When news broke that Ford will be making the switch from steel to aluminum for its 2015 Ford F-150, consumers expressed their concerns on the lighter but more fragile vehicle. But as it turns out, there is something good that came out of it as recent reports reveal that repairs on the Ford F-150 fitted with aluminum body are cheaper than those with steel body.
The Highway Loss Data Institute also shared that insurance collision claims for the aluminum-bodied F-150s are 7 percent less than the steel-bodied generation, allaying competitors’ claims that the new generation F-150 are costlier for consumers, especially when it comes to repairs and insurance.
A separate report from Automotive News cites an incident from a Ford dealership in Texas that received a bunch of trucks for repairs due to hail in 2017. Based on the data gathered, repairs on the aluminum-bodied trucks were up to $2,000 cheaper than the amount it took to fix damaged steel-bodied trucks.
According to the report, this is possible because Ford simplified the repair process when it designed its aluminum trucks. The vehicle, with its modular architecture, allows easier access in some areas. This makes removal and replacement of components easier, thus reducing labor hours significantly.
Prices for some replacement parts were also reported to be lower. Overall parts costs for the 2015-16 aluminum F-150 are lower by 16 percent compared to a 2014 F-150. Hoods, taillights, and front bumpers of the aluminum F-150 cost less, although the bedsides and rear bumpers still cost more.
Another factor is that Ford provides in-depth training and rebates for its dealers who are knowledgeable in insurance claims adjustments, although the report made it clear that not all dealerships have the capacity to provide such services.