Pickup (Ram)

Mar 31, 2023

On March 29, Stellantis announced it is conducting a manufacturing assessment of its Ram 1500 pickup truck plant in Sterling Heights with its almost 6,500 hourly employees, and it could have implications for jobs and workers' roles.
Stellantis had previously expressed frustrations over the plant's absenteeism rate and has insourced work into the plant, such as sequencing, that was formerly done at another facility.
CEO Carlos Tavares has emphasized the need to find savings, because EVs are 40% more expensive than their ICE counterparts, and said there is room for improvement in manufacturing efficiency and absenteeism that is higher than in Europe.
At the end of February, it indefinitely idled its Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Illinois, affecting 1,350 workers.
That followed a move in October to cut the third shift at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which builds the Wagoneer SUVs and the Ram 1500 Classic truck, though the company said it intends is to return the plant to three shifts once it addresses quality and ramps up production of the long wheelbase versions of the Wagoneers.

(Detroit News article on March 29, 2023)

Mar 25, 2023

Stellantis held a show for its U.S. dealer group in Las Vegas, where it sought out their opinions on a Ram concept model of an electric midsize pickup truck meant for the North American market.
Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. said before the dealer gathering that the midsize concept would not be as developed as the Ram 1500 Revolution concept shown at CES 2023, but dealers still liked what they saw, and said the midsize truck bore an aesthetic similar to that same 1500 Revolution concept.
Stellantis also revealed a Dodge Durango concept that was stylistically very different from the current generation, which has been on the road since the 2011 model year.
The dealers were told that electrification will bring back the performance aspect to the segment as clean air rules bring even tighter emission restrictions.
Overall, Stellantis officials detailed more than 30 new products for numerous brands during the meeting, which was the first of its kind in eight years for retailers who were with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles before the 2021 merger.
CEO Carlos Tavares spoke to the dealer group and explained discussed the company’s direction and profitability in the age of increasing EV production.
(multiple sources on March 24, 2023)

Mar 22, 2023

On March 21, the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is expanding its investigation of high-pressure fuel pump failures in certain heavy-duty Ram diesel trucks to now include Tier 1 supplier Robert Bosch, which makes the high-pressure fuel pumps.
The expanded probe also includes any OEMs who installed the Bosch high-pressure fuel pumps and are experiencing similar failures.
In October 2021, NHTSA launched its investigation of high-pressure fuel pump failures in 2019-20 Ram 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty trucks equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engines after reports alleging incidents of stalling or loss of power.
The upgraded probe now also covers 2014-22 Ram 1500 trucks.
In addition, the probe covers Bosch's C4 fuel pumps, and 2021-22 Jeep Gladiator, 2014-20 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2020-22 Jeep Wrangler vehicles.
It also covers older models from BMW, including 2014-18 BMW 328D, 2014-16 BMW 535D and 2015-17 BMW X3 vehicles.
About 490,000 vehicles could be affected.
An information request letter from BMW "indicated that failed pumps on their vehicles were caused by an interaction between pump internal components and U.S. market diesel fuel, leading to increased slip and eventual particle-generating wear surface."
NHTSA now will investigate whether a similar root cause is associated with vehicles previously recalled by Stellantis and if similar wear dynamics occur on pumps supplied to other automakers.
(multiple sources on March 21, 2023)