Ford's Next-Generation Super Duty Goes Aluminum Too

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We've known this was coming for a while but Ford made it official when Raj Nair, Ford's head of product development, announced to a group of current and potential investors that the next-generation Super Duty will also be adopting an aluminum body — just like the new F-150.

The Detroit News reported the announcement while automotive journalists are test-driving the 2015 F-150 in Texas.

Ford has not announced when the next Super Duty will debut, but given the fact our spy photographer have caught quite a few Super Dutys testing this past June, August and September, we're guessing the next truck could debut as a 2016 or 2017 model. Our spies even saw one burn to the ground.

Since all Super Dutys (which account for about half of all F-Series sales at a healthy profit margin) are currently produced at only one site — the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville — modifying it presents a problem. To prepare for the 2015 F-150, Ford shut down one plant for modification while still producing the half-ton at its other F-150 plant. Ford can't do that with the Super Dutys.

When the Kentucky plant is shut down for the eight to 10 weeks (and that might be an optimistic amount of time) to refit for the new Super Dutys, it will deliver a huge hit to Ford's bottom line. You can bet Chevrolet, GMC and Ram will be ready to take advantage of the changeover by offering special deals on heavy-duty models during Ford's plant shutdown. However, it wouldn't surprise us if Ford had some type of backup plan to produce Super Dutys somewhere else.

Cars.com image by Evan Sears; spy photo by Kent Sundling

 

Spied F-450 3 II

 

Comments

@DeverMike/Paul/Tom Lemon/Greg Baird/TRX4Tom/Dave/Hemi V8/Tom Terrific/sandman 4x4/lautenslager/zveria/Bob/US Truck Driver/Glenn/Jason/Hemi Rampage/smartest truck guy/Maxx/SuperDuty37/Ken/Ron/johnny doe/jim/1LLA/Frank/Idahoe Joe/The Guy/AD/Casey/papa jim/Young Guy/BeeBe/Steve/Chris/The truck guy/Alex/Mr Chow/Yessir/All Americans/Scott/Buy American or say Bye to America/Ram Big Horn 1500/Hemi Monster/Tom Wilkinson at Chevy/mark49/Tom#3/Truck Crazy/carilloskis or whoever you want to call yourself.

Quit the crap, really.

It's getting long in the tooth.

You want to debate, but it has to be on your terms.

Learn to debate with good information, then we might be able to have a decent debate.

Opinions are good, but if they are only your view to support the UAW, then how good are they. Look at what you guys have done to Detroit.

Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTC.

@Den/Mike
No they were not converted here, but we're in RHD from the U.S. Ford was going to make them Global, but that really did not pan out. Trying the same thing now with the Ranger

Hmmm.......more fallacies by...........

"Why does pickup truck insurance cost more than standard car insurance?"


http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/how-much-are-pickup-truck-car-insurance-rates/

The insurance of the new F-150 will rise substantially. How many qualified and Frod recognised repairers are there in the US? A supply and demand situation will tilt towards the repairers in quotes.

How much more does it cost to repair aluminium? How many times initially will repairs require to be re-done due to lack of knowledge leading to substandard repairs.

So, in the end it isn't will they go up, but by how much will aluminium repairs to vehicles cost the consumer.

@Robert Ryan - I didn't say they were converted in OZ. Then they would've been a complete disaster. I said it was an afterthought. They were not originally designed nor engineered for RHD. It's reasonable to expect electrical and mechanical gremlins, even if converted on the Explorer assembly line. Most likely it was farmed out to an outside contractor.

@big al
My insurance is the cheapest on my raptor then my other 3 vehicles. A lexus is250, a ford focus and a 2008 vw. All my coverages are the same except I carry $100 comp deductible, everything has 0 comp deduct. I have to carry the max coverages for the most part on everything else as that was required to have a umbrella policy. My 2008 vw jetta cost about $130 more every 6 months and the lexus is more yet. The reasoning my insurance agent said was crash history of vehicle models. If I hit something with the raptor typically they can fix it depending on the damage. If I hit my jetta or any other car in my household with the raptor at a few mph it prolly mean a new bumper on the truck and the other cars would need substantial repairs. F150's are actually 17 cheapest vehicle to insure according to the link I posted. But with the new safety features of the f150 such as lane keep, brake assistant, and the other electric safety features it will be really comparable to insure vs the 14 is my bet. Again my 14 f150 raptor is cheapest to insure in my case.
http://instantquotewizard.com/auto/whats-ford-f150-insurance-cost-compare-rates

@DenMike,
Not an afterthought, like Jeep is doing now making them in the US. Just did not work out for Ford, unlike FCA

@Scott,
The article is probably an overall view across the US and not specific to regional fluctuations and differences.

