In With the Old: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Joins New Model to Energize Sales

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
in with the old 2019 ram 1500 classic joins new model to energize sales

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company replaced the original formula of its flagship soft drink and called the beverage “New Coke.” The new label was tucked into the corner, as this was to become the brand’s staple flavor. But the soda company knew better than to gamble its business on an unproven taste, so it retained the old formula and bottled it as “Coca-Cola Classic.” The end result was more sales and a safety net for those unwilling to steer their taste buds into adventure.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doing the same thing with the Ram brand. The full-size 1500 pickup truck was replaced for the 2019 model year. However, FCA wanted to keep both the fourth and fifth generations of the half-ton hauler on the books.

Since Ram can’t call them both the 1500 and hope people recognize the difference, it’s appending the older model with the Classic nameplate. The brand will offer both the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, known internally as the DS model, and the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, marked as the DT, at all North American dealers through the 2018 calendar year.

“As we launch the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we didn’t want to walk away from a key part of the light-duty truck market,” said Mike Manley, head of the truck brand. “Ram will continue to produce the 1500 Classic targeted at entry and commercial buyers.”

Alright, so why is FCA really doing this? The Coke strategy could play a factor. By offering both the DS and DT, Fiat Chrysler can flood the extremely popular pickup market with two full-sized models. But that’s not the only reason FCA might have to keep the older vehicle around.

As of last week, examples of the new 1500 were limited to models equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi. The Environmental Protection Agency has been slow to grant approval to the brand’s mild-hybrid powertrains — which include the Hemi and a 3.6-liter V6. Strangely, neither FCA or the EPA have specified why.

Keeping the older model around will buy Ram some time as those approvals go through and production has a chance to catch up. For 2019, the Ram 1500 Classic is offered in four trims: Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star and Special Services Vehicle (SSV). The Classic also benefits from three new packages, bundled in a comprehensive way to minimize overall costs and assembly headaches.

For example, the Chrome Plus package available on the Tradesman adds all the shiny bits you can handle, along with keyless entry. The Tradesman SXT slaps dual exhaust ports on V8 models, fog lamps, 20-inch chrome wheels, and a upsized center console. An Express Black Accent Package is offered on all Express trim exterior colors but adds black wheels and badging.

The 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 carry over, but a new 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel is said to become available at a later date. Bed sizes and cab configurations are enough to satisfy anyone’s needs and the price difference is enough to keep buyers interested in the older model. If you found a build you liked on the old pickup, you’ll surely be happy with the new-old truck.

Currently, the fourth-generation 1500 starts at $27,295, undercutting the new base model by $4,400 (which you can order by not own). It won’t officially become the Classic until the final quarter of 2018, by which time the EPA may have approved those mild-hybrid powertrains.

[Image: FCA]

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  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jun 27, 2018

    Looking at them side by side at the dealer the new truck is handsome enough other than the stupid emblem on the hood now. I would by an aftermarket hood just to get rid of it and have all the new refinements. Or, in this case maybe buy the classic because they are pretty sharp and give up the chenges. Should I need to buy a truck, which I don't.

  • Akear Akear on Jun 27, 2018

    I went to a FCA dealer the other day and could not see one appealing vehicle. Ok, the Hellcat and a few other muscles cars are interesting.

  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]