Who makes Ram trucks? Where are Ram trucks made? It can be confusing to answer these questions with the past changes in Ram ownership, marketing, and assembly plant locations. In this article, I will describe who owns Ram, who manufactures Ram trucks, and their history.
Who makes Ram trucks? Ram is currently being manufactured by the Ram Truck Division, a company established in 2010. This company is a division of FCA US LLC, a subsidiary that is wholly owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-American corporation.
Where are Ram trucks made? The two Chrysler car plants that manufacture Ram trucks are in Michigan, USA, and Saltillo, Mexico.
- Michigan, USA – The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, produces the Ram 1500 truck.
- Saltillo, Mexico – The Saltillo Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, produces the Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks. It also produces the Ram ProMaster van.
Dodge and Ram officially parted ways in 2009. This separation led to the removal of the “Dodge” from Ram trucks.
When FCA US LLC took ownership of the company, they decided that the two brands must be two separate business entities. Perhaps, to make this move more significant to truck buyers and the truck industry, they removed the “Dodge” name and only retained the name “Ram” on the trucks after that.
Read on to learn more about who makes Ram trucks and where Ram trucks are made.
Who Makes Ram Trucks?
Why did Ram drop the Dodge name? Actually, there is no mystery why the brand name “Dodge” was taken out of the picture. It was the natural result of the separation of the two companies, Dodge and Ram. These two organizations officially separated in 2009.
Under FCA US LLC, its new owner, Ram, became its own brand of trucks. It is still an American brand that makes light to mid-weight commercial vehicles. One of its signature products is still the Ram pickup, formerly called Dodge Ram, a full-size pickup truck.
This truck is now being marketed under the brand name Ram Trucks. The introduction of the current and fifth-generation Ram happened in January 2018 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.
The Ram truck is the second most popular light truck in the U.S. It’s second in terms of trucks sold. First is the Ford F-150.
The “Ram” Brand Name
The brand name “Ram” was first used in October 1980. It was branded on the Dodge Trucks 1981 model year. At that time, the Dodge D Series pickups and the B-series vans were being retired and rebadged. It’s also worth noting that as early as 1933, some of the trucks had a ram’s head as a hood ornament.
So again, why did Ram drop the Dodge name? On the part of Dodge, its separation from Ram allowed it to concentrate on technological developments in its muscle cars and sedans. On the other hand, Ram focused more on what it can do best – building full-size pickup trucks.
In 2009, the Chrysler Group decided to restructure the Dodge car brand. Under the Dodge brand name are several cars and minivans. At that time, the company made the Dodge Ram and Dodge Dakota truck lineup under the Ram Trucks brand name.
Who makes Ram trucks? A separate and distinct part of the same company, the Ram Truck Division, made the Ram trucks starting in the 2010 model year. This department solely focused on making pickup trucks. Now, this brings us to the actual makers of Ram trucks.
The manufacturing of the “Classic” Ram trucks takes place in the Warren truck plant located in Warren, Michigan. The Saltillo plant in Saltillo, Mexico, also manufactures these trucks. But the manufacturing of the new series of Ram pickups is at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. It is located in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
We will now discuss these truck makers in more detail.
Dodge Doesn’t Make Ram Trucks Anymore
Many truck owners of the older generation still regard Ram trucks like the Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Ram 2500, and Dodge Ram 3500, respectively. But the split between the two business organizations in 2009-2010 enabled them to focus on what they do best. Dodge focused on building muscle cars, while Ram concentrated on making full-size pickup trucks. Both went on producing their wares without hindering each other.
The memories of more than 70 years of Dodge Rams are very difficult to erase. Seasoned truck lovers still consider the present line of Ram trucks as simply Dodge Ram. The first Dodge Rams rolled out in 1932. It continued production until 1954. The Dodge Ram truck lineup was reenergized in 1981, up until 2009, when it partly retired because of the wishes of the new owner (FCA).
With Ram free of the burdens associated with Dodge, it focused more on strengthening its truck market position. It went on to build the most technologically advanced and most reliable pickup trucks in the U.S. and global markets.
Meanwhile, in 2010, free of its truck manufacturing responsibilities, Dodge was able to build cars with the most innovative designs. For instance, it developed the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the most advanced car in its class at that time, after its split with Ram.
Improving the Ram Lineup
The new owner, FCA, invested huge amounts of money in improving the Ram truck lineup. It poured in about $1.5 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan to build the next generation Ram 1500 pickup.
The company added another $1 billion-plus of investments to expand the RAM Heavy Duty Truck Assembly Plant. These huge sums of money ensured that the manufacturing plants in North America would stay at the top when it comes to building Ram trucks all over the globe.
Ram Truck Division, the present maker of Ram Trucks, still regards nostalgic consumers who are looking for the ideal Dodge Ram 1500 with respect. But whatever name consumers call it, whether Ram 1500 or Dodge Ram 1500, “Ram” still means reliability, capability, and dependability.
Where Are Ram Trucks Made
The Chrysler car manufacturing plants also build Ram truck models. In other words, aside from FAC’s car manufacturing facilities, Chrysler, which concentrates on making Dodge vehicles, continues to use its manufacturing facilities to assemble Ram trucks.
