Innovation, Technology Drive Pickup Sales

SKV_4912 II

By Tim Esterdahl

When New Orleans swimming pool contractor Terry Lonatro was shopping for a new pickup truck, he wanted better gas mileage than his 2007 Toyota Tundra provided. But, despite what Wall Street analysts say, fuel economy wasn't the biggest factor for Lonatro. Innovations and technology were the bigger selling factors.

Lonatro is part of the changing demographic within work pickup buyers. In the past, these buyers leaned toward cheap regular-cab models with base interiors; today, truck owners' needs are changing.

Lonatro puts 2,000 to 2,500 miles a month on his truck, so it seems that fuel economy would be a top priority for him. Instead, Lonatro put a premium on innovations, technology and comfort because he spends a lot of time in his truck. That's why Lonatro opted for the Ford F-150 King Ranch model — one of the pickup's higher trim levels — equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine.

"I think truck buyers are interested in gas prices," Lonatro said. "They want something that has some fuel economy, but when you drive in a truck, I don't think that is the biggest deciding factor. It is one of them, but it is not the biggest."

Wall Street Bets Against F-150

While fuel economy wasn't a big factor for Lonatro, apparently Wall Street thinks it should be. In mid-December 2014, Ford's stock fell to its lowest point in five weeks, putting off it 7.5 percent for the year at that time. Overall, the market was trending at 7.6 percent higher. During that same time period Deutsche Bank AG downgraded the automaker from a buy to hold, which contributed to Ford's stock market decline. The thinking was with U.S. gasoline prices trending at a five-year low, consumers may not be motivated to buy the newer fuel-efficient model.

"Ford's new 2015 F-150, which incorporates a number of advanced but costly powertrain, light-weighting and safety technologies, represents one of the most prominent early examples of this forthcoming change," wrote Rod Lache, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York, in a statement. "We question whether consumers will pay the price for this content with $2-$3 gas."

There is some validity to this statement since at the time he made it in December, gas had fallen 31 percent since April and was at its lowest level since Oct. 16, 2009, according to the AAA motor club. The low gas prices raised concerns about Ford's long-term plan.

"Ford's product strategy, set 3 or 4 years ago, likely contemplated a somewhat different market dynamic vis a vis energy costs," Lache wrote in a statement.

Gas prices have begun to rise a little — on Feb. 4 the national average was $2.11. This may help change Wall Street's opinion of Ford's plan. However, nobody seems to know for sure if gas prices will return to the high annual national averages of years' past: $2.78 in 2010, $3.51 in 2011, $3.60 in 2012, $3.49 in 2013 and $3.34 in 2014.

Adage About Fuel Prices Doesn't Hold

The problem with saying truck sales revolve around fuel prices just doesn't add up anymore. In late 2014 and early 2015 steadily dropping gas prices did not trigger a significant surge in truck buying.

In fact, many analysts and industry executives say SUV and pickup sales were rising before fuel prices fell; cheaper gas could sustain the trend into 2015, according to Reuters.

The data backs this up, Reuters reported. In October 2014, Ford SUV and trucks accounted for 72 percent of Ford's sales, up from 68.5 percent a year before. Chrysler also noticed a surge of 22 percent driven by Ram pickups and Jeep SUVs.

Truck Needs Are Changing

The reality is there are now many pieces to the truck-buying decision. For example, the new F-150 has better payload and towing numbers than the previous model, and this used to be the benchmark that all trucks were measured by. Today, customers' needs have greatly changed. No longer are towing and payload the deciding factor. Neither is fuel economy. What is driving the market? Luxury interiors and innovation.

Today's luxury pickups, often referred to as Cowboy Cadillacs, are a driving force for every pickup manufacturer. New features and upgraded trim levels equal big money. A December 2014 report released by automotive website TrueCar.com shows 25 percent of Ford's F-Series truck sales are for pickups stickering at $50,000 and more. These sales will represent $10.8 billion in revenue for the truckmaker.

While these higher-end packages may earn the disdain of old-school truck buyers, it is clear people are buying them — people like Lonatro, who spent more than $50,000 on his new King Ranch.

