Two key iterations of the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 are facing delayed approvals from the EPA. The delays are beginning to cost the new truck sales, putting it at risk of not achieving its goal of overtaking the Chevrolet Silverado in sales this year.
Right now there are only two versions of the 2019 Ram 1500 on the market. Trucks equipped with the traditional 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 in both four and two-wheel-drive format are at dealerships now. What’s missing are the headliners of the new Ram.
During the truck’s reveal at the Detroit Auto Show Ram highlighted the truck’s new 48-volt mild hybrid system that will be standard on the 3.6-liter V-6 and optional on the 5.7-liter V-8. Known as a belt alternator starter system, the technology will enable better fuel economy from the Ram.
However, thus far Ram with the mild hybrid system have not been approved by the EPA. It isn’t clear what is causing the delay and FCA spokespeople recently declined to comment when asked by Automotive News.
It’s possible the delay stems from FCA engineers wanting to perfect this new technology prior putting it in the hands of consumers. It’s also possible the EPA is holding it up as the government agency is placing increased scrutiny on fuel economy testing following the Volkswagen diesel scandal.
Despite the lack of redesigned Rams in dealerships, the company is still producing all versions of the previous generation truck. Buyers wanting a V-6 engine can still opt for the old one, but dealerships are reporting that customers are coming in wanting the new one.
At this time it is unclear when the 2019 Ram 1500 will arrive in all flavors. Suppliers are reporting that FCA is planning to produce the new truck six days a week at its Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant through September.