The 2015 Ford F-150 has changed the rules on how pickup trucks are built. With the highly-positive reception of Ford’s new full-size bread-winner, industry insiders and enthusiasts have been wondering if Ford will utilize the material in its lineup of passenger cars. But Ford President of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, has indicated that there are more cost-effective ways to improve the fuel economy of its cars.
Speaking at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Hinrichs said that aluminum “has a place but not the same kind of place” in cars. “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.”
As reported by Automotive News, Hinrichs says he expects the industry to continue to use aluminum for car hoods and doors, but not for many other body parts. Lending credence to that train of though is the fact that Ford reduced unsprung weight on the recently-introduced Mustang Shelby GT350R by using carbon fiber for the wheels. And given The Blue Oval’s recent partnerships surrounding carbon fiber, it’s quite possible that Ford will use the material to reduce the weight of its passenger cars.