By: Joel Patel
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is looking into manufacturing a large SUV based on the Ram 1500 pickup truck's current platform, reports USA Today. If built, the SUV would compete against the Chevrolet Tahoe and could even spawn a smaller pickup. Ram already has most of the bases covered with its current lineup, but a smaller pickup truck would allow it to enter the booming midsize pickup segment where it would compete with the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma along with the Chevy Colorado and GMC, which are the newest entries.
Mike Manley, head of Fiat Chrysler's Jeep and Ram brands, told USA Today that the current platform found in the Ram 1500 could be utilized for a body-on-frame SUV. With a large SUV, FCA would be able to capitalize on the ever-growing SUV market and go toe-to-toe with General Motors (GM) and Ford.
The next-generation of Ram pickup trucks is expected to go on sale in early 2018, which would put a large SUV close behind. In an attempt to increase the automaker's production capacity, FCA also plans to move Ram's current production facility from Warren to Sterling Heights, MI.
With Jeep continually posting healthy numbers, it makes perfect sense for FCA to build more SUVs. GM currently uses the same platform on a plethora of its SUVs with good results, which makes FCA's proposed plan a viable option.