Aluminum Ford F-150 Still Looking for Competitors, as LME Price Drops

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When Ford announced at the 2014 NAIAS that its next-generation ’15 F-150 pickup would have a body almost entirely composed of aluminum, the entire auto industry took notice, Ward’s Auto said at the time.

But as the first aluminum F-150s are getting closer to being sold at dealerships, no other mainstream truck makers have followed Ford’s lead. While automakers, particularly luxury brands, have been using aluminum for years, it’s never been attempted to such a great degree on a high-volume mainstream product such as the F-150.

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Meanwhile, the cash price of primary aluminum saw a 1.7 percent drop on the LME on Thursday landing at $1,716 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day on our IndX. The aluminum 3-month price saw a 1.6 percent decline on the LME to $1,759 per metric ton.

 

Additionally, it gave the impression Ford somehow had gained an advantage by being first to the market. The lag in automaker adoption of more expensive aluminum means the price increases producers such as Alcoa expected are not yet being seen.

The Indian aluminum cash price fell 1.2 percent.

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Chinese aluminum closed mixed yesterday. After falling 0.4 percent, the cash price of Chinese aluminum reached a 30-day low. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese aluminum billet held steady. The price of Chinese aluminum bar continues hovering around a short range for the fifth day in a row.