Ram CEO Talks TRX, Midsize Trucks, Vans, Electrification, Question

After making news for nearly seven consecutive days, Dodge Speed ​​Week has come to a close with the unveiling of the controversial, buzz-worthy electric Charger SRT Banshee concept muscle car. But before that happened, we had the chance to attend the Roadkill Nights media event last Friday, which featured top buyers from both Dodge and Ram. While many were peering over the Hellcat-powered Grudge Match entrants, we turned our attention to Ram CEO Mike Koval, who invited us to take a ride on a makeshift Baja course in a 2022 Ram 1500 TRX. After a few supercharged V8 jumps, we were able to ask him some questions.

Ram 700. Image Via Stellantis.

On the need for a small/medium truck with ram

“The biggest whitespace opportunity for our brand is a mid-size pickup… we’re looking at it very closely, of course, but there’s nothing to announce today. (Due to the merger) we also have access to different platforms, so I’m looking at other alternatives, and other opportunities that we currently have for sale in other markets. There are challenges with homologation and federalization, it is never easy. I’m definitely looking at it, I promise you that… now that prices have gone up, I think there are opportunities in that small truck segment in the US market, and that’s where I’m looking for a portion of our portfolio that may be in other countries and possibly bring something here. I would love to do that. I don’t have any plans for that yet.

2021 2022 2023 Ram 1500 TRX MAMA Spring Rally
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

On the Ram 1500 TRX

“It’s an engineering marvel in itself… I think the great thing about that truck and what it’s been able to do for the brand is that it’s given me inspiration for the future, and what I think the electrified future might look like.” can see. Sure, we don’t have anything to announce today, but you’re still wondering. Electrification need not be a limitation. I am very excited about what we have planned for the future.”

Ram ProMaster Van
Image via Dodge

On the Off-Road Potential of Ram Promaster Vans

“Absolutely (chance in off-road vans). We’ve reached Overland Expo West, with plans to go back this year… we’ve cultivated a really nice following in that space. Overall, the demand for large ProMaster vans has skyrocketed. I literally look all over the world to find more capacity for large ProMaster vans… we can’t build them fast enough.”

“We will begin our electrified journey next year with a Ram ProMaster battery electric vehicle that we will build in Saltillo bus. We’ve already announced that Amazon is our first major commercial customer, but there are many more… very, very strong early demand in that space.

Sales expectations for 2022

“(The chip shortage) is starting to stabilize… every time you think you’re reaching calm water, something snaps. But I just checked the June/July sales and it was an excellent month. It was fantastic. Of course you have headwinds everywhere, but I think our customers are resilient and there is still a lot of demand for truck and van sales. I think it will be a race to the finish in 2022, but I am very satisfied and confident in the prospects for the rest of the year.”

2024 Ram 1500 EV Electric Pickup Truck Revolution 1200

About Ram Revolution, Electrification

“we have a clear view, a clear focus, a clear target… it is a clear competitive advantage for our brand that with full knowledge of what our competitors are doing, we will deliver the best half-ton electric pickup by 2024 where it matters most: pulling power, payload, range and, above all, charging time.”

With competition eating up much of the early adoption headwinds, Koval also believes Aries will appeal to customers more.

“I think what will set Ram apart from our competitors is that we will offer a more complete suite of electrified solutions. There is no one size fits all with electrification.”

The Ram Revolution website is also gaining traction.

“Tens of thousands of people have signed up on the (Ram Revolution) website. Think of it as a backstage pass, we give them images before we release them, sometimes we give them images before no one else sees… we send engineers and designers to these (Ram Real Talk) events, where we have real conversations with real truck owners. I want all feedback; the good, the bad, the ugly. I want you to tell me that you don’t want anything to do with an electric vehicle so I can better understand your needs and what you really want from an EV, because that’s our commitment. We will go beyond what our competitors have announced and what customers expect.”

“Feedback ranges from the benign to the absurd…research shows us that more and more truck investors are open to the idea of ​​heavy electrification, but unwilling to compromise on those core features like tow and tow, and range anxiety is probably the number one issue I think Ram will handle that better than anyone.”

Global demand has never been greater

“We just had the best half ever in terms of international sales…I absolutely believe that (Ram can connect the brand globally with one vehicle)…there is so much potential for the Ram brand. The TRX has acted like that halo model we expected and hoped it would be… we launched it 2 years ago and I got calls from all over the world – China, South America – it really has the notoriety of it Ram brand is expanding around the world…our international demand for our products has never been greater.”

2022 Ram HD Heavy Duty Power Wagon Crew Cab Level 1 2 3 Equipment Group
2022 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab. Image via Stellantis.

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