Ford’s new aluminum-body F-150 brought along 700 lbs in weight savings, but it seems like the truck is also bringing a new set of challenges for insurance agencies and body shops.
Less than 10 percent of the more than 30,000 independent repair shops in the US are properly certified, trained and equipped to work with most aluminum body parts, Darrell Amberson, chairman of the Automotive Service Association told Automotive News. Still, Ford claims that 90 percent of current customers live within a two hour drive of a capable repair shop, and that new F-150 buyers will have the same amount of access.
Ford also expects about a 10 percent jump in cost to insure the new pickup truck, but the brand is confident that the added benefits of better fuel economy and improved payload hauling and trailering will be enough to keep customers happy. Besides that, the F-150 is currently one of the cheapest trucks to insure, so the increase in price will be less significant.
Residual values of the truck may also suffer because of higher insurance costs.
Although aluminium has been used in other vehicles before, none have been produced in such a a large number as the new F-150, which means that the aftermarket and body repair industry must adapt to suit the need of a huge number of customers.
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[Source: Automotive News]
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