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Ford Planning to Slash Vehicle Weight Up to 700 lbs

Trimming mass a key to meeting future fuel economy goals.

by on Apr.19, 2011

Ford products - big and small - will be going on a diet, with a goal of cutting weight by as much as 700 pounds.

Ford Motor Co. plans to put its product line on a diet.  The maker expects to trim 100s of pounds off the weight of its cars, trucks and crossovers over the next half-decade in a bid to dramatically improve fuel economy.

The move won’t be easy, Ford officials warn.  The cuts will come even as consumers demand more content and features – and regulators pack on more safety devices.  And the lighter substitutes for conventional  materials, like steel, could add to vehicle cost.

“In the mid-term, from now to 2017 or 2018, we’ll remove anywhere from 250 to 700 pounds depending on the vehicle,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product chief.

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The move attempts to reverse course for Ford, which has faced the same dilemma as its competitors.  The typical automobile is today hundreds of pounds heavier than a similar model of a decade ago.  That reflects the addition of such creature comforts as onboard navigation systems, 15-speak audio packages and heated leather seats – as well as airbags, advanced braking systems and the complex safety structures required of modern cars.

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