A story has come out that states the 2015 Ford F-150 will be delayed because the aluminum from third-party suppliers isn’t meeting standards. This begs the question: is Ford’s plan to use aluminum is in jeopardy?
The story comes from the Truth About Cars and a source they were in contact with. Specifically, the source says the “the aluminum supplied by Alcoa and other tier 2 suppliers “did not meet internal forming requirements for the tooling tryout phase of pre-production.” It seems the delay might stretch 6-8 weeks and could spoil Ford’s plan to launch the new truck for a Memorial day kickoff event.
TTAC says that:
Our source claims that the main issue with the aluminum comes in its inability to be properly formed. Aluminum’s “elastic or Young’s modulus” (the materials property to return to its normal shape after hitting it with a die) is roughly 1/3 that of steel. If the material properties are even slightly off, then it completely derail a given project.
This issue in using aluminum is just part of the obstacles that Ford needs to overcome to bring their new truck to market. As we told you in the Ford’s Big Gamble story, Ford plans on using more aluminum than anybody else and on a larger scale than has ever been tried before.
There are many issues with their plan and many have to do with how different metals interact with each other. However, if Ford can pull off the new truck, they could have a decided advantage over their rivals.
Next month, it is expected the all-new Ford F-150 will be unveiled. Our guess is that Ford will have these issues resolved by then. The facts are that the F-series trucks are the best selling vehicle in North America and it is hard to think Ford would do anything to compromise those sales.