"This year's 2015 Ford F-150 is a quantum leap in technology above the others," Lonatro said. "When I saw they had changed to military-grade aluminum and it offered many of the technological advancements of the upper-end performance imports, that tweaked my interest. If I am going to pay $50,000-plus for a new truck, I want technology, innovation and a proven product."

The truck's weight drop, the available 360-degree camera, LED lights and a host of other new features also caught Lonatro's attention. He made a special trip in January to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to check it out. Looking it over, he was thoroughly impressed with the truck and the aluminum.

"What impresses me about the aluminum is the overall weight factor," Lonatro said. "You can take the weight out without losing any of the strength — that's the most important thing."

He also looked at all the other trucks on the market and none of them had the wow factor the new F-150 has.

"Once this F-150 [hits all dealers' lots] I think the other manufacturers are going to see a big decrease in the sales," Lonatro said. "This thing is going to be a big deal."

Manufacturer images

 

 

Comments

Its all about the buttons!!!

This is rubbish. Truck and big SUV buyers want V8 power.

If Detroit would offer half ton truck buyers a motor equivalent to the old Mopar 440 or the GM 454 they'd fly off the lots.

If CAFE (and its penalties) wasn't hanging over the industry's head, they'd be putting big motors in the trucks and we would be buying them.

papa Jim i think your way off base, unless your loaded who the heck wouldn't want to get the best fuel economy there is? the big 3 are all close enough on mileage numbers that its not a huge factor for me, but i definately want those good ratings, if ford was 5 miles per gallon and chevy was 25 miles per gallon it would lean me hugely in favor of the chevy, but i look at reliability mostly then looks, and creature comforts. a 440 or 454 i definately would not want unless of course i was a heavy hauler which a 1/2 ton is not made for, you need a 1 ton with a diesel if you are a heaver hauler.
but to the wall street guys omg that just dumb to think because gas prices are low right now that prices will never climb again, it almost has to in order the improve the economy ! If people are dumb enough to go buy the biggest gas guzzler on the planet simply because in the last few months gas prices have dropped then they are out of their minds.
i am just blown away at this analogy...do people really think like that? wow just wow

The guys at TFL know there stuff. All the weight saving has added better stability to the F150. I love the 360 Camera View Angle. Great Truck, definite leader.

Keep it up Ford.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp6Jwi3nPI0

From what I can get from the Greencars.org website they look at tailpipe emissions, EPA ratings, and weight of the vehicle... So take what you want from this article... Very subjective evaluation of data and assessment that I truly feel is better captured in MPG ratings for most truck buyers.
This year the Ford F150 received a 36, while the Ram 35, and Chevrolet/GMC 34.
In 2011 the best vehicles were Ford with 32, Toyota and Chevy/GMC with 30, and Dodge at 29.
Fairly substantial improvements over the last 4 years, but I think the ½ ton trucks have shown much more remarkable improvement in capabilities and safety.

I'm sorry but Terry Lonatro is a Ford Hack. The weight savings he is so impressed with evaporated when he chose the King Ranch. The rest of his quotes make him sound like a Ford sales men.

Some of the comments in the article align to my theory regarding most pickup buyers now are looking at refinement.

Why wouldn't they? They want car like performance, no longer is the "it ain't a truck unless it rides rough" types around.

Most don't want a big V8 in a SUV/CUV, why do you think most are V6s and 4s.

Some people live in a dream, the years of yore.

I do believe the rapid rise of the Ram was mainly due to refinement and cost.

So, the many arguments on PUTC regarding tow, acceleration, best in class doesn't amount to much other than marketing and personal subjective brand bias.

I can see fractional changes with gas prices going down. If you need or want a truck you are going to buy one. You certainly are not going to throw sheets of plywood in a sedan or a crossover.

How much does a 2014 king ranch weigh compared to a 2015 king ranch????

The dividends from the the aluminum body that haven't been mentioned are the lack of corrosion and additional payload (in bed) weight carrying ability of the 2015 F150.

It's be a couple of years before we can effectively evaluate the corrosion part.....evidently Ford did their homework on that part. But we should see the value in a higher bed load capability.

