It looks as if Ford and General Motors will have more aluminum to themselves over the next several years. Ram won’t be picking up any of it with its horns for quite a while.
The truck company will extensively facelift the 1500 in the spring of 2017, but it will stick with primarily steel body panels. That jives with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s statement earlier this year that his company has better uses for aluminum than pickups. Industry sources recently told Reuters that Chrysler Group “has no firm plans to follow [its] rivals … in replacing steel body panels with aluminum until a complete redesign after 2020.” Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau said the automaker hasn’t made any decisions regarding Ram’s future incorporation of the lightweight wonder metal.
That means it will have to focus on using more efficient engines and transmissions; the EcoDiesel V6 and eight-speed automatic currently used by the manufacturer are great starting points. However, Ram will need to improve upon those to comply with the new U.S. emissions and fuel economy regulations coming down the pike.