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There was a ton of skepticism when Ford announced a big push into aluminum truck bodies years ago. Remember the bear ads? There was a lot of questions as to whether the aluminum would be more expensive to fix than what rivals were offering.

Anyway, data from insurance companies shows that wasn’t really the case after all, but it took Ford a lot to get there. From Automotive News:

But insurance data shows that an extraordinary effort to train dealers, educate insurers and design the vehicle to be as repair-friendly as possible helped make it ultimately cheaper to fix and replace than the previous generation, a goal to which Ford engineers aspired from the project’s inception.

“It was our moonshot,” Dave Johnson, Ford’s global director of service engineering operations, said in an interview. “We wanted them to be insurable on par with a steel F-150.”

[...] The Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has not studied overall insurance costs, which are determined by factors such as a driver’s age, gender and location, but its latest data on collision claim coverage yielded surprising results. Collision claim severity for aluminum F-150s is roughly 7 percent lower than on the steel predecessor, in part because of cheaper repairs. But the frequency of collision claims has risen about 7 percent, resulting in an unchanged overall loss.

When the pickup was introduced, insurers predicted that costs would hold steady unless claims data indicated a need for an adjustment.

“Given the fact it was aluminum intensive, and prior aluminum vehicles indicated collision claim severities increased, there was concern the same would occur with the F-150,” Matt Moore, senior vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, told Automotive News. “Simply put, when we look at the overall losses relative to the other pickup trucks, there’s not a change, which was not consistent with expectations.”

A spokeswoman for State Farm said that insurance prices for the aluminum pickup are roughly in line with those of the previous model.

And F-Series sales certainly haven’t suffered in recent years. Very much the opposite.

from Jalopnik
 

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That is quite amazing! They took a gamble and executed all the way down to the dealer level!
Ford may be slower than many with new process and tech, but they carefully study it first and really apply a systems approach. Kind of like they are doing with autonomy. Others have gotten the headlines, but not without their share of problems. No harm in being 2nd or 3rd where safety and cost are involved.
 
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