It is no secret Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been dealing with a number of issues with the 2019 Ram 1500 launch. As we reported back in April, the Sterling Heights Assembly plant was only operating at 60 percent of where the company wants it to be due to various issues. FCA announced that it would be investing $300 million to try and get production back on track, along with extending the production schedule to six days a week and running though Independence Day and Labor day.
But as Automotive News reports, there is a new issue that is likely driving customers away from the 2019 Ram 1500. Currently, the 1500 is only available with the 5.7L HEMI V8. The 3.6L V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8 with the 48-volt mild hybrid system are no where to be seen.
"I have customers looking for them and asking about them every week," said an unnamed Ram dealer in Michigan.
It is unclear why neither one of these powertrains are available. Automotive News has two possible guesses. One is that FCA engineers are still doing some fine-tuning work to the mild-hybrid system before putting them into production. The other comes down to the EPA becoming more stringent with automakers in terms of emission and fuel economy testing.
While FCA is quick to point out that retail sales were up 18 percent in May to 27,011, we can't help but wonder if that increase is due to the massive incentives that are being put on the last-generation model. Through May, the average incentive on a last-generation Ram 1500 stood at $6.578 according to Autodata Corp. But the lack of new engines for the 2019 Ram 1500 is hurting, as year-to-date sales are down 8.4 percent. Dave Sullivan, a senior analyst with AutoPacific says the lack of V6 this long after the launch is becoming a problem.
"In the old truck, the V-6 represented about 20 percent of sales," he said.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)