Ford F-150 Faces New Challenges; Primary Indian Aluminum Gains

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It’s not over yet…”After laboring for five years to develop its aluminum F-150, Ford Motor Co. now confronts a new challenge: preventing higher insurance rates and a dearth of mechanics equipped to repair its body from deterring buyers,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Less than 10 percent of the more than 30,000 independent repair shops in the U.S. are certified and meet training and equipment requirements to work with most aluminum auto-body parts, according to an estimate by Darrell Amberson, chairman of the Automotive Service Association. While some dealerships do in-house body work, independent businesses handle the vast majority of collision repair in the U.S., he said.”

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“Ford is betting buyers will accept what it estimates will be a 10 percent jump in costs to insure the pickup in return for improved fuel economy, towing and payload. The second-largest U.S. automaker must also get the aftermarket industry up to speed as it debuts the highest-profile vehicle to swap aluminum for heavier steel, long the industry’s material of choice.”

In metal price news for aluminum…

With a 1.8 percent increase over the past day, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum was the biggest mover on Monday, January 20. At $1,766, the cash price of primary aluminum finished the market day on the LME up 0.8 percent per metric ton. After a 0.6 percent increase, the 3-month price of aluminum finished the day on the LME at $1,806 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained steady. Chinese aluminum billet held its value last Friday. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady Following a two-day rise, the cash price of Chinese aluminum flattened.