Proactive Ford Keeps F-150’s Body Repair Costs Down
Thanks to discounts on repair equipment and low prices on panels, the aluminum F-150 won’t break the bank.
Back in 2015, Ford dropped a bombshell on the world of pickup trucks by exchanging steel for aluminum body panels for its F-150, the first production Ford model to roll off the assembly line as such. The new aluminum F-150 lost 750 pounds in curb weight, greatly helping fuel economy without losing its large size.
The main worry, however, was what would happen should the new F-150 hit anything. Would there be anyone who could fix the dented panels? Would it cost an arm and a leg? That’s what someone asked Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk in a syndicated article published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
“So here we are, a few years later, and how much have F-150 body repair costs gone up? Zero,” says Magliozzi. According to him, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that through April 2017, the cost to repair an F-150 from 2015 forward has remained the same as one from 2014.
Magliozzi says a lot of that has to do with what Ford did before and during the new F-150‘s introduction. The Blue Oval offered its dealership network discounted aluminum repair equipment plus training to make the most of the gear, as well as lowering the prices on the F-150’s body panels, and building the 2015 – present F-150 to be more modular (resulting in easier, cheaper repairs) than the previous F-150.
Finally, Magliozzi says that so long as the truck market remains competitive, and aluminum is abundant, the repair bill for an F-150 will be a small one. That’s not something Chevy or Ram can say.