When the Blue Oval announced it would be switching the sheet metal of its venerable Ford F-150 from steel to aluminum back in 2014, plenty of industry experts, consumers, and rivals that thought it was a bad move. Along with the idea that the truck wouldn’t be as durable as its steel-bodied brethren, there were concerns that the alloy construction would make it more expensive to repair, leading to higher insurance costs for buyers.
But five years on, we can say those fears were unfounded. Because today, our friends over at Automotive News published a piece which reveals that the 700-pound curb-weight drop and corresponding improved fuel economy gains haven’t translated to inflated repair bills. Citing the Highway Loss Data Institute, which is affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they said:
Collision claim severity for aluminum F-150s is roughly 7 percent lower than on the steel predecessor, in part because of cheaper repairs. But the frequency of collision claims has risen about 7 percent, resulting in an unchanged overall loss.
While we’re not sure exactly why claimed have increased, the drop in repair costs shows Ford’s efforts to make the F-150 easy to fix, along with the proactive training and equipment updates at its dealerships, have paid off.
Since the switch to aluminum, our reviewers have gotten to drive plenty flavors of the latest F-150, from the rugged Raptor, to the ultra-plush Platinum trim, and they’ve always come away impressed. After his week with the Platinum, Derek Shiekhi said, “Whether you want to indulge in luxury materials and features, or get work done, you can do it in the F-150 Platinum.”
You can read his full review here, but that’s high praise indeed, and it shows just how seriously Ford takes the capabilities of its number one money maker. On that note, we expect that the forthcoming electric F-150 will prove a similar shock to the industry, and make other manufacturers put their own green pickup truck programs into high gear.
So if you were worried about higher insurance premiums because Ford made the switch to aluminum? Have no fear! The Blue Oval knew it had a lot riding on making sure this historic change would land well, and put tons of work into making sure it would be smooth sailing for owners.
To experience just how far pickup trucks have come in the last few years, schedule a visit to your local AutoNation Ford dealer today!