Ford Working to Make Fixing the 2015 F150 Easier, Less Expensive for Shops and Owners
As we discussed last week, the 2015 Ford F150 relies on a collection of lightweight aluminum body panels that allowed the Motor Company to cut some 700 pounds from the next generation F Series pickup. That will allow the new F150 to be more efficient and more powerful but those lightweight panels come with one massive downside – aluminum body panels require special tools, special facilities and special training to repair in the event of an accident or any other body damage. Ford points out that these aluminum panels are more dent resistant than tradition steel body panels but in the event that an aluminum panel is damaged, it will take a specially outfitted body shop to repair said damages.
The problem for owners and insurance companies is that body shops which are prepared to repair aluminum body panels can spend anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 in tooling, facility upgrades and training to fix these items correctly. That high cost prevents many shops from offering aluminum repair services which makes aluminum repair an elite service and that elite service comes with an elite price so when owners of the 2015 F150 damage their truck’s body, it will cost more to fix the damage than similar damage on a 2014 F150. More importantly, aluminum repairs will also cost insurance companies more money and that translates to higher insurance rates and lower residual values but Ford is taking steps to help reduce the financial impact of the lightweight body panels.