Model: Model T
Options: 4-Wheel Drive, Leather Seats, Convertible
Drive Type: FWD
Monsey, New York, United States
Pickup trucks tend not to advance at quite the same pace as the rest of the industry. That's what makes the new Ford F-150 so remarkable, jettisoning its old steel construction in favor of aluminum. It's a game changer that Ford is betting big on, and in anticipation of surging demand, the Blue Oval automaker is adding 850 new jobs to put the thing together.
Those 850 new employees will be centered at Ford's Rouge complex in Michigan - with 300 at Dearborn Stamping, 50 more at Dearborn Diversified and 500 at the Dearborn Truck facility, the latter of which has already kicked off what Ford describes as "the largest manufacturing transformation in decades." Old manufacturing equipment is being replaced with the latest technologies, and even the Ford Rouge Factory Tour is undergoing a complete overhaul.
The new jobs come as part of the commitments Ford made to the UAW in 2011 to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015 - a number which Ford has already exceeded at 14,000. Over 4,000 of those are centered in southeastern Michigan.
The ongoing heavy-duty truck battle between Ford and Ram is showing no signs of slowing down. The Blue Oval is trying to remove at least one point of contention between the two brands by testing its 2015 F-450 Super Duty using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 towing standard, which Ram also uses. In the new evaluation, the F-450 is rated at a max towing capacity of 31,200 pounds. That's an identical amount as under Ford's own, previous test.
"We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds - whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development, in the company's release.
At the same time, Ford is also changing how it calculates the F-450's payload. Instead of using its minimum curb weight as before, the brand is now using the truck's base curb weight. The revision lowers the pickup's rating to 5,300 pounds, compared to 5,450 pounds previously. The company said in its announcement that the reason for this is "aligning its payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles." General Motors made a similar switch for its pickups in August.
Easter Jeep Safari concepts, Shelby 1000, 2014 Cadillac CTS and Mercedes CLA45 AMG leaks
Episode #326 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Zach Bowman talk about this year's Easter Jeep Safari concepts, the 1,200-horsepower Shelby 1000 and leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. We wrap with your questions and emails, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #326: