Many automakers, especially those in Detroit, are facing a dilemma that could affect their sales and profits. The Administration is about to announce new, more aggressive fuel economy standards. Starting in 2016 CAFE requirements will be increased each year until it reaches 54.5 mpg by 2025.
In the past pickups have had a lower requirement. Now they will be included in one, single standard. Automakers like Ford are looking for ways to make their trucks more efficient while satisfying the needs of truck buyers.
Ford recently introduced a new generation of engines to make their trucks more fuel efficient. Now Ford is considering the use more Aluminum in their trucks to reduce weight by up to 700 lbs. Some sources at the automaker say the process is underway while others say any speculation is premature.
Steel and aluminum each have their advantages and benefits. Automakers need to hit the new CAFE mandates while preserving payload and towing capacity.