DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- For the first time ever, the number one selling vehicle family in history, the Ford F-Series, will be built on an aluminum chassis in an effort to introduce fuel efficiency into a market known for primarily prioritizing power.
"This is as big as it gets at Ford Motor Co.," echoed president and CEO Mark Fields.
"It underscores the product excellence and innovation we are delivering in every part of our business as we accelerate our pace of progress toward profitable growth."
The aluminum body shaves up to 700 pounds off an F-150, which Ford expects to translate to a 5 to 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency, depending on payload and conditions.
Despite the reduction in weight, Ford's new aluminum F-Series are built on a high strength steel frame that actually increases the truck's towing capacity by 1,100 pounds and its hauling strength by 530 pounds.
"We made sure we didn't compromise with this truck," Joe Hinrichs, head of Ford's North American business, told CNBC.
What remains to be seen is if Ford can maintain high sales and command its 4 to 5 percent over market average selling price
"This is probably the biggest leap of faith with the Ford F-series ever," evaluated Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book.
"This is a giant leap because they have changed the vehicle very significantly in terms of construction. When you go from an all steel body to an aluminum alloy body, it is a big, big change."