Yesterday, Automotive news released an article titled 2019 Ram Launch slows to a trickle. In the article it is said that the V6 Pentastar with eTorque and the 5.7 Hemi V8 with eTorque have not yet been approved by the EPA. This article has since spread around to many automotive sites putting their own take on it, in some cases resulting in articles not even resembling the original context. Lets break it down and look at the facts.
1) The original article names no sources as to the information about the eTorque EPA approval being delayed. (5thGenRams has reached out to FCA for comment)
2) We never had an on sale date for the eTorque equipped engines in the first place. You can’t be late to a party you never scheduled and while we have speculated the eTorque equipped trucks would begin production this summer, that is based on information from some of our sources and should not be confused with being a start date given by FCA. All that has been said by Ram about eTorque availability since launch is later this year.
3) The headline is sensationalistic. Saying the launch slows to a trickle is very misleading. Production of non eTorque equipped trucks is continuing as planned.
It is known that initially production of the 2019 Ram 1500 wasn’t going as planned as the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was having a hard time hitting ramp up targets after switching from building unibody Chrysler 200 sedans to the body on frame Ram 1500. Our sources tell us that production has been increasing although they are still in ramp up mode. We do currently have some forum members that are hitting the 45 day mark without their trucks being built yet which is unfortunate but not that unheard of for any new pickup launch.
Here is why I’m not concerned. This is all fairly standard for a full sized pickup truck launch, It goes the same way for Ford and GM as well. While pickup trucks are by nature a very basic vehicle, the amount of configurations (cab size, wheelbase, frame length), powertrains and option spread available on them make them very complex vehicles to build. It is very common for a manufacturer to restrict certain trim levels, body configurations and powertrains during production ramp up. This article published on the Motley Fool back in February of this year explains how the 2019 GM truck launch will cost General Motors roughly 60,000 units of production this year. While that does include them shutting down production on an existing plant to convert into building the 2019 GM trucks, some of that production will also be lost during initial ramp up. The same article also talks about how it took Fords factories several months to get into the swing of building the 2015 F150 and that for months dealer inventories of the new F150 were at about half of what Ford wanted them to be. Gm also went through a similar thing during the 2014 Silverado/Sierra launch.
While it is frustrating for customers waiting for their new trucks, there is nothing out of the ordinary going on here as far as I’m concerned. All these “production issue” articles serve to do is cause panic and confuse the consumer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same sort of articles again later this year as 2019 Sierra/Silverado production ramps up.
Stay tuned to 5thGenRams for all the latest information and make sure to check out our quickly growing forums section.