FCA mastermind and CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his frustrations on an earnings call last week regarding the launch of the 2019 Ram 1500. The new Ram is expected to be a highly profitable staple product for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and it’s unlikely the company would even around right now if not for the Ram line of full size trucks.
The 2019 Ram 1500 is so import to FCA that the company has earmarked $300 million to fix the teething issues happening with the launch of the new half-ton truck, which is considered to be well behind schedule. As a result, the lack of volume has contributed to a steep drop in truck sales, and money left on the table that FCA is missing. It’s a situation that doesn’t bode well for Marchionne and company, which factored to 2019 Ram 1500 into FCA’s financial targets for the year. The 65-year-old Italian-born CEO claimed that the Ram’s Sterling Heights Assembly plant is operating around 60 percent capacity currently.
According to reports, the Sterling Heights plant is currently assembling about 1,000 trucks per day, ramping up toward a run rate of 1,400 per day. The assembly of the 2019 Ram 1500 is currently divided between two 10-hour shifts per day, seven days a week.
To make up for some lost volume, FCA reportedly plans to run the plant every weekend and every holiday through Labor Day. Meanwhile, Ram truck dealers have begun receiving the 2019 Ram 1500, but only the versions with the non-electrified 5.7-liter V-8 engine, which has the same fuel economy and power output as the previous-generation Ram 1500.
Source: Automotive News