Ford may have ended up shooting itself in the foot with the all-new F150.
The new model, released a month or so ago, relies heavily on the use of aluminium body panels to keep weight down. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Ford is now suffering two drastic consequences as a result of switching to this lightweight metal.
The first is the lack of body shops with the necessary skill and tooling to work on aluminium. The second and by far the most drastic issue is the retooling work that has do be done at two of Ford’s US based plants. The Michigan plant will be running at idle for 11 weeks, while the assembly plant is Missouri will be shut for two weeks.
For Ford it means two months of no F150s being made. That’s rough, considering the fact that F150 accounts for 31% of its annual US sales. To put that in perspective, Ford made a record R86 billion in 2013.