By on December 12, 2016

2016 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Limited

Another week, another pushed-back launch date for a next-generation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles product.

Last week, supplier sources claimed the range-topping Jeep Grand Wagoneer SUV was on hold, but this morning brings news of a delay for the next-generation Ram Heavy Duty truck line.

According to Automotive News, sources claim the Ram 2500/3500 and its chassis cab offspring won’t land on an all-new platform in 2018. Instead, the heavy-duty models should soldier on with their current DS platform and gain a minor refresh.

If true, it’s just the latest decision to scramble FCA’s long-term product plans. Just this year, FCA delayed the execution of the Dodge Grand Caravan and gave the current-generation Ram 1500 a new lease on life, even as a new 1500 bows in 2018. A similar pushback might keep the automaker’s rear-drive cars on the same platform for years to come.

Ram’s heavy-duty truck lineup was expected to drop its old bones in favor of FCA’s new DT platform sometime in 2018, bowing as 2019 models. The automaker hasn’t commented on the report.

If the delay is indeed factual, it’s hard not to see money — and FCA’s need to dole it out in limited doses — being behind the decision. Already, the automaker is scrambling to get the next-gen Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 out on time, and both of those products require expensive plant retooling. The Ram brand, along with Jeep, is FCA’s cash cow. Switching to an all-new heavy-duty truck would mean a temporary drop in production volume, as well as sales.

Demand for the existing Ram 2500/3500 remains healthy, so keeping a generation born in 2010 alive a little longer could make sense — even if it means selling the oldest heavy-duty pickup on the market.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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43 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Isn’t in a Hurry to Update the Ram Heavy Duty: Report...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    gotta shovel more cash into the Alfa furnace.

    • 0 avatar
      moff90

      Yeah, where else ? The new Wrangler, Wrangler pickup, Compass, Pacifica and next-gen Ram 1500 simply delevoped themselves out of thin air and wishful thinking…

      And let’s not forget that the ~900k yearly sales generated by the italian side of the company bring no profit at all…

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’m not saying it’s time for an FCA Deathwatch…but I’m not NOT saying it isn’t NOT time for one either, if you know what I’m not not saying (you don’t).

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    This is a non-story.

    Ford and GM did not release their updated HD pickups at the same time as their half-tons either.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes it is news, not because the 1/2 tons will be released before the rest of the line up but because they have announced it will be delayed, like so many of their products have been lately.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      GM released their HD trucks a few months after their half tons in 2013/2014. In fact, they released the half tons, HDs, and SUVs all within six months.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Historically, GM and Ram have always put out their HD trucks ~one year after the 1500s. Ford has been the odd one out, since the Super Dutys were until just this year independent from the F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      But they were available in a year or so. FCA probably will never build the heavy duty trucks on the newer platform before they go out of business

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        The only thing the HD trucks share with half tons is the cab, so you are correct that “FCA probably will never build the heavy duty trucks on the newer platform.” Neither will GM or Ford. They wouldn’t be HD trucks if they were on the same platform as entry-level pickups.

  • avatar
    mason

    I’m probably in the minority by saying this but as a 4th gen owner I see nothing wrong with the current styling and trim packages (excluding the fugly Limited package).

    Keep improving under the skin and leave the rest alone. I’m good with that.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    In today’s market, it doesn’t take very many missed deadlines – or perceived deadlines – to wound a product badly. Sergio has been grasping at the handrails for at least 10 quarters, trying to gain traction with anything and has failed in a very public manner. FCA cannot stand as JEEP and chrysler/fiat (lower case). Add in whatever blowback they suffer from the pending Italian banking disaster and I wouldn’t short them at $1.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      FCA’s markets are NAFTA – 2.7 million vehicles; Europe – 1.3 million vehicles; Latin America – 600k vehicles; and everywhere else – 180k vehicles. NAFTA growth has cancelled out the collapse in Latin America, mostly due to Brazil, where the market shrank from over 3.3 million vehicles to 2.1 million.

      The Fiat brand owns over 20% of the Brazil Market, and lost 280k in sales over the last three years. Latin America is FCA’s weak spot, but not due to their making, along with a non-presence in Asia.

      Otherwise, it’s a global company that makes money in the world’s largest economy, but has problems out of their control elsewhere.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    No updated bro-dozers?

    The horror!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This is no big travesty. Ford marketed a line of consumer heavy-duty pickup trucks that ultimately originated in 1998—and sales volume remained strong the whole time—until earlier this year. The new Super Duty trucks just dropped a few months ago, while the redesigned F-150 has been out for around two calendar years.

    Besides, the Ram truck series is competitive, and doesn’t seem out-of-date for anything other than ultimate bragging rights when it comes to payload and towing. And heavy-duty pickup drivers almost seem to value tried-and-true platforms over new ones.

