Despite the lower sales, there were some bright spots for Ford. The company said retail sales of its F-Series pickup trucks were up 7 percent. It said the F-150, which features a standard new aluminum body this model year, was the fastest-turning vehicle on dealer lots.
As part of their ever-increasing efforts to maximize fuel economy, carmakers are frequently using aluminum for body panels instead of steel to save weight.
Steel vs. aluminum? By choosing to build the 2015 F-150 with an all-aluminum body, Ford is shaving 700 pounds from the truck’s weight. And that’s a critical factor as automakers struggle to reach a 54.5 mpg fleet average by 2025. The F-150 has been America’s favorite vehicle for 32 years, so light weighting it—and reaching, maybe, 30 mpg on the highway—is really important to Ford.