We have a similar situation here in Australia regarding insurance. Almost all of our insurance goes by your postal address.

Where I live has some of the most prohibitive vehicle insurance costs in Australia due to animal strikes. I'm now paying over $700 per year for my $51 000 pickup.

When I move back down south in a few months I'll be paying around $550 per year. So as you can see it is very expensive for my insurance in the Outback. They don't even have a reduction in insurance if you have a bull bar fitted. Now the first insurance company to give a reduction for a bull bar fittment will get a lot of customers.

My comment is regarding the future cost of insuring an aluminium F-150. That article I posted was for Tom/DiM because he was talking with little consideration to fact.

It will cost a significant amount more than a steel vehicle. Maybe years down the track things might be different as new methods and technologies are developed for the repair of aluminium vehicle. But that will not occur overnight.

@Big Al--I can see another argument in favor of the extra cost of aluminum. As expensive as most full size trucks have become the extra cost of aluminum is not that significant. Someone who is spending 30k to 60k is probably not going to be that concerned about paying a little more for aluminum (the extra trim level such a Platinum or King Ranch is much greater in cost than the extra cost of aluminum). The high trim full size trucks are approaching the price range of a Jaguar and Mercedes and those paying that much for a truck are less concerned about the cost of aluminum and any extra cost to insure an aluminum body vehicle. Trucks have become less about practicality and value and more about luxury and a must have vehicle that is cool to be seen in. Those that don't want these trucks still have a choice of more affordable trucks for now but those options will diminish over time.

From an article linked on these posts, looks like it costs Ford about $450 more for aluminum over steel. Not a significant amount considering the profit margin and volume of sales. As far as insurance, those saying there will definitely be a price increase are talking out of their rear. Unknown. What is fact, the thin sheet metal on newer trucks are difficult if not impossible to repair, so shops do what they will do with aluminum panels, replace them. I doubt Ford will use aluminum on global vehicles as they have no CAFE standards. How long will aluminum bodies last given their resistance to corrosion? I can see the market falling for non aluminum used trucks, which looks like FCA according to Hegbloomer.

A four-door Bronco WOULD be nice to replace the current dinosaur we all know and love as the Expedition. Stick in the 5.0L V8, 3.5 L TT EcoBoost V6, and give it some of the original Bronco and the F-Bronco's genes and GM would have to "K5-Blazer-ize" the Tahoe/Yukon. Anyway, good luck with the F-Series 150 and Super Duty, Ford.

@Jeff S,
That is the MSRP. It will be interesting to see how large discounting will be............and the change to Ford's bottom line.

The MSRP isn't a good indicator of the cost of a truck. The transaction costs are.

People are treating my comment as if no F Series will be sold. This will not be the case. I do think there will be a drop in Ford sales to the point where Ford might lose it's No. 1 spot.

Also, did Ford look at the profitability of the F Series using current numbers? In the auto industry a drop in sales of several percent can have a significant impact on profits.

Remember Nissan and Toyota will are releasing HD alternatives as well. These will be cheaper than Big 3 HDs. This will put pressure on the trucks as well.

I do believe the Colorado will place some pressure on the V6 full size buyer as well. A person buying a V6 isn't looking for a superior tow vehicle, but some utility.

The new Navara/Frontier is supposed to be the next benchmark in the smaller trucks. If it is better than the Colorado the consumer might start to have some choice. Do I buy a Impala size vehicle or a Camry. As pickups become more like a SUV/CUV the traditional view of a pickup will alter, like cars. Does everyone drive around in the biggest car? No. Because not many want or need the capability of a larger car.

Even as poor as some state the Ram is concerning it's payload, etc, they are selling. So it seems a pickup isn't just about payload.

Working pickups would probably be around 20% of all pickup sales. I do realise 1/2 are bought for business, but out of them how many are not business vehicles, but a tax write off.

I really do think the US pickup market is going to change. The numbers that we see now by the manufactures will alter quite a bit over the next few years.

