Massive Ford stores say cost of aluminum physique store will surpass $70,000

A Massive TAB FOR Resources

DETROIT — Michigan Ford dealer Ed Joliffe has been calculating the expense of getting his entire body store prepared for the 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup, and finds the numbers sobering.

“It is going to value anyplace from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000. Which is a hell of a chunk,” says Joliffe, who owns Gorno Ford in suburban Detroit.

“I do not consider it really is for the faint of heart. All the small shops won’;t be able to touch it.”

He figures it could consider 5 to 7 many years to recoup that investment, which he deems crucial to keep in the physique shop company.

Ford is targeting dealers with large entire body shops as it attempts to organize the F-150 aluminum entire body restore technique. For those dealers, the investment will exceed the $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 Ford has cited for a single fix bay. Like Joliffe, a lot of dealers say the price could be $ 70,000 or a lot more.

Ford’;s work is generating the Ford National Body Shop Ne2rk of dealers and independent retailers capable — Ford shies away from the term “licensed” — of massive structural repairs. The ne2rk, whose members have the correct resources and training, will be Ford’;s conduit for insurance company restore referrals.

Ford wants to assure clients and insurance companies that collision repair prices will be aggressive with prices on the recent steel-bodied truck. Individuals dealers and independent fix retailers who invest in equipment and instruction can hang a Ford National Physique Store Ne2rk sign in their showrooms and will be listed on a physique store locator on ford.com.

By year end, Ford desires a ne2rk of about 1,500 aluminum-capable entire body stores, such as its 460 dealerships and far more than 1,000 independent stores.

Keeping away from corrosion

Collision outlets need to have separate equipment and work areas for aluminum to prevent aluminum dust from receiving on steel components, which triggers corrosion.

Ford officials insist that most dealers will even now be capable to repair program fender benders. Dealers are not essential to join the ne2rk.

“We’;re hunting for the guys who are genuinely in the entire body store enterprise,” said Paul Massie, Ford collision advertising manager, speaking of the prime candidates for the restore ne2rk.

The $ thirty,000 to $ 50,000 quantities to a starter kit for aluminum restore. It involves a rivet gun, MIG (metal inert fuel) welder, hand equipment, a vacuum cleaner for aluminum dust and curtains or walls to separate the steel and aluminum operate areas.

Which is needed since aluminum and steel do not mix. If minute quantities of aluminum dust end up on a steel body element in a paint store, galvanic corrosion happens, sooner or later creating rustlike spots to bleed by means of the paint.

‘Significant investment’;

Mitchell Dale, proprietor of McRee Ford in Dickinson, Texas, says the investment is going to be higher than he had anticipated, about $ 70,000.

“But it’;s anything we have acquired to do. For shops like us, we’;re not looking at just a single perform station,” he mentioned.

“Down the street, I see us having 2 or 3 function stations.”

He adds: “I have got twenty guys. How are they going to share a spot welder or rivet gun? In excess of the many years to come it really is going to be a important investment to stay in the collision company.”

Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co.’;s executive vice president of worldwide marketing and advertising, revenue, service and Lincoln, says: “We’;re about halfway to our goal on the dealer side of just about 460” dealership physique stores.

Ford desires dealer body shop ne2rk to be in place by Oct. 31. Independent shops have until finally year finish. The 2015 F-150 is scheduled to arrive in showrooms late this yr.

You can attain Bradford Wernle at bwernle@crain.com.

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