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Insiders on the 2019 Ram pickups

by David Zatz on

Automotive News has published a surprisingly detailed piece on the 2019 Ram 1500 launch. The industry weekly claimed that the “DT” series pickups, essentially to FCA US profits, are right on schedule for production at the end of January 2018. These will be the first pickups ever to be made in the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, which has made midsized cars for years. The conversion from car to truck assembly will take months.

2019 Ram 1500 pickups

According to writer Larry Vellequette, to speed the launch, some engineers have been given full power of decision, rather than having to bump nearly everything up to higher-level managers. Other launches continue to use the more cumbersome, Daimler-like approach. Still, the first prototypes built at Sterling Heights will be made in early January 2018, three months after the original schedule, which could mean delays if any problems are found.

According to Mr. Vellequette’s sources, the Ram will continue to use steel for most of its body panels, and will keep essentially the same look, with smaller headlights integrated into the grille and horizontal fog lights built into the bumper.  The interior is to have a new center console for more storage space.

Both Allpar and Automotive News believe this will be the Ram to finally have direct-injection V6 engines and belt-start generators for higher-performance stop-start systems.  A turbocharged V6 is possible, as well.

The empowered-engineer approach should improve relations with suppliers, as Automotive News noted, because suppliers can get answers or needed changes much more quickly.  When this approach was used in 1990s, it also slashed costs and in some cases increased quality.  See more on the 2019 Ram 1500.

Over the weekend, the 2018 Jeep Compass was revealed, as a photo shoot in Brazil was captured by local media.

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