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Aluminum F-150 Found to Be Less Costly to Repair Than Steel

Automotive News reported that repairs of the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 were comparable to and in some cases less than those for steel-bodied trucks. The Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that collision claim severity for aluminum F-150s was roughly 7% lower than its steel predecessor — in part because of cheaper repairs — even though the frequency of collision claims has risen about 7%, thus resulting in an unchanged overall loss.

When Ford announced in 2014 that its best-selling F-150 would be manufactured from aluminum, there was concern regarding an expected increase in repair costs — which has been proven to be unfounded. “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.”

According to Ford, repair costs were kept low through a modular design aimed at making the truck as repair friendly as possible, combined with the development of less expensive replacement parts and extensive training of dealers, insurers, and repair shops.

Read the full article here.

Ford Motor Company's Dearborn Truck Plant
Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Truck Plant is one of its key assembly facilities for its aluminum-bodied F-150. The site will soon make electrified F-150 models. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen

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