So where are Ram trucks made? The two Chrysler car plants that manufacture Ram trucks are in Michigan, USA, and Saltillo, Mexico.
- Michigan, USA – In the United States, Chrysler, in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is building Ram 1500.
- Saltillo, Mexico – In Mexico, Chrysler, in its Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, is building the Ram ProMaster. In the same plant, Chrysler is also building the Ram 1500, the Ram2500/3500, and the Ram 4500/5500.
We’ve answered the question, “Who makes Ram trucks?”; next, let’s look at the manufacturing plants of Ram Trucks and their locations in detail.
Ram Truck Manufacturing Plant in Mexico
The Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant, located in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, is one of the Ram Truck Division plants that build Ram trucks. It’s one of the most productive plants of FAC for Ram trucks on the planet.
In August 2019, this plant celebrated a huge milestone. At that time, the plant rolled out its 4,000,000th Ram truck from its assembly line. That is truly a feat considering that it only started building Ram trucks in 1995.
At present, the Saltillo plant is building various Ram trucks, including the Ram 1500 Classic for Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It builds the fourth-generation Ram 1500 (DS) Regular and Crew Cabs, Ram 2500, Ram 3500, Ram 4500, Ram 5500 for the export market, and the Ram 4000 Chassis Cab for the Mexican Market.
Here is a list of the Ram Trucks that the Saltillo Assembly Plant in Mexico currently builds:
- Ram 1500 Classic (Regular Cab – for the Canadian and U.S. markets)
- Ram 2500
- Ram 3500
- Ram 3500 Chassis Cab
- Ram 4000 (spec Chassis Cab model – for the Mexican market)
- Ram 4500 Chassis Cab
- Ram 5500 Chassis Cab
There are 5,384 workers in this truck assembly plant. Three hundred twenty-four of them have regular salaries, plus 5,060 workers paid by the hour. They follow a 3-2-120 operating pattern. This pattern only means that the plant operates with three crews, working two 10 hour shifts over four days. That would give a total of 120 hours of production per week.
Ram Truck Manufacturing Plant in the United States
Sterling Heights Assembly Plant facilities located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, also build Ram trucks. The FCA US LLC owns and operates it.
Chrysler originally owned this plant. It first started its operation in 1953 under Chrysler’s Missile Division, producing missiles at that time. Sterling Stamping, which is just nearby, started its operation in 1965.
Volkswagen bought the plant in 1980 and converted it to car production. In the late 1980s, Volkswagen sold it back to Chrysler, which modernized the facilities in 2006. The facilities subsequently underwent many changes in ownership, including their use.
Eventually, in 2010, Chrysler again bought the plant from Old Cargo LLC. The company built a new paint shop inside the plant in 2011. As previously mentioned, Dodge and Ram parted ways in 2010, which led to the Ram Truck Division’s establishment. In December 2016, Chrysler announced that it would discontinue its plan for the Chrysler 200.
Then, FCA announced that it would invest $1.49 billion to retool the Sterling Heights facilities to build the next generation Ram 1500 pickup. Since 2019, this plant has been building the Ram 1500.
Differences Between Ram Trucks Made in Mexico and the United States
The production of the latest models of the “DT” generation of the Ram 1500 takes place at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan, United States. The Saltillo Assembly Plant in Mexico produces the heavy-duty models of Ram.
In other words, Sterling Heights also builds Ram trucks. The Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which assembles Ram trucks, undergoes a retooling or upgrade to handle the production of the next-generation Ram heavy-duty trucks and the forthcoming Jeep Wagoneer.
In the last two months of 2018, Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reconsidered the decision to cease Ram heavy-duty truck production in the Saltillo, Mexico plant. This settlement was supposed to happen in the following year. The production of full-size Ram trucks will continue in Mexico.
Additionally, the strategy is to load up the revamped full-size Ram 1500 with new features, which are presumably absent in the trucks produced in the United States. The new features include an optional 12-inch touch screen display, cruise control, and partial electric power to save fuel and help improve acceleration. The truck maker hopes to increase the demand for the pickup truck with these added features.
Redesigning the Ram
The head of product development in Fiat Chrysler, Phil Jansen, said in 2018 that when they started to redesign the Ram 1500, they opted for an all-aluminum body, which will make the truck lighter. Ford Motors was already using aluminum for its truck bodies back then.
Fiat took a chance that its rival, GM, did not take. They added an electric motor and a big battery pack to help improve shifting and acceleration. Fiat hopes these features will help deliver a smooth start-stop function by idling the engine when the truck is in a traffic jam. Such features would also improve the truck’s fuel economy.
They decided to add a bigger screen than other truck brands later in the process of designing the reinvigorated truck. Originally, only three variants should’ve had this feature. But later on, they decided to add it to one more trim. The demand for this improved truck was so high that Fiat-Chrysler pushed the screen manufacturer to produce as many units as it can make.
Conclusion – Who Makes Ram Trucks?
So, to summarize everything and to answer the question: “Who makes Ram Trucks?” The Ram Truck Division, a company founded in 2010, currently builds Ram trucks.
This company is a division of FCA US LLC, a subsidiary wholly owned by Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-American corporation. Dodge and Ram officially parted ways in 2009, paving the way to remove the term “Dodge” from Ram trucks.