Talking Ford Trucks—Yes, the F-150, Too
Back when the current-generation F-150 first appeared, in 2008 as a 2009 model, Matt O’Leary headed up the program at Ford. Since then, his career has taken him many places at Ford, from Brazil to, in effect, the boardroom (i.e., he was given an advanced planning position that had him in the room with the likes of Alan Mulally and Lewis Booth, on occasion, which, he pointed out, was a much different experience than was the case engineering trucks).
Today, O’Leary is Ford Vehicle Line Director for Trucks. This means that he has a whole range of trucks that he is dealing with, ranging from the recently launched 2015 Transit
to the now-launching 2015 Expedition
to the, yes, 2015 F-150
And John McElroy of “Autoline,” Lindsay Brooke of Automotive Engineering International, and I talk with O’Leary about those vehicle and more on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.”
Needless to say, perhaps, the F-150 gets a lion’s share of attention, particularly in the context of the selection of aluminum for the vehicle. O’Leary points out that when you look at the body (not the frame, which is steel), it is essentially an all-aluminum implementation, with the exception of the dash panel, which is a steel laminate and which was selected because of its noise-attenuating properties.
In addition to which, McElroy, Brooke and I discuss a number of other subjects, ranging from whether Fiat’s dismal first-half financials to the on-going value and viability of car dealerships to whether automakers are going to be able to make cars and trucks that will meet the 2025 CAFE standard (i.e., this year, they have to increase the fleet average by 1.2 mpg; from 2017 to ’25, they must increase it by 1.6 mpg each year).
And you can see it all right here:
DaimlerChrysler's decision to scrap the front- drive LH line and replace it with the rear-drive LX large car platform is very astute.
The shift is on to using lighter materials for the vehicles at Ford, with aluminum being an important aspect of this shift. Here's what's happening.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.