Ram isn't about to let an emerging truck segment get away from them.
The market for electrified pickup trucks is set to explode over the coming years, if automakers have anything to say about it, with incoming offerings from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Tesla, Rivian, and Lordstown Motors. Now, you can officially add FCA's Ram Trucks brand to the list; during an earnings call on Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley confirmed that the automaker plans on joining the fray.
"I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while, and we'll tell you exactly when that will be," Manley said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Manley's statement doesn't give us much to go on, unfortunately. It seems to suggest that an electrified Ram pickup is something FCA is already working on, but as "electrified" is typically used to refer to both hybrid and battery-electric vehicles, there's no knowing which sort of powertrain the future Ram will use - and frankly, we could see it going either way.
On the one hand, vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV have drawn huge amounts of interest. FCA might be interested in benefitting from the halo effect of a battery-electric statement truck of its own; whether or not it's a source of profit.
On the other hand, FCA has historically not been as keen on electric vehicles as the other major global automakers, preferring to take it slow in the EV space until customer demand is sufficiently strong. EVs may have outsold manual transmission vehicles for the first time ever last year, but they still represent a slim minority of the market, and a hybrid powertrain makes more practical sense for the average towing, hauling pickup truck driver.
For what it's worth, earlier in the year, Manley alluded to the possibility of a pure-electric Ram pickup, saying the Ram model line represents "a key franchise for us, and we're not going to sit on the sidelines if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward."
In other words, if Ram is feeling enough heat from Ford, GM, Tesla, and other industry players, FCA refuses to take that lying down.