Report: Ram Sticking with Steel for Foreseeable Future
Next Mid-Cycle Refresh Expected to Retain Predominantly Steel Body
Ford shook up the fullsize truck market with the announcement that the 2015 F-150 would feature an all-aluminum body, and indications that the next-generation Super Duty may follow suit. Industry analysts expect the next full redesign of General Motors’ trucks may occur around 2019. But according to a Reuters report, Chrysler will stick with steel’s proven performance and reputation for its Ram fullsize trucks until at least the turn of the next decade. The report cites concerns among some of Ram’s commercial customers about the long-term durability of aluminum.
Both the ½-ton and HD Ram trucks received a substantial update for 2014, including a new gas engine for the HD models, and the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 for the 1500 models. The next refresh is expected in 2017 and could bring further improvements in fuel economy and features. Ram is the current fullsize truck fuel economy leader with its base 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and EcoDiesel powerplants, both paired to an eight-speed transmission. Fuel economy figures have not yet been released for the 2015 Ford F-150 but are expected to be substantially better than the 2014 model.
The Ram trucks are not expected to get a full redesign until 2020 or later, at which point they could adopt aluminum bodies, but Chrysler representatives remained mum on future plans for the trucks.