SHAP stopped making the Chrysler 200 on December 2, 2016, and underwent a $1.48 billion to retool the plant from unibody cars to body-on-frame trucks. We learned last week that employees were back at the plant and building the pre-production models of the new Ram 1500, which is scheduled to make its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2018.
One of our keen Allpar readers happened to catch what looks like one of the early SHAP-built models, doing testing on nearby I-75 near the Chrysler Technical Center (CTC) campus. While the pictures were taken from a cellphone, we can note a few details. The first and most obvious is the fact that Ram will be going with blacked out B-pillars on the extended cab (Quad Cab and Crew Cab); until now, all of the B-pillar have been hidden by camouflage.
We can also see for the first time from the rear looking forward that the Ram 1500 will retain the flared big rig front fender look, something earlier spy pictures did show well. We also have yet to see the long-known crosshair grille; and this truck was not carrying one, either.
The new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) pickups will start production in the first quarter of 2018. The new truck will host many new features new to Ram.
The Warren Truck Assembly Plant that currently produces Ram 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cab (DS) will continue doing so, in limited numbers, for the 2019 model year as well, to allow Ram 1500 inventory to stay solid while production of the newer ones ramps up — the same way Wrangler JK production continues as JL production has started.
After dealerships start getting a steady stream of (DT) pickups, (DS) will end at Warren Truck. Then FCA will spend $1 billion to retool and update the aging assembly plant, preparing it for the DT-based body-on-frame 2020 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS) and any extra Ram 1500s, 2500s, or 3500s they may need.
This post was last modified on December 4, 2017, 2:28 pm