The New Ford F-150: Why Superman Wasn't Called the Man of Aluminum

Brian Johnson of Barclays Capital estimates Ford earns about $11,000 on a pickup truck sale compared to $5,000 for a car, the Los Angeles Times reported, and the F-Series trucks comprises nearly half of Ford's North American profits.

With the F-150 as its breadwinner, Ford is in "the unique position of fully exploiting their economies of scale" of the truck, Lieberman said.

"Substantially lowering a vehicle's weight increases the performance and the mileage. If the costs can be kept in check, and if repairs are reasonable, Ford has a definite winner on its hands," Lieberman said.

Meanwhile, GM, which won this year's North American Truck of the Year for the Chevrolet Silverado, is sticking by the strengths of steel.

"We use aluminum on the hoods and certain engine blocks and in all the appropriate places," Roger McCormack, director of Buick/GMC marketing as General Motors, told the Los Angeles Times. "There are a lot of advantages of high strength steel — great structural integrity."

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