Aluminum vehicles to reshape repair business, according to The Detroit News.
Expensive body shop tools and training, and labor rates that could nearly double, will rock the auto body repair industry following Ford Motor Co.’s foray into aluminum-body vehicles.
The automaker’s new F-150 pickup, which debuts later this year, will be the first mass-market vehicle with a body made mostly of aluminum. As others follow Ford’s lead to create lightweight cars and trucks to meet stringent fuel economy requirements, it will prompt a shift in how body shops align their businesses.
Some of the 35,000 U.S. repair facilities will each invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment and training necessary to fix the smallest dents and the biggest structural collapses and will pass those costs along to consumers through higher labor rates. Others will focus solely on the steel-body cars and trucks that remain the dominant share of vehicles on the road.