The nation’s second-biggest automaker hopes better payload capacity and higher fuel economy for Ford (F) F-150 trucks offset increased insurance costs for the trucks.
Ford replaced steel with aluminum in new F-150 trucks. However, only a tenth of independent U.S. service stations — who do the most collision repair work — are equipped to perform repairs on aluminum components. Those constraints mean that owners of Ford F-150 trucks will face about a 10% hike in insurance premiums, Bloomberg notes.
Consumers will also face a limited supply of aftermarket parts for the aluminum Ford F-150, further increasing repair costs.
Ford debuted the new aluminum F-150 at the North American International Auto Show last week. The truck arrives at dealerships later this year.
Development of the aluminum Ford F-150 began in 2009. Ford says that the aluminum body will be more resistant to dents and dings.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally recently indicated that he would remain with the automaker through the end of 2014. Mulally had been consider a leading candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft, but is no longer in the running for the job.
Ford stock slipped slightly in Tuesday morning trading.