Unless you're suggesting the additional load capability is not valuable?

@papa

Tell me why more than half of the truck build by Ford are sold with V6 ecoboost or not.
Like many other you think for other people. Live your own life and let other people live theirs.

Hey Joe! I'm curious as hell--why do YOU think they buy an ecoboost? The answer is simple: Power.

If they buy it for gas mileage they probably made the wrong move.

@Joblow

Half of F150 sales may have been Eco boost but Chevy/GMC 1500s out sold the Ford 150 in 2014 by a wide margin and I'd wager 75% of those were 5.3 V8's. I'd bet the GM 5.3 out sells the Eco Boost 2 or 3 to 1.

@mackentire

"Unless you're suggesting the additional load capability is not valuable?"

I'd make that suggestion to a point. Ram offers a v6 diesel powered '1/2 ton' truck that's technically not even a 1/2 ton. and apparently it's flying off the lots

It is always interesting to see nostalgia for the Big Blocks of old. The last 454 truck engine made 230 hp and 385 lb. ft. of torque. Impressive for the day, but the new 6.2L EcoTec3 in the Silverado and Sierra makes 420 hp and 460 lb. ft. of torque, with impressive real-world fuel economy, since it is running on four-cylinders much of the time.

I just don't understand how everybody defends the F-150 Eco-Boost when Ford lied about the gas mileage in 2011 and lied again in 2015 about the new 2.7 Eco-Boost mileage.
I have NO issue with the 5.0 V8 in the F-150.
Everybody I know with the 3.5 Eco-Boost is upset they never got the gas mileage they were expecting.
Ford F-150 sales are a big percentage of repeat F-150 past owners. I see that fading away.
The only thing I can say good is the Ford Service Dept treats me good and fair and I just don't trust the Ram and Chevy Dealers in my area.

I wanted really bad to buy a new 2015 F-150 but I just didn't like it.
I expected too much from the new F-150 based on the reviews I read about it.
I simply expected the 2015 to be better, to excite me more than my 2013 F-150, it just wasn't there!
The 2015 F-150 simply isn't worth the extra money, the Ram is better and much less expensive.

Actually,gas mileage doesn't matter when you own a business...

Tax write off !!!

With my business , I hand in the receipts to my accountant and they add it up and you pay less income tax at tax time...The more you spend on your business expenses the less tax you pay..

@Tom

Tell what sort of power an 8 liter big block would make with sophisticated fuel and spark management systems such as the ones we have today.

Talking about the K1500 with the detuned 454 is apples/oranges

Those of you pining for the 440/454/460 big block V8s of yesteryear... they were replaced by the HD diesels. Far more power and torque, but can still get 20 mpg highway with an empty truck. Gasoline big-blocks were lucky to see 14. When Chrysler offered the iron V-10 alongside the Cummins in Ram 25/3500 pickups, the V-10 take rate was 3% to the Cummins' 70%.

I have to laugh at the "Ford went aluminum and still is barely lighter than GM" posts.
Yes that is true but from an engineering perspective there are no low hanging fruit left to pick.
Ford WAS the heaviest truck on the market.
They needed to drop weight to stay competitive. I don't know many with good things to say about the bodies on the GMT900's so was that weight saving worth it?

I have seen a similar trend in pickup purchases. Most of the guys I know who use trucks for work i.e. logging and construction contractors and even their employees have all gravitated towards high end full bling trucks. The rationale they use is that the truck is their office or they spend 10-12 hrs a day in and out of the cab.

To bad your powertrain warranty is out in 2 years. (2,500 x 24). Oh, I forgot. Ford boys don't drive that much in a year. Your ok then.

@Big Al - part of the reason "finesse" is more important is the fact that most people now expect pickups to have all of the bling of a high end car and the ride to match. Long gone are the days where truck guys prided themselves in toughing out a no frills vinyl bench seat 4 speed manual with a clutch as stiff as a 500 lb squat rack.
Another factor is how vehicles are sold. Go to any "build your own" site and they list a option prices in "patment per month".

