The Ford F-150 and its aluminum body have gotten plenty of attention in 2014. With the launch imminent, rumors have started to swirl regarding delays and manufacturing difficulties. Is there any truth to this? Not at all, says Ford President Joe Hinrichs. From Time Magazine:
“Everything is on schedule and everything is going as planned,” Ford Americas President Joe Hinrichs told reporters, speaking at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan (via Automotive News), adding that he was “very confident in this vehicle.” Morgan Stanley’s analyst Ravi Shanker had said earlier that Ford’s planned factory retooling, which it has to perform in order to produce the new pickup, would result in “slow changeover, with tight supply.”
Ford has noted the planned retooling would temporarily deplete its production by over 90,000 F-Series pickups, reducing company sales and profits. Furthermore, margins are expected to be lower on the new aluminum-bodied F-150. But Ford views all of that as necessary back-stepping to be first to market with a truck that uses a combination of “military-grade aluminum and high-strength steel,” and that’ll weigh roughly 700 pounds less than the version it’s replacing.
Of course, only time will tell whether or not Ford is putting on a brave face on top of manufacturing delays. But we’ll take it all at face value and assume things are full speed ahead for now.