Ford is under pressure. The aluminium F Series will be a nice truck, but there will be more pickups released in the near future that might be more attractive to purchase.

It will come down more to cost vs expectations. How many people worry about the construction of a ladder? Not many. So just because the pickup is aluminium will not have as significant an impact as some on this site allude to. Yes, the truck is different. But is what it does that much different?

My philosophy is similar to a diesel. A diesel is significantly more different in a pickup. As it character is changed. Aluminium is not different than having a vinyl or carpet floor mat.

Ford has spent a lot of money on a gamble. Ford will not lose, but they will drop a wrung or two.

Also, where are Ford's FE figures for the F-150. Will the F-150s with the 2.7 EcoBoost released to the public have the same tune as the press release trucks?

Somehow I don't think Ford is transparent enough with this information. Wasn't the use of aluminium due to FE?

@Big Al--Ford could long term keep their No 1 position but I agree that if Nissan came up with a competitive HD truck and priced it competitively that it could take some sales away from Ford, GM, and Ram. For my own use these trucks are much too big even though I could afford to buy and keep one up--I just don't want or need something this big The Colorado/Canyon would be as big as I need and would be my first choice even above the Frontier and Tacoma. The base Colorado would do everything I need it to do and I have a preference for manuals even though it is not a deal breaker. The aluminum is more for lightening the weight of the F-150 which I completely understand. I do think there are other ways as well especially with some of the new plastics that have been developed. I think with experience Ford will get the technology of making aluminum body vehicles down pat.

@Big Al

Wow, that is a lot odd assumptions in one post. I know a few of them that are incorrect because that is just not the way things work here which tells me you are out of tune with what is going on in America. I know you think you know, but by some of your statements it is blatantly obvious that you don't. Although, some of those are good opinions and assumptions.

You also don't know what attracts American buyers either. Anyone with half a brain knows that Ford went to aluminum mainly to meet CAFE requirements. However, just saying it went with aluminum to meet FE requirements does not sell trucks. The benefits of having an aluminum truck like more payload, better handling, better braking, better drive-ability, and so in is what sells trucks. People buy things because it benefits them, not because it meets federal CAFE requirements. Ford is just "selling" or "marketing" the benefits of an aluminum truck just as you do by "selling" or "marketing" diesel engines. I know you fancy yourself as an know it all engineer, but that clearly does not make you an marketing expert.

Again, we all know why they went with aluminum, but you are the only one that thinks it is some kind of conspiracy that Ford is not marketing that the only reason they went with aluminum was to meet CAFE. It is not a conpsiracy, it is just Fords marketing selling their product just as any other truck make does like Ram with all it's "Best in Class" BS. We all know it is BS (well...besides some of the Ram guys) and that the only time you can take advantage of that "best in class" is with certain configurations that most don't buy so it is useless to advertise it. You don't see us bringing up that fact in every article now do you? No, because we know that it is just some marketing department that shells out millions of dollars to sell their products. So no, it is not some conspiracy that Ford does not advertise in every article that they went with aluminum because of FE like you want them to. If you want them to then write them a letter asking them to because we are tired of you crying about it on here all the time.

@Big Al

"Also, I'm not A-L-L1 or any of his many pseudonyms."

I have to alter my name because every time I use one my comments get deleted and the name gets banned from this site and I can't use it anymore. My original name as AL*1(<-- I can't even say the name in a post or it won't post) coincidentally got banned shortly after an argument with you. I emailed PUTC to ask them why and all they said is that I broken some rule. I told them I didn't break any rules that Big Al has not already been broken from what I have seen. When asked which rules I broke I was meet with no response from PUTC.

However, I always try to incorporate AL*1 in some way so people will know it is me. This is only short lived though because then that name will be banned as well and I have to use another one. So yes, I will still come back at you to debunk and debase these opinions that you have that may apply over there in la la Land, but not here in the US. BTW, you have given up your right to tell Americans how they should live a long time ago when you chose to be a citizen of another country so what makes you think we want to here your OPINIONS on how things should be here or how you THINK it is here? Judging from the many that combat these opinions of your that are actual Americans and actually live here, many your opinions seem to be incorrect.

