The all-new redesigned Ram 1500 is set to launch in early 2018. However, Fiat Chrysler will build the current Ram 1500 version well into 2019.
CFO Richard Palmer said last week, “Going into 2018, having more pickup capacity will allow us to also satisfy the fleet customers’ demand on pickup, which we struggle to do today because we favor retail in the U.S. and Canadian volume, which have higher margins.” He added, “As we realign our capacity, we’re going to be able to continue to work on improving our fleet mix.
The current light-duty pickup will continue production into 2019 in suburban Detroit at the Warrant Truck Assembly as well as in Saltillo, Mexico. Those plants plan to build 200,000 of the pickups in 2018 and 65,000 of those in 2019 before transitioning off to other products.
325,000 of the redesigned Ram 1500s will be built in 2018 at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. Production will pickup 25 percent to more than 400,000.
CEO Sergio Marchionne said, “We have taken a hard look at our level of penetration in some of the key truck areas in the U.S., and we’ve been deficient.” He adds, “And I think a lot of this has been because of the fact that we have not emulated people who have a longer history of success in this sector.”
Producing the current Ram 1500s until 2019 will ensure dealers have ample supplies of the hot-selling pickups. It will also allow a low-cost play for added fleet business with the retiring trucks, while appealing to consumers with the all-new features and technology on the new Ram 1500.