At the beginning of the year, Ram unveiled the 2019 1500 and we were impressed with its new interior and exterior styling and mild-hybrid setup. It looked like Ram put a lot of effort into getting the 1500 to the top of the full-size pickup totem. Unfortunately, Ram is having a lot of trouble meeting demand for the truck.
According to Automotive News, quality and supply problems are forcing FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne to spend approximately $300 million into fixing issues that are holding production of the 2019 1500 back. While FCA is more than happy to spend the money, the CEO isn’t prepared to sleep on the floor of the factory like Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk.
Marchionne told the outlet that the launch of the new pickup truck is well behind schedule. The automaker’s Sterling Heights Assembly plant, which has been building the truck since January, is “probably running today at 60 percent of cycle,” said Marchionne.
Unnamed sources told Auto News that the factory was currently building 1,000 trucks per day. Unfortunately, that figure is behind what it’s supposed to be churning out, which is 1,400 pickups a day. The plant is running seven days a week with two 10-hour shifts a day to boost production. FCA also plans to keep the factory open on holidays to increase production.
FCA has run into supply and electrical issues
Ram is still building the outgoing generation of the 1500, which is helping the automaker’s sales figures. But it’s adding a wrench into the new model’s production. An unidentified union source in the factory told the outlet that it’s having problems “keeping up” with building two variants of the pickup. To make matters worse, construction on the plant isn’t finished yet. And workers reportedly don’t have enough training.
Alarmingly, the report stated that the automaker had 2,500 new 1500s in holding areas. Those trucks, though, are all awaiting repairs, as the vehicles suffer from an electric problem.
The big news about the 2019 1500 was its mild-hybrid setup, which is unique to the full-size pickup truck segment. Dealers haven’t started receiving those variants yet. Only pickups with the 5.7-liter V8 engine are being shipped to dealerships at the moment.
Ram is clearly in a bad position. Marchionne is staying hopeful and claims the funds “are temporary costs.” He also stated that the brand would make up for production losses for the 1500 by the end of the year.