Automakers are increasingly turning to aluminum as a way to cut weight and improve fuel economy.
Aluminum was a flammable topic this week, and its use in the 2015 Ford F-150 and potential use in the future Jeep Wrangler ignited controversy.
In both cases, it came down to money.
Ford stock took a brief hit on Wednesday when Morgan Stanley cut its price target from $ 16 to $ 14 a share, though it soon recovered later in the day. The reason? In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley said the aluminum-bodied F-150 could be a challenge to make and launches into an ultra-competitive market against entrenched products from Chevrolet, GMC and Chrysler. All of this could eat into Ford’s short- and mid-term profits, the brokerage firm said.
A Ford spokesperson said the company generally doesn’t comment on analyst reports, adding that it’s working “to deliver profitable growth for all of Ford’s stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne suggested at the Paris Motor Show that the redesigned Jeep Wrangler – which is likely still years away – could shift to an aluminum body in a bid to cut weight and improve fuel economy. That could mean relocating the Wrangler to a different factory, as retrofitting its longtime home in Toledo, OH, could prove too expensive.