Ram Truck's Bigland: Room Above Laramie Longhorn
Ceiling for Ultra-Premium Pickup Not Yet Established
In an interview with Automobile Magazine's Rumor Central news blog, newly appointed Ram CEO Reid Bigland said he thought there was still room above the already sumptuous Laramie Longhorn in the Ram brand hierarchy, as well as the full-size truck market in general. "We don't even know if that's the ceiling or if we should go above that," said Bigland.
Ironically, the good fortune for full-size trucks does not bode well for Ram's reentry into the midsize segment anytime soon. The combined regulatory requirements of safety, fuel economy, and the expected attributes of payload and towing capacity make it challenging to bring a midsize entry to market that's meaningfully more affordable than the approximately $23,000 starting point for full-size pickups.
But that's not to say Ram has given up innovating in the truck, van, and light commercial vehicle segment. The Fiat Ducato-based ProMaster is just a few months away, and a compact Ford Transit Connect competitor based on the Fiat Doblo is due a few months after that, believed to carry the ProMaster City badge. Also on the near-term horizon is a turbodiesel Ram 1500, which promises to top the already-impressive 25-mpg highway figure of the Pentastar V-6, with more than 400 lb-ft of torque.