During the Capital Markets Day presentation by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the company released some detailed information into the future of the Ram brand. Some of the information involved new trucks and some included some very interesting technology coming to its products.
First off, let’s get everything out in the open. As 5thGenRams stated months ago, there will be a Ram 1500 based Rebel TRX model. FCA confirmed the TRX this morning. This will be the HELLCAT powered off-road truck that will take on the Ford F-150 Raptor. It will be similar to the concept, but of course will be based off of the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. FCA did not confirm any information about a 7.0-liter (426CI) HEMI “codenamed Banshee” V8 Rebel TR model. However, our sources say it’s still coming. So for all of you Rebel TRX fans out there, you can get excited because the truck will be here sometime in 2021.
Ram also announced in the presentation that all-new Ram Heavy Duty models would be launched in January 2019 as 2020 models. The presentation also mentioned that when the all-new Heavy Duty launches it will “offer the strongest diesel in the marketplace”. 5thGenRams announced yesterday, that sources are saying the new Cummins would be featuring a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block.
Ram has also announced they will be launching a new global wide midsize/metric pickup. This truck has been already lightly confirmed by FCA in the announcement to move Ram Heavy Duty production to the U.S. and repurpose the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico to make Fiat and Ram metric trucks. In certain parts of the globe, Ram uses rebadged Mitsubishi pickups as Ram 1200 models. This truck would ultimate replace that vehicle since Mitsubishi is now part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
The ProMaster City van will also be getting an all-new replacement, while it seems that the Ram ProMaster full-size van will be refreshened but not completely new from the ground up. However, Ram is aiming at becoming the #2 commercial brand in NAFTA behind Ford. When the brand offered the ProMaster and ProMaster City as well as ProMaster Rapid in Mexico, coverage raised by 12%. But, that still hasn’t helped the brand move into the #2 spot yet.
FCA aligns the Ram Commercial brand with it’s Fiat Commercial counterpart. There are a few markets the brand overlap each other, but Ram will have a stronghold in North America, the Middle-East, New Zealand and Australia as well as South America.
FCA is also trying to be more profitable in each of the vehicles it sales. According to the presentation the Ram brand is the lowest average transactions of any brand in both light duty and heavy duty trucks. Ram is predicting that the new Ram 1500 will have an average transaction price of $43,000US compared to the exiting Ram 1500s typical transaction of $37,000US. As for Heavy Duty Rams, the current transaction price is $50,000US and Ram is hoping the new 2020 model will push transactions to just under the average for a Ford Super Duty’s average transaction price of $56,000US.
One of the biggest announcements from the Ram brand is the fact that Level 2 autonomy will come to most of it’s models. For those who don’t know what Level 2 autonomy is, at least one driver assistance system of “both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment” is automated, like cruise control and lane-centering. It means that the “driver is disengaged from physically operating the vehicle by having his or her hands off the steering wheel AND foot off pedal at the same time,” according to the SAE. The driver must still always be ready to take control of the vehicle, however. The Ram 1500 and all-new ProMaster City will get these features in the 2021 model year, while the Ram Heavy Duty will get them for the following model year.
Ram has a goal of selling one million units a year globally by 2022. That is a 30% increase compared to the 2018 forecast of 770,000 units.