Ford's big profit maker impacted
While Ford has yet to give a price for the new aluminum F-150, there is no doubt the automaker will charge a premium for it. After all, Ford will be selling a truck that gets substantially better mileage than other trucks which deliver 20-23 MPG.
However, raising the aluminum content in the F-150 will also be much more costly for Ford than sticking with high strength steel. In addition, raw material costs are far more volatile than the cost of steel.
"I think it's going to be tough for Ford to charge a premium and make up for all of the additional costs," said Stover.
Stover estimates Ford makes a profit of roughly $10,000 on every F-Series truck it sells. How much that drops due to the added costs going into the new F-Series is hard to predict, but Stover adds: "Look, Ford will still make a ton of dough on this truck."
Will F-150 fans embrace the aluminum truck?
The big unknown behind the new aluminum F-150 is whether the millions of people, small business owners, and corporate fleet operators who have loyally bought the F-Series for years will embrace the new truck.
(Read more: Automakers show off new tech at CES)
The F-series has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 32 straight years, including in 2013 when Ford sold 763,402.
"I have a hard time finding another model as important as the F-Series is to Ford," said Stover. "I don't think the consumer cares whether the panels are aluminum or steel. What they care about is whether it will hold up."
Ford knows there will be questions about the new F-150 being durable enough. It says the truck has gone through extensive road tests in extreme conditions around the world, including a disguised version racing in the Baja 1000 race.
All told, by the time the new F-Series goes on sale in the fourth quarter of this year, Ford says it will have put the truck through 10 million miles of test driving.
—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter
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