Ram 1500s to Move to Bigger Production Plant

15RAM_1500_Rebel_ES_098 II

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to rearrange a couple Michigan production plants in the next few years to make sure production of Ram half-ton pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs can meet consumer demand.

According to Automotive News, plans are in place to move the majority of the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck production from its current location at the Warren Truck Plant in suburban Detroit 10 miles north to the larger Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.

The next-gen Ram 1500 is scheduled to debut as a 2018 model and will likely include new powertrains and lighter body parts. The Sterling Height plant presumably will be able to produce more half-ton trucks more efficiently because the plant is a third larger (by square footage) than the Warren Truck Plant.

Jeep’s new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs will be produced at the soon-to-be-upgraded Warren Truck Plant. Jeep’s new pickup truck likely will be added to the production line at FCA’s Toledo plant that currently produces Wranglers.

These moves position FCA to increase production numbers for the two biggest, most profitable brands in its stable: Ram and Jeep. However, the transition from making a current-gen model and then prepping the plant to accommodate new models could cause a pause in the flow of products, possibly creating shortages for dealerships.

Ford struggled for many months when it transitioned production processes for the all-new Ford F-150. Ram’s changeover will be tricky and will need the oversight of someone with lots of production experience. Ford had Joe Hinrichs to oversee the monumental F-150 plant changes, and he had a ton of plant experience.

FCA has not announced who will be in charge of this chess game yet, but Mike Manley is currently in charge of both brands and the key player with the most to lose. More to come.

Cars.com image by Evan Sears; manufacturer image below 

 

Ram 2018 Sterling Heights Assembly II

 

Comments

What? No taco wrappers in the glove box?

Does this mean that the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks will continue to
be manufactured in Mexico?
At least they're investing here and not down there which is
always a good thing. It would be great if ALL Rams were
made here, but alas.....

RichardNY66, I couldn't agree more!

It seems like an impossible feat to get a new pickup out in time for 2018.

I don't know, if this is good thing or bad for FCA . I'll wait for ford horde to tell me.

What is the current demand for RAM 1500s? The dealers seem to be throwing lots of cash on those aluminum hoods these days.

If demand isn't really robust, why assume that greater shop floor space is needed?

Is this move really more about making the stockholders happy ?

The factory/new model shuffle. Always demanding and usually leading to temporary production issues/shortfalls. That's a lot of work to make room for the jeep truck. Obviously there are more factors involved than just that. A big one being that Fiat is putting it all into trucks... just like Ford Chrylser and GM typically do. The Fiat small and midsized cars are crap and they are focusing on what they do better and makes them money... trucks and SUVs. And that's a great plan until the next economic downturn, rise in emissions standards, recession, inflation, fuel price increase. Maybe this time unlike the late 90s they will actually save all that money from all those profitable SUVs and Trucks they sell instead of looking for another partner or begging the gov for money when car selling weather changes again... Tired old song, tired old plan, quick money up front leading to dire straits. So sad.

Wonder if there is gonna be aluminum body panels (other than the already aluminum hood) in the next Fiat truck? Moving to a new facility and all involved with getting it ready for the move, and the new model would be the best time to take that leap if they are going to. If they are that would be a major reason for the move as well. If they aren't it will probably be a decade or 2 before they will take the hit to make that leap.

If they (any of the big 3 minus 1) would just consistently build excellent small to mid sized cars they could then sell them at a profit and not just sell them to meet CAFE and they like Toyota and Honda wouldn't have to worry about how well trucks were or weren't selling in hard times.

I have heard of the Wagoneer, but not Grand Wagoneer...hmmmm

I do know hey are talking to a couple small car makers to make small cars for them as they do not want to spend money to upgrade the 200 or Dart. Which I do not understand...Mazda makes several for other companies, so I guess not a big deal

And now for some real news:

Ford is recalling nearly 202,000 pickup trucks, SUVs and cars in North America because the automatic transmissions can suddenly downshift to first gear.

The recall covers the 2011 and 2012 F-150 and the 2012 Expedition, Mustang and Lincoln Navigator. Ford says a speed sensor can force vehicles into a downshift.

The company also is recalling over 81,000 Exploder SUVs to fix a rear suspension problem that can cause loss of steering control. That recall covers SUVs from 2014 and 2015. Suspension links could fracture due to poor welds.

