto show,” explained Joe Langley, a production analyst for industry research firm IHS Automotive in a telephone interview with Bloomberg a few days ago. “Everybody’s going to be dissecting (the 2015 Ford F-150) for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble.”
The NAIAS opens its doors on January 13. Chances are, you’ll see plenty of aluminum-related chatter across the motor industry in the coming weeks due to this, so stay tuned.