According to its North American president, Ford is not considering constructing its cars out of aluminium, despite going down that route for its top-selling F-150 ute.
Ford’s president of North America, Joe Hinrichs, told the Automotive News World Congress that although aluminium “has a place” in future Ford passenger cars (sedans, hatches, wagons, car-based SUVs), it’s “not the same kind of place” that it occupies in the new F-150.
Hinrichs later clarified that for Ford’s cars, and many other automakers’ as well, use of aluminium will be limited to a number of areas, such as doors and bonnets.
This contrasts markedly with the latest generation Ford F-150, which went on sale across North America during November, and that features an aluminium body connected to a frame made from high strength steel. The shift saves between 225 and 300 kilograms depending on the model and specification.
According to Hinrichs: “One of the big benefits you get from lightweighting on trucks is you give customers more capability that they want. You can tow more, you can haul more, you can do more of those things by taking the weight out. You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side. So truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.”
The car maker confirmed that its next-generation Super Duty utes, the F-250 and F-350, will follow the F-150 in being constructed largely out of aluminium. It’s widely expected that related SUVs, such as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, will go down a similar route.