"If they (any of the big 3 minus 1) would just consistently build excellent small to mid sized cars they could then sell them at a profit and not just sell them to meet CAFE and they like Toyota and Honda wouldn't have to worry about how well trucks were or weren't selling in hard times."
Posted by: Clint | Apr 27, 2016 8:43:54 AM

Any more great ideas Clint? lol

Is this move really more about making the stockholders happy ?
Posted by: papa jim | Apr 27, 2016 7:46:30 AM

Moving is very expensive and doesn't make stockholders happy, just to move, without any other reason.

I might buy Power Wagon or outgoing model RAM 2500 with 6.4 HEMI, before this move in 2017 for hefty discount, or I will wait for 2019, completely skip 2018, because so many issues with new model everyone has these days. It took a year for other truck maker we don't suppose to talk about to iron all the issues and I don't think ,that RAM is going to be an exception, but could be mistaken.

Fiat is grasping for straws. New ram and jeep truck are death rattle. I am thinking the new ram will be the most outrageous futuristic body shape ever. They cost cutting will be horrendous as Fiat cashes out like where something has to be 3/4" they will make it 3/8" thick metal. The crazy crazy design will make loyal buyers run to the new truck but in 5 years they will be left with a rotted out carcass of what they thought would be an awesome truck. Oh well Fiat is disposable garbage anyway. Anyone buying one of these thing well knows that at the most they will get is 100k miles.

Is this why FCA is seeking an alliance with other automakers because they cannot make it?


I don't know, if this is good thing or bad for FCA . I'll wait for ford horde to tell me.
Posted by: RAM | Apr 27, 2016 7:39:26 AM

You won't miss hearing much from them retards, a few 100 piles of rocks are still smarter then them retards!

"Is this why FCA is seeking an alliance with other automakers because they cannot make it?"
Posted by: ooxxii | Apr 27, 2016 9:39:14 AM

No moron, that's because of the global economy.

The "Big 3" operate in a global industry now. The protectionist rules put in place to guard countries' native automakers -- such as America's "chicken tax," the costly legacy of a 1960s trade dispute with Germany -- are passe in an era of free trade.

The car industry is becoming a giant web of special relationships, joint ventures and mergers! That's why you got to laugh at the clowns on this site who are BRAND loyal. What does that even mean anymore?

Auto manufacturers are increasingly working with their competitors on technical projects and development alliances - a trend triggered by the economic meltdown and the expense of developing green technology.

In the past few years BMW has worked together with Daimler, General Motors and Chrysler on hybrid technology. It's also shared the costs of developing small four cylinder engines with the Peugeot group, PSA. Now the two are looking at developing new hybrid engines together as well.

Toyota agreed to equip some Toyota cars with BMW AG diesel engines, building on an earlier deal to use Tesla Motors Inc. battery packs in future electric vehicles. Mazda is building cars for Toyota in Mexico...lol

Wake up it's 2016...lol

You can't find any Ram 1500s for sell around hear. Good knews sense they'll all sold out.

I wouldn't mind RAM to start producing this.
I would buy it and be done with all of you guys. LOL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly1V0NDMtoU

@RAM appreciate your reply to my comment, but here's what I meant.

Sergio and his team have made a lot of moves lately that are showing signs of weakness. We've all heard about them.

Stockholders do like aggressive steps and moving to a newer larger plant sounds like a progressive approach.

Unfortunately RAM and Jeep are rapidly falling behind and asking buyers (and stockholders?) to wait till damn near 2020 to see some excitement in product development or on dealer lots is too long.

I still expect to see another Asian player introduce a half ton truck to the market in the next few years. Kia and Hyundai are my first pick, but it could be someone like Isuzu or Mitzubishi. No telling.

FCA's weakness is surely very encouraging to the Asians.

Johnny dilldo, just reading your quote made me realize you guys must look into a mirror when you say things like that, there nothing wrong with them Ford military grade guys, they are happy that they have been number 1 forever, and that their crash tests are number 1, they will always point out that the other 2 can be happy about being 2nd and 3rd

@Papa Jim: Hefty savings on GM 1500s, what, 9,000$ advertised, and it'seems been that way all thru April.

Only 6 months into 2016 models, plus the maintanance GM throws in there, they sure have to do alot to move those trucks.

I think they are sweating because Ram is close to them.

Unfortunately RAM and Jeep are rapidly falling behind and asking buyers (and stockholders?) to wait till damn near 2020 to see some excitement in product development or on dealer lots is too long.

Posted by: papa jim | Apr 27, 2016 10:00:01 AM

Hahahahahahahaha.
You made my day. Don't even try to post any source.

Ford orgullosa de ser Mexicana,

As soon as you said "moron" you lost any credibility you had!

How about you wake up to 2016 and stop with the childish name calling?

