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Meet the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic – Again

by Patrick Rall on

FCA has announced that the Ram brand will continue to offer both the “old” and new versions of the Ram 1500 pickup through at least the end of 2018. To differentiate between the previous generation (internal code DS) and the all-new generation (internal code DT), the 2018-style trucks will now be known as the Ram 1500 Classic while the new-style trucks will simply be known as the Ram 1500.

This is certainly an odd move, as in most cases, when a new generation of a vehicle hits the market, the previous generation has long ended production and any remaining models in dealership stock are sold at deep discounts. However, FCA saw the opportunity to continue 2018 production while ramping up 2019 production, leading to two generations of trucks being built and sold at the same time. Many people expected that to only last until production of the new trucks was well underway, but with the introduction of the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic – we know that the previous generation will still be available through at least the end of this calendar year.

“As we launch the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we didn’t want to walk away from a key part of the light-duty truck market,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand — FCA. “Ram will continue to produce the 1500 Classic targeted at entry and commercial buyers.”

Ram Classic Details

While the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is technically a new name, it looks to be pretty much the same as the 2018 Ram 1500, except with some changes to the trim levels. As mentioned above in Mike Manley’s quote, the Classic is targeted at entry and commercial buyers, so the trim levels are all lower cost packages. The list includes Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star and SSV (Special Services Vehicle), but there are some upgrade packages including a Chrome Plus and SXT for the Tradesman and a Black Accent package for the Express.

As is the case now, the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic will come in three cab configurations – Regular, Quad and Crew – with an 8-foot bed (Regular Cab only), a 6’4” bed and a 5’7” bed (Crew Cab only). All of these packages can be equipped with four-wheel-drive and the engine options are same as the 2018 lineup, with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.

Basically, if you prefer the look or pricing of the 2018 Ram 1500, you will be able to order one of these trucks under the “Classic” name through the end of the year – if not longer.

Why This Works

In most cases, an automaker couldn’t do this because most new generations of a vehicle are built in the same facility as the previous generation, so to start building new models, the company has to stop building the old models. That isn’t the case with the Ram 1500, with the 2018 (and now 2019 Classic) trucks being built at Warren Assembly or Saltillo Assembly while the new generation is being built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. Since there is no production interference between the two generations, there is really nothing stopping the company from building both generations of trucks at both plants until sales of the older models drops significantly – or until they need the production space for something else.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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