HDRams.com has heard from an inside source that the camouflaged HD trucks that have been testing around Metro Detroit for months now are actually of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty. There has been a ton of secrecy and confusion surrounding the new HD trucks for approximately the last year.
A 2019 refresh was originally rumored when these early test mules were spotted roaming the streets of Michigan. Clearly visible is the current body with some front-end tweaks covered by camouflage, there were a few of these testers running around but months later we started to see completely camouflaged trucks.
These trucks led everyone to believe that the 2019 Ram HD refresh was likely scrapped with an all-new HD which was previously believed to launch for the 2021 model year to launch for the 2020 model year 1 year ahead of schedule. If in fact true it would make sense that the 2019 refresh was scrapped as there wouldn’t be a point in investing in a refresh for one model year.
After studying spy photographs and comparing them to current 4th Gen trucks as well as the 5th Gen Ram 1500 we released this article last month stating that we believed these trucks are heavily refreshed 4th Gen HDs and that the all-new 5th Generation HDs were still a ways away. Now we have been tipped off that these trucks are actually the 2019 Ram HD and they WILL BE refreshed versions of the current Heavy Duty line-up. I believe that the timeline is actually originally as thought with these HDs debuting for the 2019 model year and the all-new Ram HD debuting for 2021. What we don’t yet know is whether these 2019 HDs will get the updated Cummins with CGI block and other powertrain updates we are expecting or if they will debut in the all-new truck. We do know that a lot of the new technologies that showed up in the 2019 Ram 1500 will be showing up in the refreshed heavy duties.
There are a lot of facts that support this timeline, FCA has announced that Ram HD production will be moving from Saltillo, Mexico to Warren, Michigan. Warren is still tied up building the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic (4th Gen 1500) through July of next year. At that point Warren Truck will close for a $1 billion overhaul that should take approximately 6 months if not longer. It wouldn’t make financial sense to re-tool Saltillo to produce an all-new truck and then pull it from the plant 1-2 years later. Another supporting piece of evidence is the ordering dates as well as production start-up of the 2019 Ram HD. Ordering for the 2018 Ram HD ended in August with 2019 ordering beginning in November, production for the 2019 Ram HD is set to start on Jan 2/2019. This is an unusually long amount of downtime between model years if the truck was indeed to be a carry-over truck. I believe that these trucks will debut for the 2019 Model year with the all-new HD coming online for the 2021 model year after Warren Truck has been overhauled.
Ram is set to debut the new HD in January at the North American International Autoshow, stay tuned to HDRams for all the latest news and information.