There are many collibrations going on currently or recently.

Ford and gm on 10 speed auto transmission... Ford took the lead on this and with gm they have developed a 10 speed transmission. Ford is investing $1.6 billion to build this transmission at its facility to be able to advance out.... I would be suprised if gm uses ford's plant and fords capacity for its 10 speed transmission needs as it gets put into more gm models.

Ford and toyotas co development of hybrid technology that recentily ended.

Gm and fiats tie up on the ecodiesel that gm walked away from as it didnt meet gm's needs.

But currently there is nothing offered or that fiat chrysler can bring to the table or bring in expertise that interest anybody currently. Sergio's attitude about mergers and hostile take overs has everybody running and slamming the door on them. Fca needs a leadership change badly

@TRX and @ RAM

you guys are kidding, right?

Be loyal to your brand, there's nothing wrong with that, but facts are facts and the RAM brand is a struggling company that's part of a totally dysfunctional international brand (Fiat) that is on life support.

TRX, the RAM truck line has been totally stagnant since 2012 or so and them dropping the Dakota drove a stake into their hearts. Jeep (and their half ton RAM) are the lonely bright spots in a company that has been mostly crap for a long time.

Unless you count mini-vans?

All the trumpanzee's need a ride, gotta make more.

FCA is unable to build a competitive small to mid-sized car. They do not have the financial resources to compete in those segments. Instead of trying to compete they are focusing on what they do well which is Ram and Jeep. That is wise short term but as Clint has pointed out, sets them up for trouble if fuel prices climb, CAFE tightens, and/or there is another recession.

We have seen it time and time again, all three of the USA based companies run into trouble when full sized trucks and large SUV sales tank.

@LOU, recession coming in 3...2...1......

@papajim
Where is your source ? At. fff.ford headquarternewsforfordsuckers.ford ?
Or ggg.gmcheadquarternewsgmcsuckers.gmc ?
FCA never did better .

I don't care about small cars.I can choose plenty brands, if on the market for a small car. Are we discussing small cars at PUTC now ?
Stay on topic horde. This is PUTC .It doesn't mean Prius Utility Trunk .com This is Spaartaaa!

Do you all get up in the morning in the Ford or GM pajamas ? Get a life losers.

Sorry RAM but since you asked, for over forty years my wife and my girlfriends have insisted that I sleep naked.

No PJ's or electric blankets for me. The room stays hot.

@papajim
Source ?

@Nitro - fuel prices are predicted to stay low for at least 2 more years. No one is risking any predictions beyond that. China is still in an economic slowdown (recession) as are many other developing countries that are large fuel consumers. Unless OPEC'ers agree to cut production or someone else, we will continue to see low prices.

The looming USA election is a bit of a crap shoot. Pundits feel that Clinton is a better bet than Trump when it comes to the economy.

@RAM power-source? Testosterone at maximum safe levels.

@LouBC a small correction if you don't mind.

China is by no means in recession, based on recent data. Their annual GDP (which is a lamentable way to measure output) is around five or six percent IIRC.

Their rate was in double digits a couple of years ago, so their six percent (+-) is still a vibrant annual growth rate by industrial global standards. You have to go back to the 1980s/90s in the US to find anything similar.

By contrast the US GDP during the last fifteen years has been crap.

The problem with GDP is it is so export-oriented. The information society of today is hard to measure using the tools of the 1950s and it frankly confuses a lot of people into thinking that Detroit would be better off today with more factories.

Detroit has too MANY factories, which is why so many of them have plywood where the windows used to be.

If Detroit was the center of the silicon universe, and San Francisco was the heart of the auto industry things would suck in San Fran. There is hope for Michigan but it ain't building cars.

@PapaJim - agree that China has slowed down from there previous growth. That has affected other economies. Technically not a recession and I was initially unsure as to whether or not I should put that in so the parenthesis.

Globally there is still an overcapacity in automobiles as well as in the USA. FCA is the weakest of the 3 with the oldest platform. 2018 may prove to be a long ways away in the competitive truck market.

I take a cold shower and still manage to fog up the bathroom mirror. Testosterone above maximum safe levels, or very high blood pressure.

@LouBC

We agree about excess auto mfg capacity but I'm also suggesting that something bigger may be happening--manufacturing, what we used to call heavy manufacturing has become a kind of ho-hum global commodity and the wealthier so-called industrial nations are moving away from it.

When you think of the G-8 nations, they may be past the point of no return there.

Naturally the unions and the politicians are fighting it but it won't help. I'm hardly a big Bill Clinton fan but his comments on this phenomenon are very smart and it's clear that he gets it.

