Truckin’ in 2015 ride

Gaudin Ford has begun taking orders on the new 2015 F-150.

Made with military grade aluminum, the new truck is priced slightly higher to include additional standard features.

The launch of the new trucks with aluminum bodies is key for Ford as the F-150 pickups have been the best-selling vehicles in North America for 36 years and are profit centers for the No. 2 U.S. automaker.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said last week the rollout of the new trucks was on target for first sales late this year, and he was confident they would launch without quality problems sometimes associated with new vehicles.

The base, or non-luxury, models — the XL work truck and the most popular version the XLT — will see prices rise $395 over F-150 pickups currently on sale. The XL base price will be $26,615 including destination charges, and the XLT will begin at $31,890.

Together, these two versions will account for as much as 70 percent of F-150 sales, said company spokesman Mike Levine.

Levine said the higher prices were due to additional standard features in all five trim levels of the F-150, and not because of the greater cost of aluminum over steel.

The Lariat, the lowest priced of the luxury F-150s, begins pricing at $39,880, up $895. Levine said this version includes an 8-inch LCD screen and a rear-view camera as standard equipment.

The two highest-priced versions saw the biggest price increases. The King Ranch F-150 rose $3,615 to $49,460, and the Platinum version rose $3,055 to $52,155.

Customers were at first skeptical of the aluminum truck. But, as time has gone by and people have read more about the aluminum truck, they are less apprehensive said Levine.

Gaudin Ford is at 6225 Roy Horn Way where South Rainbow Boulevard meets the 215 Beltway. For more information, visit.