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F-150 parts costs dwarf Ram

by David Zatz on

While using an aluminum body helped Ford increase its payload and towing, while boosting fuel economy to near-Ram levels, it has also increased the parts costs for body panels.

Automotive News’ Hannah Lutz noted that while insurers are currently not penalizing the F-series pickups, there may be problems in the future. First, only 750 independent body shops and 757  dealership shops are trained to repair the truck (there are around 1,500 to 3,000 Ford dealerships with body shops, according to the article). Second, prices for parts are far higher than for Chevy or Ram parts.


As an example, the article noted costs of $355 for a Crew XLT fender, compared with $268 for a 2014 Crew XLT fender. This compares with $179 for a Ram SLT fender— but, oddly, $483 for a Chevrolet LT fender and $382 for a Toyota Tundra fender.  (We took a quick look and found that, for a civilian, the fender and components for the Ram 1500 list for $300 and sell for $210 over the Internet. We believe Automotive News was using body-shop pricing, which is severely discounted from retail — walk-in customers at Chrysler dealers often pay over list.)

For hoods, both the 2014 and 2015 run $880 for the Ford, $688 for the Chevy, $540 for the Toyota — and a mere $457 for the Ram.  We found Internet pricing for the Ram at $467 list, and $327 Internet, without the power bulge; with the power bulge, oddly, it ran $1,330 list, $931 after Internet discount.)


The door for the 2015 Ford ran $1,021, an increase from last year’s $855. #2 in the costly-door competition was Toyota at $870, followed in this case by Ram at $545 and Chevy at $476. We found the same door at $686 retail, $441 Internet.

Overall, it’s no surprise that the insurers are waiting for more experience with the new pickup, which Ford claims was designed to minimize costs in a crash — the body panels were sectioned to avoid generalized damage. There are many parts and while some are more expensive, others are not, and collision repair costs have yet to be completely seen. Labor pricing is unknown — as is the question of whether body shops can or will charge a premium to regain their investments, and because aluminum can be harder to work with — and collision rates are a factor as well. Liability remains the greatest cost for insurance, so insurance rates are unlikely to go up dramatically regardless.

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