Ford Starts Production of All-New 2015 F-150, Claims Record Consumer Interest

DEARBORN, Michigan — The first of Ford's new-generation 2015 F-150 pickup truck drove off the assembly line of the company's Dearborn Truck Plant here, and the company's barrage of pre-launch marketing to promote the benefits of the all-new pickup's aluminum body apparently has taken hold: Ford claims 250,000 potential buyers in just the last month configured and priced their own version of the truck.

The 2015 F-150 is scheduled to roll into Ford dealer showrooms in December, and President and CEO Mark Fields said at a ceremony for the start of production today that the number of configurations for the 2015 F-150 at Ford's Web site set an all-time record. The new-generation F-150, to be built at Ford's historic Rouge assembly site here, will leverage its weight-chopping aluminum body to enable towing up to 1,100 pounds more than the current F-150, as well as increase maximum payload by up to 530 pounds.

But the most critical piece of the puzzle (how much the 2015 F-150's drastic weight loss will improve fuel economy) will have to wait until later this month, when Ford plans to reveal the new F-150's official Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings.

For now, Ford is saying only that fuel efficiency for the aluminum-bodied full-size pickup is expected to boost fuel economy at least 5 percent and potentially as much as 20 percent. Although the change to aluminum bodywork may be a wild card for many consumers, the prospective marked improvement in fuel economy should ensure the 2015 F-Series pickup remains the nation's single best-selling vehicle line, a record it's held for the past 32 years.

Ford already has detailed pricing for the 2015 F-150, which at the entry point of $26,615 marks a $395 increase over the 2014 F-150, with the price hike moving to as much as $3,055 for the line-topping F-150 Platinum.

Edmunds says: With production beginning for dealer showroom-ready versions of the 2015 F-150, little more than a month remains before customers demonstrate just how much they're ready to buy into one of the most significant engineering changes ever for a pickup truck.