The automotive industry is beholden to fads on a large scale. The word “revolution” is thrown around without much deference in the face of innovations both major and minor. One such trend that is spreading from the highest performance facets of car society is aluminum construction. Initially reserved for exotic and premium vehicles to save weight, this lighter and more durable material is making its way into other segments still with the goal of saving weight. What everyone says is making waves now is Ford’s announcement in January that they’re F-150 will have an aluminum body. Rumor has it General Motors is moving rapidly to incorporate aluminum into their trucks, too.
RAM is staying still. Saving weight is a great idea, and it’s the key to greener cars across the board in the future. But Fiat Chrysler has decided that it will continue to build trucks out of steel until at least 2020, at which point it will reevaluate. This isn’t an anti-conformist stunt. It’s simple pragmatism.
Aluminum adoption may not be jacking up MSRPs too much for those automakers that are going to use it in their trucks, but it certainly is an expense to dealerships and local body shops, not to mention the upgrades required in existing manufacturing facilities. Specialized equipment is required to deal with aluminum, and slow implementation is actually delaying Ford’s sale of their new truck. We haven’t even mentioned the predicted shortage of aluminum that could drive up costs as more and more manufacturers look to utilize the material
So yes, steel is good for now. Especially when you consider the RAM 1500 is a back-to-back truck of the year winner, and the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is already the most efficient pickup in its segment. Remember that next time you’re in the market for a new truck and stop by Chris Leith Dodge, your go to for RAM and Dodge service in Raleigh.