There is the pickup buyer who wants a SUV alternative but I do believe that the last economic downturn and fuel spike weeded out most of the "soft" pickup buyers.

The point of Ford's military grade aluminum construction is durability and longevity. Lou's post is correct. The Ford being only slightly lighter than what Chevrolet offers is really irrelevant. These aren't race cars. What Chevrolet did with the gmt900 model to cut weight was to thin out the sheet metal so far it became wavy and worthless for truck use. It then damages resale value. It's also the fastest rusting Chevrolet truck I've ever seen. Worse than the prior model which I never thought possible. Luckily there isn't rocker panels on the 900's. The beds however require complete replacement once the rust bubbles come in over the rear tires. Thicker aluminum is more durable than the thin steel. It's also far more corrosion resistant, especially primed and painted.

I agree with the article. Ford's high end interior trims and options make for great sales. Chevrolet could learn a thing or two from Ford and Ram in this area as well. Not GMC, Chevrolet.

@M.
There is no such thing as military grade aluminium.

Aluminium is graded in Series in lots of 1 000.

Using the term Military Grade is a marketing gimmick.

Most any modern aircraft to a step ladder has "Military Grade" aluminium construction.

@mackintire,
A downfall of the methods employed by Ford in the construction of the aluminium F-150 is the bonding techniques used in its fabrication.

How good are the adhesives? How well do they perform?

Time will tell. I doubt you will have many 2015 F-150 around in 50 years to take to a show and shine.

Adhesives degenerate as time goes by, no different than sealants used around the home.

I too in years gone by, put my priorities on innovations, technology, style and the Wow factor.

In order for me to get that, it cost me $140,000 for my three previous new trucks. That $140,000 only got me expensive junk. It also cost me hundreds of hours of lost time. And even more money in other ways to many to list here.

As a result, I now have a completely different way of buying trucks and have a completely different set of priorities. For me innovation, technology, and the Wow factor are more than 30 points down on the priority list.

@Lou_BC
I agree with you regarding the bling that many expect in a pickup.

Pickups started out as an only vehicle and business vehicle.

My great grandfather used to own an express business on Long Island. His first vehicle was a horse and cart. He moved up and bought a Model T stake truck (if you know what that is).

That was his business and family vehicle.

After WWII the pickup gradually became the second vehicle in the family that the husband drove and a business vehicle, ie, farm, building, delivery, etc.

As time went by the pickup has become the primary vehicle again for the family. It's a SUV most are sold to families as their first car. The modern pickup doesn't work like the pickups of old.

Yes some tow, but in reality how many tow more than 5 000lbs? Not many as a percentage of total pickups sold.

I'd bet many of the commenters on PUTC would be lucky to have towed more than 5 000lbs, irrespective of the response this will attract. 5 000lbs behind any 1/2 ton pickup and you would know it's there. Many talk 12 000lbs etc as if it's nothing.

So the argument that a pickup must have all of this capability is ill founded. It is only relevant to the minority who use that capability.

Here in Australia 75% of pickups sold are 4x4. How many do you think actually use this capability? No different than the US with the logic of load and tow capability. Here they state I've used 4x4 and I ask them where they went, they either don't respond or state they went to a certain place, which is a dirt track that could of been done in a Corolla.

So, the added capacity of the aluminium F-150 will only benefit a few. There a pickups out there that can do what the aluminium F-150 can do already.

Having the 2 000lbs plus load capacity is of no use to the average family guy who just wants him, his wife and the 1.8 kids to travel to the mall, pickup up the 1.8 kids from school, go to Home Depot to collect a dozen bags of wood chips for the garden or whatever and tow a utility trailer so the bed doesn't get scratched.

This is what the pickup is basically used for now and designed for now.

As DiM once stated the modern pickup is a SUV with a balcony.

I really do think your view regarding the average use of a pickup is distorted. Maybe in your neck of the woods in remote BC this is the case, like what I witnessed in the NT. But even then most 4x4 pickups in the NT were never used to their maximum capabilities.

@Big Al from Oz - my view is not distorted. It reflects reality. Most do not buy what they need, they buy what they think they need. Capacity is part of the picture. I focus a lot on that subject because many are ignorant.

