FCA Sales Show Hope for Plug-ins?
The second quarter is over, and many automakers are releasing the numbers for their sales. We call this “time to take out the measuring tape”, because it’s all about showing who’s boss. When it comes to the automobile group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), there is clearly one brand carrying the majority of the weight. Jeep® and Ram trucks have been known to lead FCA in recent years, and for 2019, it’s mostly been Ram performing this year. 2019 has been a solid year for FCA with the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 light-duty pickup truck and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator midsize pickup truck.
Want to hear something interesting? It’s not just the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 that is performing well. In actuality, the new 2019 Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic pickup trucks are doing well this year. The two versions of the truck helped Ram beat the Chevrolet with their Chevy Silverado in U.S. sales this year, taking the number two spot. With the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 going into its second year, consumers wonder how long the Classic will stick around.
“The Classic [will] continue to be produced at the automaker’s Warren Truck Assembly as long as it makes business sense…the dynamic between the Classic and the new Ram 1500 appears to be working well in showrooms.” – FCA CEO Mike Manley
Well, there you have it. The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic isn’t going anywhere. For those wondering, there are some readily visible differences between the new 2019 Ram 1500 and the Ram 1500 Classic. For one, the light duty pickup truck has ended the run of the iconic crosshair front grille design, replacing it with six different designs throughout the new lineup. Furthermore, the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 body is lighter, longer, and wider, with sharp body lines for improved aerodynamics. The new 2019 Ram 1500 also comes with an upgraded favorite, the famous RamBox Cargo Management System, raised by 1.5 inches and built into the bed rails.
Even with Ram trucks doing well, Jeep remains the strongest brand in the FCA umbrella. Over the last ten years, Jeep has increased its U.S. SUV market share points by 45-percent. In addition, over 40,000 Jeep vehicles are exported to Europe per quarter. That’s over 160,000 units Jeep sells to Europe alone. Even so, a new hurdle for FCA to overcome is its lack of alternative fuel vehicles. After needing to sign a partnership with Tesla, FCA and the electric automaker pulled their vehicle fleets together to help FCA meet the strict CO2 emissions of the European Union, it’s a little embarrassing, considering FCA claimed to be “gunning for Tesla” when the automotive group revealed its plans for electric vehicles in the coming years.
A year ago, FCA put pen to paper and shared an outline of the next few years. FCA plans to go electric by placing a larger focus on its key players – Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo. The goal is to produce 14 electric vehicles and four battery-electric vehicles for Jeep by 2021, expand the Fiat 500e, and produce a mix of SRT and electric vehicles with performance-oriented electric vehicles. We’re already starting to see examples of this with the Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, accompanied by the Jeep Compass PHEV; the new Fiat 500 BEV; and the new proposed electric lineup from Dodge.
If sales keep going well for Ram and Jeep, we may see plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles sooner than later. Follow the discussion on Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram social media.