Ford’s gamble with the aluminum 2015 F-150 could have ended two ways:
- As an embarrassing failure
- As a trendsetting new way to build trucks
Ram, with its little comment about aluminum’s best use being for beer cans, pretty much secured its future of steel bodies.
Chevrolet stayed pretty quiet on the issue, presumably to take a wait-and-see approach. Watching the new Ford keep its status as the number one truck in America, while scoring a 5-star safety rating, might have had a hand in convincing Chevy to join the aluminum body movement.
For now Chevy is pretty committed to high-strength steel, as evidenced in this new ad for the 2015 Silverado 2500HD:
Things could change, though. The Detroit Bureau said,
A possible switch to aluminum by GM was hinted at during a news conference revealing the maker’s plan to invest $5.4 billion in new plants and equipment. That includes a revamp of the prototype plant in Warren, Michigan where GM builds the first iteration of new vehicles under development before they are transferred to the assembly plant where the finished product is assembled.
Currently, the automaker uses aluminum on some components and body panels for a number of models as it experiments with lightweight materials, specifically in the Corvette. The upcoming Cadillac CT6 is next to benefit by the use of the alloy throughout the majority of the body.
Using aluminum increases costs, but provides a strong lightweight material that can help increase fuel economy and even result in higher towing and hauling capabilities. General Motors can’t afford to fall behind Ford in those battles, so it’s a pretty safe bet to assume we’ll see aluminum Chevy and GMC trucks in the near future.
Do you prefer a truck built with a steel or aluminum body?