GM to Use Aluminum Bodies on Next Gen Trucks to Reduce Weight, Boost Fuel Economy
February 19, 2014 12:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
GM plays catchup in the aluminum game
We’ve all heard about the 2015 Ford F-150 and the fact that its
aluminum diet allowed it to lose 700 pounds
. While the ladder frame of the all-new F-150 is still constructed of high-strength steel, 95 percent of its body structure made of “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys” according to Ford.
So Ford has gone to aluminum to reduce weight and thus improve fuel economy. Chrysler has gone a completely different route by providing a new
V6 diesel engine for the half-ton Ram 1500
. So that leaves the industry looking to General Motors to provide a counterpunch in the full-size pickup fuel efficiency wars.
We are now learning that General Motors will take the Ford approach by using aluminum for the body of its next generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. According to
The Wall Street Journal
, GM’s hand has been forced by
increasingly stringent fuel economy standards
(and of course market pressure from rivals).
2014 Chevrolet Silverado
According to the
report, GM is partnering with both Alcoa and Novelis to supply aluminum sheets for its next generation trucks. As we
reported earlier this month
, Ford has already inked a deal with Novelis to supply aluminum sheets for its F-150.
“There’s isn’t an automotive manufacturer that makes vehicles in North America that we’re not talking to,” said Tom Boney, head of North American automotive business for Novelis, in an interview with
The Detroit News
. “Our customers will be making announcements fairly regularly over the next six years that will transform the automobile industry.”
last redesigned the Silverado/Sierra in 2013
for the 2014 model year.
Wall Street Journal/Reuters
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2/19/2014 9:33:47 PM
Ford also owned Jaguar at the time when it was one of the first cars with a full aluminum body.
2/20/2014 2:15:57 PM
From what I can tell Jaguar sold about 20,000 X350's in 2003 which was the first year for the aluminum body. Last year Ford sold about 763,000 F150 pick up trucks. Whatever the scale of the process used for the Jag, I get the feeling it's a whole new ball game for the F150.
Note that Semi-Trucks and trailers are often skinned in Aluminum, and they can be ordered with Aluminum frame rails as well and have been for more than 30 years.
2/20/2014 4:29:42 PM
Indeed, Ford has been doing this quite a while.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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