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Ram Classic tries Chevy trick

by David Zatz on

GM has used the “Classic” name to sell familiar prior-generation cars at lower prices, sometimes just to fleet buyers. Now, according to Ram chief Mike Manley, the Ram Classic will do the same.

2019 Ram 1500

The 2019 Ram 1500 has many expensive new features, right down to a standard eight-speed automatic and mild-hybrid V6 engine (both hybrid and standard V8s are optional).

The 2018 Ram, which apparently will come back as the 2019 Ram Classic, will let buyers avoid all that. While the company hasn’t clarified the details, it could well keep the six-speed automatic and non-hybrid engines, also ejecting features such as big telematics screens, active noise reduction, and all that high-strength steel. The 2018 Rams are still competitive, as they are, with Ford and Chevy pickups, remaining in demand; the Ram Classic would not just serve those with smaller budgets, but could increase export potential.

2019 Ram 1500

The massive output of the Sterling Heights plant, which can dramatically outperform the old Warren factory, will help make the Classic possible. So will keeping Warren active while Sterling Heights gets up to full speed. Then Warren will close, be refitted, and re-open — quite possibly with higher capacity.

Ram is expecting to grow quite a bit, both within the United States and around the world; the Ram Classic can help them have their high-margin cake and eat their plain ol’ pound cake, too.

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