I'll use a metaphor to explain my point. I've had Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers most of my life. I've had people approach me and gush about how great those breeds are and how they'd like one as a family pet.
I point out the fact that they are generally very intelligent and very energetic. One needs to spend a considerable amount of time managing that energy and intelligence. If one isn't prepared to work with the breed's strengths those strengths become liabilities.
People are the same with trucks. They do not understand the breed and buy based on their fantasy related to the breed.

@Lou_BC
This is where maybe marketing should be checked on.

The marketing of vehicles distort what a vehicle can really achieve. Best in class is a marketing tool that covers up the truth. Really why is a best in class better than second best in class? Especially with the parameters that are generally measured. They mean little if you don't need it.

It isn't that the marketer's lie, but the spin with a lack of sincerity.

Pickups used by most are never used in the fashion you described.

I do think also that these so called "uneducated SUV" people you speak of are less likely to overload than say a farmer, builder or whatever business group you can think of.

It's working trucks that tend to be overloaded more often than the SUV pickup owner.

A SUV pickup owner doesn't buy a pickup for load and tow. They buy a big car and use it as such.

This is where I think you are getting it wrong.

My comment can be supported by the type and style of pickups sold.

Even here on PUTC most only are interested in 0-60 times etc.

Then try and justify all this power for tow capability.

Lets face the truth. Pickups are like any other vehicle segment, it is driven by a particular want and need (to a much lesser extent).

People want a big car first. If they can afford it a V8.

It's all apart of the middle class dream, it's no different here a pickup and SUV/CUV in the driveway and a McMansion is considered success by the common folk.

People buy diesel 1/2 ton trucks so they can fill up at the big boys pumps at truck stops. Makes no financial sense what so ever and they could get buy with a vw jetta which has more payload capacity then 1/2 ton diesel pickups. That is why they don't sell very many of them.

http://www.f150forum.com/f118/got-interviewed-pickuptrucks-com-288586/

Al. Planes have being bonded for ages. Bonding aluminum isn't new there will be just as many percentage wise or more bonded 2015 f150's at the show and shine 50 years down the road as there are 2014 f150's. Adhesives and rivets are stronger and have greater fatigue resistance then welding. The new frame aluminum frame of the c7 corvette uses adhesive and rivets as well as welding.

https://books.google.com/books?id=5WDb442rOekC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=adhesive+bonding+boeing+747&source=bl&ots=ExMV0sNE7G&sig=psBi1wJYhjrU2KjmVWHeRmcf6Fo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Q2PVVIWaEZD9oATD9YEg&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ

@Scott,
How often are the bonded panels repaired on aircraft?

Find that one out. Also look at the processes involved in bonding.

If bonding of aluminium or any metals isn't done correctly it will fail prematurely. Also the bonding or adhesive isn't eternal.

Look at the way the metal must be bonded. Look at how temperature affect even the same metal through thermal expansion and contraction.

Watch a bi-metallic strip and how it reacts to changes in temperature.

Even two pieces of aluminium will expand and contract at different rates. For example on piece is facing in direct sun light and the other is underneath.

Which piece heat up first? Which piece will contract first?

Have you ever been in a shed or building with a steel roof? The whole structure can be made of mild steel. Ever hear the metal contract and expand.

It will be interesting to see how Ford is bonding the F-150 together. Cleanliness is crucial as well as having not contaminants within the bonded area.

More adhesive reading for Ya AL as you have extreme prejudice towards aluminum as well as bonding.
http://www.thefabricator.com/article/assembly/bonding-with-adhesives

My snowmobile as well as my aluminum enclosed as well as my travel trailer have bonded components. Airstream travel trailers.... The longest lasting on the road are bonded, riveted and welded.

why imply f150's will fall apart if you don't really know anything about bonding process.

Hey al
Here is a read. I would gather a riveted and bonded panel on a plane is removed unless it's damaged. Panel that need to be removed would be attached with fastners so the can remove them for maintenance.... I may be wrong but I think they don't tear fuselage apart and re rivet and adhesive the pieces for just maintenance. If you scroll down you will see a image of glued together parts and I don't see a need why they would be removed just cause they are glued on.

http://www.adhesives.org/resources/knowledge-center/aggregate-single/structural-adhesive-bonding-in-aerospace

@Scott,
Why is it that GM isn't going the way of bonding with the next Silverado's and Sierra's?