    It’s not at all uncommon for the light and heavy-duty lines to be out-of-sync in terms of when they get redesigned.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah have to agree with Kyree. As long as the platforms decent I think HD pickups are one of those markets where being long in the tooth doesn’t hurt you much. Ram is making big inroads in the chassis cab market, and I see quite a few of the 6.4 2500 being used for plowing and landscaping here. I doubt it would hurt there sales much, as long as they keep making minor improvements much as Ford did thru the super duties run.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, but the Super Duty had several significant revisions throughout that time; new engine (6.0 PSD) in 2004, new engine (6.4 PSD) and re-designed exterior/interior styling in 2008, new engines and another minor styling update in 2011, and finally complete replacement for 2017.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah Ram’s been upgrading quite a bit in the last 7 years of HD production.They have added
        6.4 Hemi
        Upgraded the output of the Cummins twice
        Upgraded the payload in 2016
        Added rear coil springs to 2500’s
        Added optional air suspension to both 2500 and 3500.
        Also a number of interior improvements.
        So can’t really say their standing still.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        The Superduty kind of had to, neither the 6.0 or 6.4 has a great reputation. One of the biggest knocks on Ford Diesels that you hear among RV’ers is they kept changing their engine completely every few years instead of dialing it in. I think Kyree is right. It’s all anecdotes but at least in the RV crowd, latest greatest doesn’t necessarily equal best.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          they weren’t Ford engines, though, they were Navistar engines.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            Jimz, doesn’t really matter if they weren’t Ford engines. There are a lot of people who will still tell you that the 7.3 is the best diesel that Ford’s ever put in a truck. Fleets buy diesels for all sorts of reasons but the RV guys are a recalcitrant(sp?) lot with long memories.

            Which to Kyree’s point- if FCA can afford to push an update off a year or two, this would be the best segment to do it. The 1500 would be where to put the money because they turn over trucks more often and latest/greatest means more here. At least those are my observations.

    • 0 avatar
      krohde

      No, not a big travesty only thinking about this product but in the larger context of what it says about FCA’s future, it might be. With all that debt they’re trying to pay off before Sergio’s retirement, this announcement (and the Wagoneer one) says that they’re running out of money and/or spending what they do have on the wrong vehicles (Alfa!). Jeep and RAM have fueled FCA since the merger so to see them both getting R&D cutbacks does not bode well for the future.

      5 years from now, I bet RAM and Jeep are both owned by a large Chinese company. What better way to make inroads in the US than with the best brand in mainstream automotive (Jeep) and another strong one (RAM), not to mention all the infrastructure is already in place. As for Chrysler and Dodge, I bet they both go away.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes it is, not because it is not unusual for the HD pickups to get introduced after the 1/2 tons, it is because it is yet another case of FCA sliding an introduction and it is on an important high volume product.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    … not sure which grille is worse… the one with the nostrils, or the one with the mustache… I can say that… I have a ’16 Ram 2500… luckily, my grille has neither!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    There is no delay. It was never the plan to bring them out for 18. Also, HDs aren’t DS, they’re DJ/D2/DD/DP

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    How are the Cummins engines on competitiveness these days against the other two HD choices?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Very competitive. The Cummins engine/Aisin transmission combo are pretty awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      They’re competitive. The HP is lower on the Cummins but the Torques about the same (900 Dodge vs 910 Chevy vs 925 Ford) and the torque is the only thing that matters.

      Ford and Chevy both want v8s that feel and sound a little less diesely and more like their gas counterparts because some people don’t like all that diesel clatter. The Cummins engine has a better reputation for durability and is very ‘diesely’. They sound like a mini-bigrig.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “torque is the only thing that matters.”

        bull. horsepower is the only thing which tells you how much actual work the engine can do. Torque (and the curve) tell you what gearing you need.

        “They sound like a mini-bigrig.”

        not any more; the latest ones are pretty quiet too.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          Which is why Ford and GM have always won the pointless drag races they insist on running with these trucks. The V8s have consistently been 30-40 hp above the I6 regardless of peak torque numbers. Shorter stroked, higher revving (compared to the I6). Conversely Cummins has had the fuel economy edge, which combined with reliability and engine braking are the only performance tests anybody that actually uses these trucks are even worried about.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          JimZ, no, not at all on a tow rig. I’ve got a 3500 diesel (it’s an older manual but I’ve driven the new ones too). You rarely get a diesel over 2300 rpm. Your torque peaks between 1500 and 1900 on ALL the 3500s. The HP peak isnt until 2800 or 2900 and then it practically cuts out at 3000-3500 depending on model. I spend my entire time towing on that rig trying to keep it as close to 1800 as I can. In sixth gear at 70mph I’m turning 2000 rpm and you can comfortably tow 13k pounds at that speed all day up and down hills. If you are towing with a new 3500 automatic set in tow mode, unless you are absolutely flooring it, it will try to shift at around 2300-2400 to keep you around that peak torque curve. You basically never see your HP peak unless you are trying to.

          Towing a 13000 trailer btw. I also have a 1500 and it’s a completely different animal and I sometimes tow a 7500 trailer behind it and I’m running in the 4500-5000 range up hills pretty frequently.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            If peak torque comes on at 1600 and peak horsepower comes on at 2800rpm, which rpm will be easier to maintain that 13k lb load up say a 6% grade?

            You basically just proved that horsepower does matter.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Mricky, there is a reason Cummins rates their vocational ISB’s to run constant @ 2800 rpm. It is far easier on an engine to run at rated rpm under load than it is to run at whatever rpm it just so happens to make peak torque. That’s a good way to put a hole in a piston.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Having test-driven them all, I would say that the Ford and GM engines — once at operating temperature — are a little quieter. I guess because they operate at slightly higher rpm than the Cummins and have less displacement per cylinder. The Cummins has a thump-thump-thump sound that is definitely truck-like, and it’s audible in the cab with the windows up. The clatter from any of the engines is not.
        The Cummins seems like a much easier engine to service than either of the V-8s, which are a rat’s nest of plumbing of all types, partly because they use a single turbocharger. Supposedly, on the Ford, you have to lift the cab off to do much work on the engine. I’m not sure if this is correct or not, nor am I sure that this difference is reflected in repair costs.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’d rather FCA delayed something to get it right than to push something out that isn’t ready.


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