Aluminum may be lighter but also weaker,also it will corrode in salty environments and when in presence of other dissimilar metals,good luck kids..btw
I wouldn't buy Ford no matter what's it made of,it's frame is weak as noodles
GM vs Ford frame flex
http://youtu.be/TKMQjm7i2Jw

You want to impress me build a car or truck from hemp plastic,the old Henry Ford had a better idea unfortunately today's execs have nowhere near that inventive spirit
http://youtu.be/srgE6Tzi3Lg

Aluminum will be great. Less weight is always a good thing. It will accelerate and stop quicker, handle better with a lower CG, have a higher payload, and better fuel economy. Are people really going to stick to their antiquated thinking until their favorite brand adopts it? Also, lightening the load will improve city fuel economy more than it will highway. Better fuel economy on the highway would come more from aerodynamics. While we need big towing mirrors and big engines with big radiators, I don't see them shaping like sports cars any time soon. Unfortunately most people just look at the highway figures, rather than real world.

@Jeff S,
I do think Ford with the NA pickups will face the same challenges that Toyota is with it's global pickups.

Ford has moved in a different direction as it had done with the EcoBoost. But Ram has moved in the direction of what Fiat knows globally, diesel.

Toyota and Nissan will move in the diesel direction as well.

It will be interesting to watch how the future unfolds.

There will be some apprehension with the new Ford as well.

I do think Ford will still be a huge seller, but not what it is now.

Like I stated the primary reason for the aluminium truck is FE. I just hope the FE gain using the EcoBoost technology is as good as Ford claims.

The 3.5 EcoBoost was a little hit and miss. Reasonable FE empty, but under load I have read of some quite horrific FE figures and dissatisfied customers who expected more.

I don't see pickups ever selling like they did 10 years ago. Many consumers have moved onto different sizes of crossovers. I don't think Ford needs to sell as many trucks in the future as long as they can maintain profit margins close to what they have now they will be doing well. There will always be a market for trucks but there will just be a smaller one--instead of 19 to 20 percent you might see a market with 10 to 12 percent which is still good considering the profit margin. I do see a larger void developing for a true get down dirty work truck since the profit margin is less for them than the luxury trucks. Dealers are going to push the most expensive models since that is where the profits are. It does appear that the market might be ready for a base work truck which will probably happen when the US eventually allows imported trucks. The domestic base manufacturers have little incentive to produce and sell base work trucks.

@Jeff S - TTAC tends to be much more aware of trends than other sites. That stems from the fact that they do not rely on car companies for news or test vehicles. PUTC like most sites are thinly veiled PR arms for car companies. Crossovers are booming. Trucks are still not back to pre-2008 levels. Sports cars are 50% of pre-2008.

@Lou BC--I agree TTAC is more aware of market trends. Trucks will still be a cash cow for the manufacturers even though their share of the market is and will be less. For now crossovers are the hot item, but as with everything something else will be the next big seller. Take a station wagon and raise the height and add AWD, what will they think of next?

@Jeff S.
When local Sedan manufacturing disappears here, it looks like we will have more SUV's, Pickups than anything. Small cars are getting less, Crossovers are the same. It is the imported smallish sedans and tiny Crossovers by GM and Ford, that will be decimated. They sold the grand total of 98 Malibu's and 238 Captiva's a smallish CUV,so far this year. Not enough to keep either companies going as importers. The Colorado is the 20th best selling Pickup. Ford's Ranger is now up to 5th, but Falcon, Territory have dive bombed as a result of closure and European Mondeo basically your Fusion is as bad as the Malibu

@Robert Ryan--I think the Colorado/Canyon will do better than many expect--they won't necessarily take away traditional truck sales but there is a market out there for a newer midsize truck. Crossovers are the hot item in the US in all sizes. I do see the market for the crossovers reaching a saturation point since about everyone who makes a sedan is already making one or getting into the market. Many people will go onto the next fad whether it is in vehicles, clothes, I-phones, I-Pads, appliances, or counter tops. I don't see full size sedans or large body on frame SUVs ever selling like they did in the 90's. I know many people who have had large 4 wheel drive trucks and large SUVs that are now driving crossovers. Those on this site are not typical of most vehicle buyers in that they are hardcore truck owners and will never own anything else and most on the website are intensely brand loyal. In the real non pickup truck World most consumers are not as intensely brand loyal and will own many different brands and types of vehicles.

Is there anyone out with any official information on what year the new model super duty will be released for sale?

oh look a Chevy that made it to not only production but in to the hands of a consumer on a test drive and burst in to flames. who needs a fire extinguisher ?



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