Fuel economy drives Ford to aluminum

May 08, 2014 | 12:20 PM | Thorsten Schier

Tags  Ford Motor, steel, aluminum, Michael Robinet, IHS Automotive, automotive, fuel efficiency, F-150 carbon fiber

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ford Motor Co.’s switch to aluminum bodies for its F-150 pickup truck stems from its desire to be a trendsetter and to address looming fuel-economy standards, one industry consultant said.

"(Ford) felt that they needed a quantum leap," Michael Robinet, managing director of Southfield, Mich.-based IHS Automotive Consulting, said during a panel discussion at the American Iron and Steel Institute’s annual general meeting in Scottsdale. "(Ford) felt they needed to do this to answer the call of fuel economy, especially as it really, really stiffens after 2016 and increasingly gets that much more difficult into the next decade." Other Detroit automakers are more hesitant about shifting materials, he said. "Most in Detroit are a little more reticent."....

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