Here are some links the first one is the Alcoa 951 process that is used by Ford. This article speaks of the advantages.

http://www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/08/aluminum-joining-intensifies

Here are some graphs etc;

1. Aging of a bonding and it effect on strength

http://aluminium.matter.org.uk/content/html/eng/default.asp?catid=50&pageid=2144416916

2. Stress affecting adhesive bonding

http://aluminium.matter.org.uk/content/html/eng/default.asp?catid=50&pageid=2144416918

3. Shear stress, Remember bang or dent the car in a position at or near the bonded joint will introduce distortion and will impact the adhesive bond. Pickups and bangs and dents? Not common?

http://aluminium.matter.org.uk/content/html/eng/default.asp?catid=50&pageid=2144416920

A bonded vehicle will work. But if you read the above links you will see that the care needed to maintain a vehicle will be different than steel.

Even a small dent or slight buckle can affect the integrity of a bonded joint. Like any delamination it will start off localised and gradually expand.

Have you ever seen plywood gradually delaminate? A similar process will occur.

Now, that I've stated that an aluminium pickup will work.

Then again, what did Ford state? The F-Series will be the only aluminium vehicle they will produce. Why?

If aluminium is so great why not spread it's use?

As I've already stated, I do think Ford is having production issues with the aluminium trucks.

Things are harder than Ford had thought.

That's why aircraft, aluminium pantechs and even your Airstream are expensive.

The world isn't ready for the daily driver to be manufactured from aluminium.

My gut feeling tells me that Ford will not make much from the new F-150 no matter how dazzling the aluminium appears to some.

I've seen some intelligent people pass comments on PUTC and elsewhere attempting to compare the F-150 to aircraft, or a Peterbuilt, a semi trailer or whatever.

The difference is these are constructed differently or are much more expensive vehicles to buy per pound.

@al

Now figure adhesive with rivets like the f150. It offers superior properties to welding.

And gm is using tons of adhesive in there premium vehicles, more and more every year.

Have they come out and said they aren't using adhesives on there aluminum pickup??? My guess they will use a combination of methods determined by engineering, welding, rivets and adhesives just like ford does.
http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/May/0509-cadillac-cts.html

@Scott,
If I remember correctly GM announced it was in favour of continuous welding.

Read this link regarding corrosion and it's relation to riveting.

http://www.elinorcorp.com/uploads/TALAT_Lectures_Corrosion_Control_of_Aluminum.pdf

I think that is incorrect as they use adhesives in there Cadillacs and there brand new c7 corvette aluminum chassis. They did say the developed a new welding technique that they could adapt there old equipment to use... The smart bet is they will use combinations of methods just like they already do on there premium cars.

@Scott,
Look at the price of those vehicles. Remember what appears similar are in fact different. Remember my comment cost per pound of vehicle.

Also, don't misconstrue my statement. I'm not stating the vehicle will fall apart once of the dealers lot. I do think this is where you are getting yours wired crossed.

But how good will the vehicle be in a decade? Like the 2.7 EcoBoost. What is it's lifing? Look closely at how it's constructed.

I do think the F-150 will come to a point where it must be replaced due to economic reason sooner than existing pickups.

Also, I think the Silverado Sierra, it was mentioned they were in favour of welding not bonding.

I have made my position clear based on my knowledge of working with aluminium all of my life and what I've learnt.

Aluminium will work. But, it will cost more to maintain.

The plus side is Ford is going to advance bonding technology. It has to, to ensure the success of the aluminium F-150.

If it doesn't this would have been an expensive exercise.

Al

In the current gen silverado/sierra gm used 103% more adhesives then the previous generation. The only difference is they are bonding steel together

@Road Trip

Why are you worried about gas mileage? I said they would sell big block V8 gas pickups like and I'm right.

