Ford gambled more than $1 billion and abandoned seven decades of steel bodywork to create a 2015 F-150 with an aluminum body. Dropping a claimed 700 pounds would improve fuel economy, increase towing capacity, improve power-to-weight ratios, and create a truck with fewer parts subject to rust.
The move was bold and expensive. Two truck plants closed for 13 weeks each to gut the body shop. Months of downtime meant the lost sale of 60,000 trucks valued at $40,000 or higher, followed by a slow rollout. Ford endured a year of lost market share and profits. Critics called it an unnecessary and costly mistake. …..
Fast-forward to today. For 2018 Truck of the Year testing, Ford gave us four variants to show the breadth of the changes under the hood. Ford has been busy; the interiors have gotten nicer, the infotainment system more intuitive, the steering better. The F-150 chassis is stupendous, the innovations have increased, and it has earned an NHTSA five-star safety rating.
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