The timetable for next-generation Ford F-150 may be in trouble if a report from The Truth About Cars is true. The next F-150 is slated to make extensive use of weight-saving aluminum in its body, but the aluminum alloy provided by suppliers hasn't met Ford's requirements in the earliest phases of pre-production, according to the report.

The F-150 represents a huge portion of Ford's profits and is the best-selling truck in the US, even in the face of increased pressure from cross-town rivals General Motors and Ram. While the current truck is treading water against its competition, we'd be lying if we said the F-150 weren't growing quite long in the tooth.

If production of the next-generation of the Ford cash cow, said to be based on the Atlas Concept from the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (pictured above), is delayed, it could be bad for Ford. Production at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant is already set to be delayed six to ten weeks, missing an internal on-sale deadline of Memorial Day.

As TTAC explains it (and without digging too deeply into chemistry and metallurgy), the issue with the aluminum alloy provided has to do with its elastic modulus - defined by the minds of Wikipedia as "an object or substance's tendency to be deformed elastically (non-permanently) when a force is applied to it." The elastic modulus in the aluminum provided to Ford is about a third of what's found in steel, making it difficult to form.

We reached out to Ford and were told by a spokesman, "We don't speculate on future products." We'll be sure to follow-up and let you know as more information becomes available.


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  • 75 Comments
      amerifight
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good in some ways, have the issues now before we (the consumer) do.
      Ryan Schneider
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can only pray they get the production version anywhere close to that concept. My '05 XLT is getting a bit long in the tooth, and I refuse to upgrade until Ford plays their hand......
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan Schneider
        Good for you. Far too many people buy a car and just pick from whatever is immediately available. Waiting for what you want will reward Ford for making an improved 2015 version and should also lead to some discounts for people who still want the last model year 2014 models.
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan Schneider
        Dude, I want it so bad, it's the only thing I would trade my 13 for :)
      juststeve35
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, a two month delay??? Goodness, that could bring Ford Motor Company to it's knees!!! smh Manufactured drama for the masses....
      davefromfwb1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey Ford if your reading this......make simple trucks that are cheap but durable. Don't make the trucks 5 feet tall. People can't get anything out of the truck bed unless you crawl into the back of the truck! Why not put air bags on the truck so who ever buys it can raise and lower it however they like! Now there's a idea for you. I keep buying 15 year old trucks because I can actually work out of them without them coming up to my armpit when I reach into the bed of the truck. I'm not ever going to buy a truck that is monsterously big and cost 30,000 dollars....that's insane.
        Eric
        • 1 Year Ago
        @davefromfwb1
        I agree.. Need to go back to simple. Just leased a F150 3 weeks ago, had it for only 2 days because the cab pressure made me sick. They have been working on it ever since... Proiably never buy another Ford.
      cpmanx
      • 1 Year Ago
      A two-month production delay does not seem shocking, or terribly problematic, for a key vehicle which is adopting new materials and new manufacturing techniques. I'm personally curious about the details of the problems Ford is running into, but not concerned about the F-150 based on this limited information.
      acsvipari
      • 1 Year Ago
      i have a ranger and wont buy a f-150. if they dont build a new ranger in the next 2 years i will be buying a tocoma. wise up ford. you cant force us ranger folks to buy a 150
      JIM
      • 1 Year Ago
      What pressure from G.M.? They have been outselling Fomoco all along.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they dont give it a green light unless the "perfect it"
      AcidTonic
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess if you wait that long to play with Aluminum body panels it may take some time to build proficiency. My car has offered an aluminum roof since it was imported here in 2003. The 2008+ models have an aluminum front clip, aluminum rear, aluminum roof, and aluminum doors. The Mitsubishi Outlander also is using aluminum roof panels in it's construction since 2008. Guess this is new ground on Fords since they avoid using anything "Niche" until the market speaks. By then they are behind. Perhaps they should ask Mitsubishi for some help with using Aluminum body panels in a production car..... They've been doing it for 10 years now.
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AcidTonic
        GT500 not familiar with you Acid?....and take a wild guess who owned Jaguar and developed molecular bonding of Aluminum body panels?....and seriously, you are using Mitsubishi as an example....are they still around?.....
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          once again Autoblog issues...sheesh...wheres that edit button guys?.....apologies for double post
        whofan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Ford has used aluminum for the truck hoods for years.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AcidTonic
        [blocked]
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Perhaps Mitsubishi should ask Ford for some help with selling vehicles.
      That Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Complicate, then add weakness. Typical Ford. Complication for complications sake. Ditto for Egoboost and the same with My Ford Touchy...technology for technologies sake. Must be the way forward.
        Walt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        Yep, just get rid of the EPA and all safety rules and all those nasty complications will go away. In the meantime, Ford will continue to be a leader in automotive technology and blaze a trail for lesser automakers to follow.
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        no loss of any performance, safety or strength parameters Matt, in fact if anything , due to weight loss, payload and towing will improve, and love it or leave it, Sync and MFT are two of the most requested options in Fords arsenal....and guess what....everyone else seems to be following suit...CUE anyone....
      VDuB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yay! We need more of these in the parking lot of Walmart
      truckguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't worry GM will help them as they did with frame problems in the past as they should.
        Can you spare me a d
        @truckguy
        Time for you to start reading cause your not a true truckguy. Ford makes a stronger frame than GM.
          foamypirate
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Can you spare me a d
          They might make a stronger frame now, but the 99-2006' Chevy trucks with their hydroformed frames were the impetus for Ford to improve what was a rather weak frame at the time.
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