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Full size Ram SUV under study

by David Zatz on

Ram is thinking about building a large SUV to take away some Chevy Suburban sales, according to Fiat Chrysler (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne. He was speaking during a conference call, and noted that a large SUV was made possible both by an upcoming redesign, which could lower engineering costs of making the variant, and by having a higher-capacity plant to build them in.

RamCharger

At the moment, General Motors dominates the large SUV market, and competitors such as Ford and Toyota have a small slice of the leftovers. It is unlikely that Ram would manage 50,000 sales per year,  much less 100,000, but that could be enough if engineering costs were kept down and it was made on the Ram 1500’s assembly line.

This would be the first Ram SUV; to date, all SUVs have been branded as Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler.

Mr. Marchionne also said that they would be exploring “some other segments” for the Ram.

Large SUVs are currently very profitable for GM, but part of that may be due to GM’s dominance; if volume went down, profitability would likely follow. However, with over 400,000 large-SUV sales expected for 2015, along with stable gasoline prices, chances are that the market for large SUVs will grow and GM’s volumes will not shrink. One wildcard is Ford’s upcoming aluminum-bodied Expedition.

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