Every day people happily pay thousands more to buy a 6.2 GMC engine that costs no more for GM to build than the 5.3 engine.

The V10 and the big V8s would have been much more efficient with a decent tune and a 6 or 8 speed trans, although they'd have been just fine with a legit 4 spd.

Also Al Cadillacs aren't that expensive. Ats's start at 33k

You can go page 39 and 40 to see where gm uses adhesives and increased there use to aid in bonding steel together
http://www.autosteel.org/~/media/Files/Autosteel/Great%20Designs%20in%20Steel/GDIS%202013/Advanced%20High-Strength%20Steel%20Technologies%20in%20the%202014%20Chevy%20Silverado.pdf

"If I am going to pay $50,000-plus for a new truck, I want technology, innovation and a proven product."

I love that quote from the article. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too. We would all love to have the latest and greatest tech, innovation, the most HP, Torque and best in class EPA. Point is you can't have it all and there is NO ONE perfect truck. Everyone has different wants/needs and you have to pick and choose what is most important to you.

@Scott,
I do realise how strong adhesives are. We use them all the time.

What I'm discussing isn't just the strength, but the cost of using aluminium.

I was also discussing how long the bonding will last and maintain it's integrity. Again, I'm not discussing driving out of a dealership and have the pickup self destruct.

I also provided a link showing the strength and weakness of bonding.

Like I mentioned. Deform a piece of bonded metal and see how long the strength lasts.

Read what I'm writing about.

You appear all defensive and this isn't allowing you to read and comprehend what I'm describing. Put you biases aside and don't get emotive. Look at the problem from an engineering perspective.

Bonding is strong. But it's strength has limitations that is affected by different variables.

Also, like I pointed out look at the cost of using aluminium. Just because a plane or even a Corvette is using bonding and aluminium the cost of the vehicle will allow for the manufacture to be better.

Like I also mentioned and was stated by Ford. Ford will not build cars out of aluminium. It has nothing to do with additional payload and tow. It has to do with it's harder than Ford had estimated to use, ie, the cost of a Corvette or aircraft or your Airstream vs the cost of a pickup.

Boy, read.

Ford already said aluminum adds about $300 in cost to build the f150. Not really that expensive. 10-15 years they are used up and these trucks aren't bought to be collector items. 5.9 cummins Rams are getting more rare as the 6.7 is far superior. I can't remember the last time I seen a pre 94 ram pickup on the road. Very few v10 and 12 valve cummins on the road in my area... So 20 plus years of longevity isn't that important cause chances are if you use it as a daily driver it will be used up mechanically in 10-15 years and be a yard fixture or be crushed.

I am just going to sit back and watch for a year allow the scapegoats to buy the 2015 F-150 and watch the problems prop up.
Going to watch the gas mileage numbers , time will give me true accurate numbers.

In the past couple of years I seen great advancements and improved reliability of the Chevy and GMC trucks that nobody talks about, its almost impossible to find anybody talking about the 4.3 V6. The 4.3 is powerful, reliable with great gas mileage.

In my book when nobody talks about it - it must be good, all the good vehicles in the past went under the radar and there wasn't much said about them.

We are being overwhelmed with media attention, reviews, advertising about the F-150 because Ford is in a panic.
Ford doesn't have confidence in the F-150 that's why they are pushing it too hard.

I trust my gut feeling and it tells me to avoid the new F-150 like the plague !

Ford said they didn't need to build cars from aluminum because they don't have large payload capabilities. They're also not dragging down CAFE numbers like trucks are. I don't really remember any of your past predictions happening, few years back you were harping about fullsize pickup trucks becoming smaller. Didn't happen.

Eric,

I don't have data for the 6.2 on regular fuel, as it is certified on premium. For customers who want to run regular fuel, the 5.3 is the best choice -- good performance and the best fuel economy ever from a V-8 pickup.

As for big blocks, it's worth remembering that they came into existence because, with the technology available at the time, nobody could get more than 327 to 350 cubic inches of displacement from a small block V-8. Small block V-8s are now build in 378, 390 and even 427 cubic inch displacements, with reliability that was unheard of a few decades ago. Some things do get better.



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