General Motors (GM) realized that Ford was onto something when Ford used aluminum in the body of its 2015 F-150 pickup. The use of aluminum enabled Ford to reduce the fullsize truck’s weight by 700 pounds which undoubtedly is going to impact its gas mileage in a positive way. Not wanting to be outdone, GM has decided that it too will “go aluminum.” The Wall Street Journal recently reported that GM has signed deals with Alcoa Inc. and Novelis Inc. in order to have them supply aluminum for the next generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.
While the use of aluminum in the automotive industry is not a new concept, the amount of aluminum used throughout a top-selling vehicle like the F-150 will likely lead to more manufacturers following suit as GM has done. Incidentally, GM had played around with moving to aluminum trucks in 2008, but it decided against this change because of the potential costs involved in doing so in a tough economy. Unfortunately, this decision by GM gave Ford four-year head start since GM’s aluminum-bodied trucks are not expected to be available until 2018.
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