Whether you like the new 2015 F-150 or not, there’s no denying the amount of expertise, hard work, and ingenuity that went into developing, manufacturing, and bringing the new full-size truck to market. This is particularly true considering Ford’s extensive use of military-grade aluminum in the truck, a material that’s brand new to the segment, especially on such a large-scale and mainstream basis. So it comes as no surprise that Ford F-150 chief engineer Pete Reyes and his team were presented with the Detroit Free Press Automotive Leadership Award for engineering and technology.
The journey of engineering the new F-150 dates all the way back to 2008, when former global product chief Derrick Kuzak invited a small team of advanced planning and strategy group members to rethink the truck. Through the months that followed, the team of six rethought everything about the vehicle, including the materials in the frame and the body. The research culminated in 2009, when body engineers were brought in to build a pair of aluminum prototypes.
Reyes came onto the project in early 2010 to lead a the team to address issues like powertrain, seating, legroom, materials, features and the truck’s capacities. Once this was out of the way and the truck was greenlit, the team was expanded further to put the truck into production. In the end, the original team of six engineers grew to more than 1,000 members large. Their innovations, creativity, and genius are readily apparent, as the new F-150 will likely go down in history as the most-awarded pickup truck ever that pioneered the use of aluminum in the segment.