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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Production of 2019 Ram 1500 Isn't Off To A Good Start

      Not so smooth sailing

    It has been a rough start for the 2019 Ram 1500 production line. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said on an earnings call last week that the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2019 model is only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be. Automotive News learned from sources at the FCA and suppliers that the plant was building around 1,000 trucks per day last week.

    "That's not where we need to be. We allowed enough time in 2017 to get that installation up, but it's proven to be challenging," said Marchionne.

    Why the low production rate? A union source explained there are a few reasons. One is that suppliers are having a difficult time with providing parts for two-generations of the Ram 1500 - FCA is planning on building the last-generation model to help keep sales up while production ramps up on the next-generation 1500. The Sterling Heights' plant is also undergoing construction for the 2019 Ram 1500, which cuts the number of trucks that can be built. Also, the union source said that some workers still lack proper training on building the new model.

    Another source said that more than 2,500 2019 Ram 1500s were sitting in holding areas due to an electrical issue. Once fixed, the trucks will be shipped out to dealers.

    Getting production up and running for the 2019 Ram 1500 is important for FCA. Marchionne said it and the redesigned Jeep Wrangler need smooth launches if the company wants to achieve its financial goals for this year. To this end, the company is planning on spending more than $300 million to get the production ramp-up back on track. Automotive News also obtained a revised production calendar from March that indicates FCA will run the Sterling Heights plant every weekend and holiday through Labor Day.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    So the new RAM has production issues for FCA.  I wonder if it will lead to lost sales a few months from now.  Or they get lucky and RAM buyers do not switch to Chevy/GMC or Ford during the interregnum.

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    Not sure if this is a blessing or curse. If it fixes the issues, it will help for sure....

    Might also help not to have a crazy amount of trucks when the economy starts heading south....

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    I would avoid at all cost a 2019 issue that is known to have electrical issues. WOW :o that is just sad, showing that the money they took and poured into the stupid wasted Alfa crap is coming back to haunt them.

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      Curr Yr            Pr Yr           Change

      Curr Yr            Pr Yr        Change

      Compass Patriot Wrangler Gladiator Cherokee

      Grand Cherokee

      Renegade

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      6                      22                   -73%

      52,012               49,081                  6%

      16,663                   0                    New

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      57,929               58,255                 -1%

      19,615               21,488                 -9%

      221,536        227,033             -2%

      143,934             171,167            -16%

      27                    621               -96%

      228,032             240,032             -5%

      40,047                   0                 New

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      Ram P/U ProMaster Van ProMaster City

      RAM BRAND

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      15,108               15,009                  1%

      2,968                 4,301                 -31%

      190,655        180,707              6%

      633,694             536,980             18%

      56,409               46,600              21%

      12,920               13,788              -6%

      703,023        597,368         18%

      200

      300

      Town & Country

      Pacifica

      CHRYSLER BRAND

      3                      43                   -93%

      5,520                12,038                -54%

      1                      0

      27,481               26,727                  3%

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      48                   1,043             -95%

      29,213               46,593             -37%

      5                      6                -17%

      97,705              118,322            -17%

      126,971        165,964        -23%

      Dart Avenger Charger Challenger Viper Journey Caravan Durango

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      0                      0                    100%

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      14,298               14,403                 -1%

      0                      4                   -100%

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      90,641           99,596              -9%

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      1                      4                -75%

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      60,997               66,716              -9%

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      74,686               94,096             -21%

      122,648             151,927            -19%

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      422,886        459,324          -8%

      500

      500L

      500X Spider

      FIAT BRAND

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      166                   182                   -9%

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      430                   600                  -28%

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      3,267                5,370              -39%

      771                  1,413             -45%

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      Giulia Alfa 4C Stelvio

      ALFA ROMEO

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      2,600                 2,999                 -13%

      4,945             5,640              -12%

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      FCA US LLC

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    • By William Maley
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      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
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      Options:
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
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      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
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      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
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      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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  • Posts

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