Light truck sales are hitting all-time highs and that isn’t going unnoticed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley. The chief executive made it clear on the company’s recent earnings call that he wants the Ram brand to develop a midsize pickup sooner rather than later.
Automotive News reports Manley stated the Ram brand is “focused on solving a metric ton midsize truck solution for us because it’s a big part of the portfolio and growth we want to achieve.”
“Being able to find a cost-effective platform in a region where we can build it with low cost and it still being applicable in the market is what they’re struggling with at the moment,” Manley said on a conference call to discuss FCA’s first-quarter earnings. “I want that problem solved, frankly, because it’s a clear hole in our portfolio. It will not be filled by Gladiator because Gladiator is a very, very different mission. Trust me, they’re focused on it. We need to get it fixed soon.”
Back in September reports surfaced Ram would produce a midsize pickup truck at FCA’s Toledo, Ohio assembly plant; the same plant that produces the Jeep Gladiator pickup. The shared assembly plant would imply the Ram will be a traditional body-on-frame truck design.
Manley declined to go into details regarding the timing of a midsize Ram, but given his comments, it appears this is a high priority within FCA product development.