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Ford F-150 Highlighted at CIC

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PORTLAND, Ore., April 10, 2014—Ford’s 2015 F-150 was a hot topic at this week’s Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Portland, Ore., where company representatives gave an overview of the truck’s features and repair processes and answered questions from attendees.

Ford representatives included Paul Massie, powertrain and collision product marketing manager; Larry Coan, damageability product concern engineer; and Tom Green, body and chassis commodity manager. They began their presentation with a dramatic video introducing the truck and highlighting its features, notably the military-grade aluminum alloy body that will shave 700 pounds off its total weight, and a high-strength steel frame. But the introduction also covered a variety of high-tech features, such as crash avoidance technology and 400-watt power inverters for charging tools.

“We didn’t set out to build an aluminum truck, we set out to build the toughest, most capable, best truck that we ever have,” Coan said. “It just so happens that an aluminum alloy body got us there.” 

Massie said repairability was a key focus early in the truck’s development and he noted that involvement in CIC was important for understanding the needs of shops and creating and communicating a repair plan prior to the vehicle’s launch. And though additional tooling and training is needed for shops to properly repair certain aspects the new truck, Massie and his colleagues emphasized that for the majority of repairs on the vehicle, equipment and methods will be similar to those used on previous models.

“When you start to look at the claims data and see what kind of accidents really happen out there, you really see that over 80 percent of the time, most claims are light hits, bolt-on parts. … You really only get into a lot of the meat here when you’re getting into some of the bigger structural claims,” Coan said.

Coan got into the meat during the presentation, using slides to show the vehicle’s structure and highlight repair procedures, such as the ability to section the frame and floor pan, and when to rivet bond vs. weld.

The Ford representatives also provided an overview of the company’s National Body Shop Program, administered through Assured Performance Network. Massie said that the majority of Ford customers use independent repair facilities and only half of Ford’s dealerships have a body shop, so it was important to tailor the program accordingly.

“We realized that we could not have a mainstream repair process if we were to direct customers only to our dealers,” Massie said.

For more information on the new F-150 and Ford’s National Body Shop Program, check out our Q&A with Elizabeth Weigandt, dealer communications manager at Ford.

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