It is forecasted that by 2025, more than 75 percent of pickup trucks, and 20 percent of SUVs and large sedans produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied. Aluminum is light, safe, durable and sustainable. A new study shows that an all-aluminum vehicle can shed more than 40 percent body mass and boost fuel economy by 18 percent when combined with other design changes. Aluminum is the rising material of choice, offering the fastest, safest, most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to boost fuel economy and cut total carbon emissions.
Today, many of a vehicle’s components, like the engine and suspension, are aluminum. Dating back to the early 1900s aluminum has been tested and used on vehicles components and race cars. Now aluminum is reaching the mainstream. In 1997 Audi introduced their A2 and A8 with full aluminum bodies and this January Ford announced the 2015 F150 with an all-aluminum body. The F150 will hit dealerships in October.
Body shops now have to prepare to work on both steel and aluminum body vehicles and the most demanding part on the body shop is that the equipment must be kept completely separate to avoid cross contamination. With this move towards aluminum ISN launched a Ford Approved F150 Aluminum Collision Repair Kit (part No. THEF150COLLKIT). The kit includes a 6 drawer service cart with all of the hand tools required to get a body shop ready to work on aluminum vehicles. The hand tools include sanders, a body hammer and dolly set, an extensive set of panel clamps, aviation snips and the full list of body shaping tools recommended for Ford-approved shops to use in repairing aluminum vehicles.
Ford plans to build more than 700,000 F150s annually, relying on internal research that 80 percent of truck buyers want better fuel economy and appreciate the properties of aluminum that doesn't rust or dent.
Based on the success of the F150, other vehicle manufacturers will follow suit. While they feel aluminum is right for truck bodies, it may not be the right solution for all vehicle makes and models. This is just the beginning and with the investment it can take to gear up for aluminum, body shops will want to begin acquiring the right tools and training now.
The F150 won’t even hit dealerships until October and Integrated Supply Network has already sold its 400th F150 aluminum collision repair kit. Help body shops gear up. Contact ISN for more information and to order THEF150COLLKIT today.