How to Keep a Last-gen Truck Current
In order to keep the Classic of interest, Ram Truck has gone back to 1976, the year they launched the Dodge Warlock, a “factory-personalized” pickup, and have created the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock.
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When Ram Truck launched the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck, the company didn’t want to simply stop building the last-generation vehicle at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (which has been in operation since 1938, during which time it has produced more than 12.5-million trucks). Rather, they kept it in production adding the word “Classic” to the name, thereby indicating its difference from the new truck (built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant). In order to keep the Classic of interest, the company has gone back to 1976, the year they launched the Dodge Warlock, a “factory-personalized” pickup, and have created the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock. It is available in 10 colors, but the point is a somewhat monochromatic look, with a black grille, 20-inch semi-gloss black aluminum wheels, front and rear powder-coated bumpers, back wheel flares, projector headlamps with dark bezels, black badging, and. . . decals. Obviously, this is a design play to keep the Classic moving.
As OEMs and suppliers seek lightweight solutions to meet higher fuel economy standards through multi-material structures, conventional welding techniques are beginning to give way to new solid-state joining methods better suited for creating strong bonds between dissimilar metals.
Several years back, one of the authors visited a major North American assembly plant engaged in the launch of a new vehicle program. A "ramp-up" schedule was prominently displayed on a bulletin board deep in the heart of the plant. The schedule indicated that the day of the visit was the same day the plant was originally planned to achieve full capacity production of its new product. Yet the plant was actually producing only a few units an hour! The assembly plant's tardiness is certainly not uncommon, but did contribute to our interest in the wide range in vehicle launch performance across major vehicle firms.
Paul Spadafora, chief engineer, Cadillac XT5, had, in his estimation, a fantastic opportunity as he and his team set about to develop Cadillac’s all-new midsize crossover vehicle for a number of reasons, one of which is the simple fact that this is one of the hottest segments going in the auto industry, so if you want to be in the game, you have to play hard against the likes of the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLE-Class.