During a call to discuss its third-quarter financial results, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted that the automaker may launch a Ram-branded large SUV to compete with Ford’s Expedition and General Motors’ Suburban/Yukon XL.
The battleship segment is “the near-exclusive use of some others. We have a reasonable chance of getting at least part of that market,” Marchionne said, according to Automotive News.
General Motors announced Wednesday it would invest $1.4 billion into its Arlington Assembly Plant, which produces SUVs.
The investment will create a new paint shop, body shop and “general assembly area upgrades” for the plant that produces Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs and Cadillac Escalades.
Construction will take three years and plant operations won’t be impacted, GM said.
Own a new Chevrolet or GMC truck? You might be getting a new set of keys.
Considering the Suburban so essentially captures the tenuous line between myth and reality in American life, it’s a pity we don’t have 75 years of sales data to put some hard numbers behind the nameplate’s 75 years of history. Luckily, our data does go back to 1995, when America’s whirlwind romance with the SUV was just beginning to get serious. Given that, as Paul points out in today’s history, Suburbans didn’t become popular as family haulers until sometime in the early eighties, it’s safe to assume that 1996-2004 represents the absolute high-water mark for the nameplate’s volume. And ye gods has that volume dropped off ever since.