Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed last week that an all-new Ram pickup truck will go on sale by January of 2018, as reported by our sister site, Fiat Chrysler Authority.
We can’t tell you much about the next-generation Ram pickup, other than that it may incorporate a patented split-folding tailgate, and that engineers might put an emphasis on lightweighting and maximizing efficiency, much in the same way that Ford did while developing the aluminum-bodied, 2015 Ford F-150.
What we do know is that Ford has a bit of work to do if it’s to avoid letting the new Ram take a bite out of the F-150’s sales.
Ford encountered more than its share of naysayers when the automaker announced that its new full-size truck would incorporate a strict, largely-aluminum diet for 2015. Sales got off to a lackluster start, but after demonstrating the aluminum body’s feasibility, overcoming the obstacle of a frame supply shortage,and subsequently ramping-up production, the truck became another sales success.
Nonetheless, the current Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has already hit the aluminum-bodied, EcoBoosted Ford F-150 where it hurts, posting significantly better fuel economy than even the 2.7-liter F-150. A new, lighter, more efficient Ram pickup could only build on that differential.
Now, we don’t foresee FCA’s Ram family of pickup trucks ever robbing the Ford F-150 from its status as America’s best-selling pickup, but if the next-generation Ram is significantly lighter and more efficient than the outgoing truck, it could take a sizeable bite out of the F-150’s market share – especially if gasoline prices climb upward again.