DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. isn’t planning to use much aluminum beyond trucks because the benefits for other vehicles aren’t as compelling, a top executive said today.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said the company sees better, more cost-effective ways to improve the fuel economy of its cars.
Aluminum “has a place but not the same kind of place” in cars as on the newly introduced F-150, Hinrichs said at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress.
“One of the big benefits you get from lightweighting on trucks is you give customers more capability that they want. You can tow more, you can haul more, you can do more of those things by taking the weight out,” Hinrichs said.
“You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side. So truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.”
On cars, Hinrichs said he expects Ford and other automakers to use aluminum only for limited applications such as doors and hoods, he said.
Ford began shipping aluminum-bodied F-150s, which weigh up to 700 pounds less than the outgoing model, to dealerships in November. It has announced that the next generation of its Super Duty will go all-aluminum as well. But Hinrichs declined to say where the company might go with aluminum after that.