By on January 15, 2019

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab (left), Power Wagon (center) and 3500 Heavy Duty Limited Crew Cab Dually (right)

Unless you’re employed by Uncle Sam, you may not have noticed the current government shutdown impacting your life by any meaningful margin. That, of course, has not kept the media from spending the entire month scaremongering and trying to place blame (Spoiler: It’s everyone’s fault, as these shutdowns happen anytime Congress has to agree on a new budget, and partisan politics keeps them from working toward any cooperative solutions).

While this is the longest partial shutdown of the U.S. government in modern history (take that, 1996), it hasn’t been quite as terrifying as the internet or television would lead you to believe. However, we’re starting to get a little uneasy at this point — because it looks like the situation could delay the launch of the Ram Heavy Duty we’ve prattled on about for the past two days

The pickups still need emissions certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in order to be approved for sale. Unfortunately, that process is now delayed by the shutdown. Due to the current federal encumbrance, EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality is currently inactive and cannot test emissions or issue any approvals to automakers.

According to Bloomberg, this has Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley very worried. “I am concerned, very concerned, because if it continues, it will have an impact on on the launch,” Manley told reporters at the North American International Auto Show on Monday. “The earlier that it can be resolved, clearly the better, and obviously I’m not the only person saying that.”

Ram debuted the new 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks on Monday, with us praising the new Cummins Turbo Diesel’s 1,000 lb-ft of torque to a disgusting degree. In fact, most of the news surrounding the HD pickups involved their updated powertrain options — which you can’t purchase without the automaker getting the necessary approvals from the EPA.

That’s bad for consumers, but it’s worse for Fiat Chrysler. Its Ram brand is currently living it up following news that its full-size pickup finally overtook the Chevy Silverado in sales, and is eager to ride that momentum, hoping to spend the rest of 2019 as the second-biggest truck brand after Ford. However, it will be operating at a distinct disadvantage if it has to postpone the launch of Ram’s high-margin HD trucks.

Manley said he believed truck sales will remain strong this year but did not believe overall sales would outshine last year’s volume. “I think there’s little opportunity for it to grow,” he said.

While we feel for the only Detroit Three automaker to avoid widespread layoffs in pursuit of new investments in “electro mobility,” the government shutdown does not affect FCA exclusively. Every automaker interested in selling new product within the United States will have to contend with an idled EPA. Depending on how long the government shutdown continues, other manufacturers could wind up in the same position as Ram — alone, afraid, and without approval.

[Image: FCA]

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27 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Worried Government Shutdown Could Delay New Products...”

  • avatar

    Just build it.

  • avatar

    Trump doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as he gets his legacy wall.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, Pelosi is the hold up. She wants a wall, but she will sacrifice everyone else in her misguided attempt to show the world that she is in charge. She wanted it before Trump was elected so she just needs to start having integrity and move forward on it now. Very simple.

      • 0 avatar


        Like “hiring the best” only to have them thrown in the slammer by Mueller?

        Or let me guess, you like to re post that photo that shows a house with a wall around it saying it belongs to Nancy Pelosi?

        And lastly, whats your excuse for the past 2 years when Republicans had control of the White House and Congress? Now there’s an “emergency” at the border?? Please.

        • 0 avatar

          @SC5door, you should not guess when you aren’t clear on something. Your knee jerk reaction shows what little you care about truly understanding the situation. I also like your flippant “so what’s your excuse…” It too reveals your narrow mindedness.

          • 0 avatar

            FOG, you can always tell which of these B&B are affected by illegal immigration, and which are not.

            I live in Southern NM, and illegal immigration has been a real problem for many decades even though NM is a sanctuary state, and has been for decades, ever since Bill Richardson was governor and formally recognized it with drivers licenses, free healthcare for illegals and the opening of bank accounts.

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            High-Deserter-Puss and the likes get hyped up on blood pressure meds and spout off the ideas of a Russian Puppet like their own. Got to tell these pathetic old fools to quit voicing the views of Fox News around here.

          • 0 avatar

            “Got to tell these pathetic old fools to quit voicing the views of Fox News around here.”

            Silly youngster, real alt-righters have abandoned Fox News because it’s gone all RINO.

      • 0 avatar

        Total Bull. Say what you want about Pelosi this is on Trump refusing to sign any bill for government funding, something his own party refused to give him.

      • 0 avatar
        Derrick Gunter

        “Actually, Pelosi is the hold up.”

        Of course she is. Trump and virtually every Republican warned that if people voted for their Democratic competition that Nancy Pelosi would become speaker and block the wall, nevermind that THEY hadn’t gotten the wall through in two years while in charge of all three branches. Americans then went out and replaced dozens of Republicans with Democrats knowing full well that was one thing Trump was saying that they pretty could well count on.

