Ford’s super light aluminium-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup made the rest of the market take a few steps back and revaluate their full-size truck strategy, a segment which is becoming increasingly hard to stay competitive in with more strict CAFE standards and emissions requirements. For the most part, General Motors has voiced confidence in its three-truck strategy, but that hasn’t stopped them from locking in an aluminum truck for the future.
GM is probably happier now more than ever that it set up an aluminum supplier for its next-generation of full-size pickups, which could arrive in 2018, as FIAT Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced recently that Ram is mulling over the same idea. During briefings to media on Tuesday, Reid Bigland, head of Ram Trucks, confirmed that an all-new light-duty Ram 1500 will launch in 2017. When asked if it will use aluminum in the same way the 2015 F-150 will, Marchionne said the company will be watching the F-150 launch closely and “if it’s the right answer, Chrysler will be there.”
Marchionne didn’t seem all for the aluminum idea, though, noting he has “better use of aluminum in this house than a pickup truck.”
If he isn’t completely convinced of the use of aluminum, maybe Ram will follow GM’s lead and introduce a mid-size truck offering. It turns out it’s something the company has thought about, but the response they received in regards to the idea has been average at best.
“I think there is room for a Ram 1000,” Marchionne said. “We’ve tried this … we’ve actually taken it to clinics.” He added the “response has been lukewarm.”
Ford has an aluminum pickup truck which will go on sale later this year, GM will use the material in the construction of its next-generation of full-size pickups and now, we know that Ram has the idea in its head as well. This appears to be the direction the full-size pickup truck market will take in the future, that is unless GM’s three-truck strategy exceeds expectations.