Railcars, once powering the American economy over a century ago, are now in short supply for many North American automakers. The stockpile of new 2019 Ram 1500 trucks at the now-closed Gibralter Trade Center in Mount Clemens is clear evidence of this shortage. If you’re a southeast Michigan resident, perhaps you’ve noticed.
“Due to an industrywide railcar shortage, FCA US is temporarily storing some vehicles at various yards. While the rail network is now showing signs of improvement, we are still working with our shipping providers to find alternative methods to deliver vehicles to their end destinations,” according to an official FCA statement.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a trade group representing many automakers, including Ford, General Motors, and FCA, said its members are facing “substantial consequences” due to a shortage of bi-level and tri-level railcars for moving the finished vehicles to their end destination.
In April, The Detroit Free Press also reported a shortage of Lincoln Navigator shipments, citing similar issues.
Despite the demand for railcars from automakers, rail companies are continually reducing operating ratios, which cut both crews and equipment. It is unclear whether the rail industry will meet the needs of automakers in the near future.
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is vital to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, due to strong anticipated sales volume and profit margins. However, its launch has been far from graceful. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that former CEO Sergio Marchionne, who suddenly and tragically passed away last week, had frustrations with the 2o19 Ram 1500 rollout.
Source: Detroit Free Press