Ford puts 2015 F-150 on a diet, cuts weight by 700 pounds - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Ford puts 2015 F-150 on a diet, cuts weight by 700 pounds

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(01/15/14) - Federal fuel economy standards will be getting tougher in the future, and automakers are always looking for ways to make improvements.

On Monday, Ford announced the 2015 F-150 pickup will be 700 pounds lighter and more fuel efficient than the current model.

It's a bit of a gamble on Ford's part. Many pickup owners expect their trucks to be strong and tough.

The current F-150 is only five percent aluminum. Nearly the entire body of the new model will be aluminum

"Once they see and understand the capability, I don't think it will be a hard sell. I think it will be a huge hit frankly," said Bill Ford, Jr. CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Ford officials have no doubt they'll continue to be the pickup sales leader with a leaner F-150 coming out this fall.

"We have a lot of confidence in it. We think it's delivering what customers want," said Mark Fields, Ford COO.

Owners will likely appreciate the improved fuel economy expected to come with the lighter truck, but will they have faith that using more aluminum is the way to go?

"This vehicle will be able to tow more, to haul more, will be able to accelerate faster. It will be able to stop shorter," Fields said.

"The high strength aluminum alloy that we're using actually is more dent resistant in terms of the bed, the doors and fenders than today's F-150," said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager.

Ford plans to make owning and driving the F-150 enjoyable by adding features like parking assist and blind spot detection. If you've ever had to lower a tailgate when your hands were full, you know it can be quite a chore. Ford has invented a dampening device to lower the tailgate and take away that worry. New lighting in the bed will make loading and unloading in the dark easier.

Pricing for the 2015 F-150 hasn't been announced, but is expected to be similar to this year's.

The new F-150 will be assembled in Dearborn and Kansas City.

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