I don't picture Britain returning to its former glory as a shipbuilder for the world, or even Japan.

South Korea is even moving to the industrial-silicon idea we see in places like Germany and the US at breathtaking speed. How long before their steel mills start outsourcing labor?

China cannot go on for long being the iPhone maker to the world--their society will transform to a more information based culture and actually is right now. Who needs Apple if China has its own centers of innovation?

@papajim
Don't play stupd. Nobody cares you have a viaagra on prescription.

I asked about source for your comment you posted.

"Sergio and his team have made a lot of moves lately that are showing signs of weakness. We've all heard about them.

Stockholders do like aggressive steps and moving to a newer larger plant sounds like a progressive approach.

Unfortunately RAM and Jeep are rapidly falling behind and asking buyers (and stockholders?) to wait till damn near 2020 to see some excitement in product development or on dealer lots is too long.

I still expect to see another Asian player introduce a half ton truck to the market in the next few years. Kia and Hyundai are my first pick, but it could be someone like Isuzu or Mitzubishi. No telling.

FCA's weakness is surely very encouraging to the Asians."


Posted by: papa jim | Apr 27, 2016 10:00:01 AM

papa jim - well said and fully agree.

@papajim
Don't play stupd. Nobody cares you have a viaagra on prescription.

I asked about source for your comment you posted.

"Sergio and his team have made a lot of moves lately that are showing signs of weakness. We've all heard about them.

Stockholders do like aggressive steps and moving to a newer larger plant sounds like a progressive approach.

Unfortunately RAM and Jeep are rapidly falling behind and asking buyers (and stockholders?) to wait till damn near 2020 to see some excitement in product development or on dealer lots is too long.

I still expect to see another Asian player introduce a half ton truck to the market in the next few years. Kia and Hyundai are my first pick, but it could be someone like Isuzu or Mitzubishi. No telling.

FCA's weakness is surely very encouraging to the Asians."

Great news. No one wants gutless fuel sippers. Dodge has never been about that. Even though they lead in MPG with the powerful eco diesel.

@PapaJim - you notice how the conversation was rather civil and intelligent up to the point of the FCA Rambot crew joined in?


@PapaJim - you notice how the conversation was rather civil and intelligent up to the point of the FCA Rambot crew joined in?

Posted by: Lou_BC | Apr 27, 2016 5:08:41 PM

Please tell me that you are not surprised about that.

LMAO - ok.

I wasn't surprised by that.

I am surprised that it took them that long to chime in.


LMAO - ok.

I wasn't surprised by that.

I am surprised that it took them that long to chime in.


Posted by: Lou_BC | Apr 27, 2016 5:48:12 PM

I knew that. Just like the recall alerts. The fiat recalls and GM recalls are pretty low key. No body seems to have an opinion. However you get a Ford recall and all the little hater babies are all over it. 10 different user names and everything. This article does not do anything for me. So I can care less about it. But I do have to wonder since they mentioned Jeep if they are going to close or reduce output in the Toledo Jeep plant and move product to one larger plant. Sergio has been talking about closing that plant for a while.

Unsecured Ford and GM horde tro!! Ing on RAM article, assuring each other. Hilarious.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday said its profits soared to $539 million, or 478 million euro, for the first three months of the year as sales and profits rose in North America, Europe and even South America.

FCA's profits for the first three months are more than 15 times $30.5 million, or 27 million euro, the automaker earned during the same period a year ago.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the results are evidence the automaker's plan to cut back on production of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 and shift its emphasis to making more Jeeps and Ram pickups is driving greater profits.

In North America, FCA's pre-tax profits nearly doubled to $1.38 billion compared with $678 million a year ago.

HEMI V8, or V7 in case one cylinder isn't firing

The profits you mention would be a healthy and desirable measurement for a competitive company, such as Honda or Ford, but for FCA/Chrysler/Ram it isn't the whole story.

A company that's in the number one spot for sales or market dominance would be pleased with a nice profit report, but balance sheets are often used in business to distract or confuse investors and the media.

In the specific case of FCA, et al, their poor showing in product development and their inability to shake things up in the key pickup market is just sad.

RAM and Jeep are terrific lines. Sadly, the executives at FCA just seem to be using them to irritate Ford, Toyota and GM.

Not impressed.

No word here what will happen to Jefferson Assembly. By moving the products to a new plant, they can actually avoid production short-falls better- They can be ready to ship trucks from Sterling Heights before taking Warren down. Then they'll retool it to make the next gen SUV.



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