By on June 11, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

What happens when you launch your first all-new full-size pickup in a decade with only one of the three planned engines ready to go? Fiat Chrysler’s finding out with its 2019 Ram 1500, which entered production at the dawn of the new year. Five months later, and there’s still no mild hybrid Pentastar V6 or similarly electrified 5.7-liter V8.

The 2019 model’s off the launch pad, but hasn’t cleared the tower. Thankfully for the brand, FCA saw fit to keep the older generation in production, satisfying buyers who like lower MSRPs and available six-cylinder powerplants. That doesn’t help would-be buyers who keep showing up at FCA dealers in search of a thrifty new Ram, however.

According to a Michigan dealer that spoke to Automotive News, curious customers are turned away on a weekly basis. “Turned away” is likely a misnomer here, as the dealer would surely attempt to lure the dejected consumer into a 2018 model with cash on the hood (and cash there be).

It’s assumed that either the 48-volt belt-starter generator system assigned to the newest Ram crop requires some additional fine-tuning before sales commence, or the Environmental Protection Agency is dragging its feet. Right now, only the conventional 5.7-liter 2019 models carry an EPA fuel economy rating.

To generate interest in the new (and old) models, FCA’s incentive spending is on the rise. Citing data from Autodata Corp., Automotive News claims 1500s carried an average of $6,578 on their hoods over the first five months of 2018 — an 11 percent increase over the same period a year ago. These incentives are apparently on the decline, or at least they were in May.

While it would appear that Ram sales suffered as a result of the no-show engines (volume of all Ram pickup lines fell 8.4 percent, year to date), FCA claims interest in the two 1500 lines hasn’t waned. The automaker says retail sales of the 1500 rose 18 percent in May, year over year.

Obviously, had FCA’s engine launch coincided with that of the truck, we’d be looking at very different sales figures. In the meantime, overall sales of Ford’s F-Series — the world’s best-selling vehicle line since Ancient Aliens ruled the land — continue into the stratosphere. F-Series sales rose 11.3 percent in May, year over year, and 5.7 percent over the first five months of 2018.

[Image: © 2018 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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12 Comments on “Incentives, Old Model Keep Interest in Ram 1500 Alive as Fuel-sipper V6 Remains in Hiding...”

  • avatar

    The 2019s may have been on the market for five months, but I’ve only seen one in the wild (last week), and that’s in the pickup-crazy DFW area.

    I just looked on their site, to build a 2019, and a 2018. I don’t see the EcoDiesel offered on either. Is that coming back eventually, on the 2019s?

    • 0 avatar

      The Ecodiesel was available on the 2018 and there are several in my area on lots. I guess they just dropped it early from the 2018 order form. Nearly 1/4 of the new 2018’s within 50 miles of my zip are diesels according to

      I guess maybe they are already trying to wean people off of being able to get much more than a fleet stripper and force them into a 2019. Of course the only problem with that is they aren’t offering the diesel in the 2019s yet.

      • 0 avatar

        2018 Ram 1500 ordering is currently open, and the only engine is the 3.0L diesel. The rest are built out. Gas V6 and Hemi versions of the old DS truck are available to order again as 2019s.

  • avatar

    I’d rock the old body style, no problem.

    Hemi,4×4, bench seat, crew cab, only really need lumbar adjustment – keep the giant tablet embedded in the dash.

  • avatar

    As usual Chrysler botches another yet another launch.

  • avatar

    Launch is fine. RAM is cranking out high trim level 2019 1500 hemi models which is the intent. Diesel has always been planned as a late introduction and there are plenty of previous generation ecodiesel 1500 in current inventory for those who must have one.
    Old model is for the skinflint buyers. Lack of V6 is no big deal.

    I believe FCA on this one, sales increased 18% and incentives decreased due to lower incentives on the new model. FCA is working to maximize profit and retail sales. It’s working.

  • avatar

    Agree that 6 Cyl is no biggie, unless referring to the 3.0 diesel. 6 cyl. 3.6 was a small volume in overall sales of Ram 1500s…the fuel mileage difference is negligible comparing 3.6 and 5.7.

  • avatar

    The info I’ve seen in usually-reliable Mopar forums has the gas V6 launching in August and the diesel in calendar-year 2019. The EPA comments seem speculative to me.

  • avatar

    Builds might have started early in the year, however there was a long containment period where they weren’t shipping. Dealers have only started getting them in the last couple months. The 5.7L etorque is and has been available to order for some time, however only on Longhorn and Limited models. V6 was always planned to be a late launch as the old trucks are still in full tilt production with V6 gas and diesel.

  • avatar

    Who cares about the V6, and that hybrid wacko garbage cant be kept far enough away from me. Hybrids make no sense…youre gonna take it on the chin with the upfront costs, fuel economy gains are marginal at best, and in the case of a truck, performance upgrades are popular…Ill bet the computer has a zillion tentacles into the ECM just waiting to put the kibosh on any hotrodding. Get the standard Hemi, then invest in an exhaust, upgraded intake and a Pro Predator tuner. Less money invested, real hp and torque gains and now your truck is a hotrod, not a greenie mobile with more complexity that cant wait to fail and cost you money.

    • 0 avatar

      Would it help if you thought of the BSG unit as an electric supercharger? An extra 130 lb-ft on takeoff is cool with me. It’s a mild hybrid that basically acts as a booster pack. Otherwise the powertrain is pretty much the same as the non hybrid version.

  • avatar

    I’m seeing 30% discounts on the old model inCanada. You can get a V8 for the price of a civic.

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