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Ford F-150 Repair Costs Lower Thanks to Aluminum

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2019 Ford F-150 Limited Announced
2019 Ford F-150 Limited
Photo: Ford Motor Company

When Ford announced a few years back that it would be implementing military-grade aluminum alloy in its F-150 in place of conventional steel, one bit of the blowback it got from critics was the likelihood of high repair costs. Much to the chagrin of critics and rivals, the F-150 is still the king of the mountain even with all that aluminum, and a report suggests that it’s actually proven cheaper to fix than other trucks.

Automotive News says that insurance data paints a picture of the current-generation F-150 being cheaper to fix and repair than the previous version. Per data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, the current F-150 has a 7 percent lower claim severity because it is substantially cheaper to fix the aluminum, which also helps make the F-150 quite a bit lighter and more efficient. It’s also shown that replacement parts for the aluminum-based F-150 are 16 percent lower than the previous-gen F-150.

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“Given the fact it was aluminum intensive, and prior aluminum vehicles indicated collision claim severities increased, there was concern the same would occur with the F-150,” Matt Moore, senior vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, told Automotive News. “Simply put, when we look at the overall losses relative to the other pickup trucks, there’s not a change, which was not consistent with expectations.”

All this despite fears that the higher cost of aluminum and ease with which it is damaged compared to steel would drive up costs for customers. A big part of this result could be attributed to Ford’s efforts to train dealers on the methods needed to repair the new F-150 and supply them with the right equipment. And while the upfront cost of the equipment could go as high as $40,000 after a $10,000 rebate, Doug North, president of North Brothers Ford in Westland, Michigan, notes that it has already paid for itself several times over.

“We’re glad we did it,” North told Automotive News. “Our F-series sales and local market sales of F-Series have steadily grown in the last few years. Given the decline in car sales, it also represents a larger percentage of our business. We haven’t had any real hiccups.”

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)