Ram Will Build Current 1500 Pickup Even After Launching Redesigned 2019 1500
Two-Truck Strategy Could Satisfy Both Fleet and Consumer Demand
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will reportedly continue production on the current Ram 1500 pickup even after its redesigned successor hits the market in 2018. According to Automotive News, the automaker will pursue increased fleet sales with the continued production of its current pickup, focusing consumers toward the new 1500, due for the 2019 model year.
Automotive News reports that Ram will sell two versions of the light-duty pickup in the same model year in order to attract fleets with the older, lower-priced pickup, while higher-margin consumer sales would be driven by the new-for-2019 truck. The move echoes that made by General Motors in 1998 and 2007, when previous-generation versions of the Silverado 1500 were sold alongside their replacements, also largely to fleet buyers.
Ram traditionally doesn’t sell to fleets in great numbers, something the company would like to correct. According to FCA CFO Richard Palmer, the company would restrategize its production capacity to offer enough volume for both fleets and consumers. According to Automotive News, that means continuing production of the current 1500 in Warren, Michigan, and Saltillo, Mexico through at least part of 2019, while the next-generation 1500 will be produced in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Currently, Sterling Heights Assembly builds the Chrysler 200 sedan, which is being axed. The retooled facility could be capable of producing more than 300,000 2019 Ram 1500 pickups, and once production of the previous-generation Ram 1500 leaves Warren Truck Assembly, that plant will shift to building the Jeep Wagoneer, according to Detroit Free Press.