        That is how democracy works. It seems that some rural/conservative voters have come to the conclusion that since they get extra voice in the Senate and to some degree in the Electoral College that what they want is God’s express will and they have a right to whatever those election results might seem to indicate that they might want. But that’s simply not true. The Republicans lost the House and barely held the Senate and yes, the wall not getting built is on Pelosi, because that’s the consequence of the election. But the shutdown is totally on Trump for not being willing to concede that in fact the idea is not popular and obviously not an emergency if it couldn’t get done in two years and he still has to think about it for a few more weeks. And no, that is in no way or guess or a knee-jerk reactions. Thems just the facts.

  • avatar

    I’m out of popcorn, so I’m skipping this thread.

    • 0 avatar

      Come on, FM, you’ll miss all the fun. I propose a cage match between the tag team of Shutdown Schumer and San Fran Nan fighting Orange Man Bad. Subscription only, high priced tickets and all proceeds going to the wall that all three are on record (at one time or another) agreeing to.

    • 0 avatar

      Well you better get your popcorn ready for its National Day on the 19th!

  • avatar

    Here’s a reminder to keep the vitriol in check, and on topic. FCA.

    • 0 avatar

      Serious question then. Are any of these diesel heavy duty trucks the sort of impulse purchase that won’t wait while the gov’t unscrews itself? Any estimate on price range?

      • 0 avatar

        My wire’s cousin was getting ready to go on a family vacation in their fifth wheel RV. They were planning on using her husband’s F350 pickup, when it started misbehaving. He traded it that day for a Ram with the Cummins I6, and they left on their trip the following day.

        I’m sure this is an unusual case, but it does happen.

  • avatar

    “Fiat Chrysler Worried Government Shutdown Could Delay New Products”

    My initial thought was: What new products?”

  • avatar

    Thanks, Matt, for finally saying the truth about the shutdown – “It’s everybody’s fault . . .”. I don’t know everything about the government and how things work, but it seems to me the blame – at this point – lies with Congress. It’s their job to present a budget to the president. If he has nothing on his desk, he can’t sign it into effect. Once a budget is on HIS desk, then the fault becomes his if he vetoes the proposal. My guess it’s not that simple, but it sure seems that it is.

    • 0 avatar

      They did that, and Trump said he’d sign it. But then he changed his mind because Ann Coulter called him a synonym-for-cat because it didn’t have as much wall funding as she wanted. Now the issue is that the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, refuses to send any funding bill up to Trump “unless I know he’s going to sign it.” The trouble is, in part, that Trump can’t make it through a sentence, let alone a negotiation, without changing his mind on what he’s willing to sign. The one and only thing he’s clear on is that he wants a shipload of money for a wall…but he couldn’t get that done when his own party had all three branches of government for two years, let alone now with his opponents in charge of the House, and he’s not willing to offer the opposition any of what they want in exchange for what he wants. McConnell could end this charade by simply sending up a bill to fund the government, leaving the wall aside, and say they’ll debate the wall separately. That would underline again that everyone but Trump wants to end this thing—and not incidentally, send a message that there will be no more government by tantrum. But McConnell is acting as an enabler instead. And he’ll keep doing that until the public figures out that he’s really the one to blame, which will happen…oh, I’d say, right about never.

  • avatar

    Does anyone here have recent experience with a one-ton like the Ram 3500 when towing at max capacity? It claims to be rated for 30k plus pounds with a gooseneck and 20k with a conventional hitch, presumably a pintle hook. In a past life I occasionally towed a Case 580 backhoe on a two-axle trailer with a 1-ton DRW Ford. The truck was OK with it but it was a lot less weight than is claimed the trucks of today can pull. I’d worry that the tail would wag the dog if the road conditions weren’t ideal or you had to stop or turn quickly with 20k/30k on the back end even with a good proportional brake controller.

    IMO if I had to do that today I would feel safer going with something like a Freightliner FL50 or their newer equivalent, instead of a class 3 rig pumped to the max.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    A delay consumers would only benefit from…

  • avatar

    “It’s everybody’s fault”

    I call false equivalency. Makes me honestly wonder what would have to change from the current situation for us to say “nah, this person’s responsible for this mess.” If the president demands 5 billion dollars for a unicorn at his birthday party or else he’ll shut down the government and his own party says “sorry dude, we’re not doing that” along with the opposing party, is *everyone* really at fault?

  • avatar

    it’s easy to arrest all the illegals. Just give them jobs in Trump’s administration and in short time they’ll be arrested.

  • avatar

    All these tears, they taste so good.

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