Incentives, Old Model Keep Interest in Ram 1500 Alive as Fuel-sipper V6 Remains in Hiding

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
incentives old model keep interest in ram 1500 alive as fuel sipper v6 remains in

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]

Join the conversation
3 of 12 comments
  • MoparRocker74 MoparRocker74 on Jun 11, 2018

    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.

    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jun 13, 2018

      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.

  • Deanst Deanst on Jun 11, 2018

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

  • Chris Doering I have a decent 78 xe lots of potential
  • Kat Laneaux Wonder if they will be able to be hacked into (the license plates) and then you get pulled over for invalid license plates or better yet, someone steal your car and transpose numbers to show that they are the owners. Just a food for thought.
  • Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
  • Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
  • MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)