Nightly News   |  January 14, 2014

Aluminum Ford F-150: Is it Ford Tough?

As Ford aims for efficiency and durability, switching from steel to aluminum represents a big gamble by a company used to taking risks.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> new yorkers often get around by subway or cab and judging by most tv shows , everyone in l.a. drives a prius, but in the area outside of those two places, the part better known as america, the number one best selling vehicle for several years running, is the ford f-150. not just the best selling truck, the best selling vehicle of any kind. with that in mind at this week's detroit auto show , ford is taking an enorm uous gamble. by introducing the new ford truck not made of steel, but aluminum. will truck buyers like what they see when they come around to kick the tires. our report tonight from john yang .

>> reporter: it was the much anticipated highlight of the auto show .

>> ladies and gentlemen , this is the new ford f-150.

>> reporter: the 2015 ford f-150 pickup. 700 pounds lighter, up to 20% more fuel efficient and ford engineers pledged just as durable. it's not made of steel, but of aluminum.

>> with aluminum, pound for pound is tougher than steel.

>> reporter: it's also a big gamble by a company used to taking risks. forward was the only carmaker not to take a government bailout. this isn't just any pickup, it's america's pickup. more than 33 million sold, more than 11 million still on the road.

>> ford is going for fuel efficiency and durability. if it can put that combination together, this can be a huge game changer for ford.

>> the heavily tested new truck will be made of military grade aluminum. the real test will be how it plays in places where pickup trucks are part family car, part mobile office . like sickamore, illinois.

>> not ford tough?

>> doesn't sound very ford tough.

>> it could just make a convert out much this trapper, a chevy guy.

>> you can save gas. save weight, and get more power out of your truck for not pushing 800 pounds down the street. somebody's doing something right, you know.

>> waiting to see if there will be an aluminum ford in their future. john yang , nbc news, sycamore, illinois.