Ford Motor Company has taken their F-150 to a whole new level with their military grade aluminum alloy truck body and have offered up a much more efficient solution to how the body work is done. It’s becoming clear to the industry that a lot of thought went into its design resulting in ease of access for the collision repair specialists. But still, these changes bring bad news too. The cost of preparing a body shop for aluminum alloy is somewhat, if not completely, cost prohibitive for most and can cause your head to spin when evaluating what needs to be changed or created. On top of the already painful transition is the fact that each manufacturer will have its own set of rules to comply to.
What’s painfully obvious is that regardless of what the cost is, if you want to survive in these industry changes, then you will have to make these changes as soon as possible to remain competitive. In an effort to make the changeover or addition less painful, Ford has offered a 20% rebate towards the purchase of the tools needed to work on the F-150.
Another point to consider is the cost of the aluminum parts vs. the standard steel cost. The repair and product engineers worked very hard to make sure that the labor costs would be the lowest possible which would free up money to go towards the cost of aluminum replacement parts, which is quite expensive. Basically, this means that you will have to adjust your quoting quite a bit, which was mentioned earlier.
Obviously the stakes are pretty high for Ford. Customer acceptance is its highest priority because if the buyers do not accept the aluminum truck, the financial loss would be monumental.
I know I said that this was the last Part to this series, but it’s not. Part IV is the last part for a wrap-up of information.