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Ram Races to Meet 2020 Ram 1500 Demand, Cancels Summer Shutdowns

Typically, plants close in the summer for two weeks for what workers call "change over". After being closed for two months for COVID-19, Ram is making all the trucks it can.


Ram lost two critical months of production while auto plants were forced to close for COVID-19. Now, Ram is trying to catch up on production of the profitable 2020 Ram 1500 and is canceling its typical summer shutdown to keep building the valuable vehicles.

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, known as SHAP, is pretty much back up to full staff after phasing in the three shifts of workers. Production may lag a little because the employees are operating under new safety guidelines to keep the spread of COVID-19 down. The added cleaning and disinfecting of work stations and social distancing have slowed the pace of production.

Ram Trying to Meet Strong Demand

Ram has several new editions of the popular 2020 Ram 1500 promised for later this year, and workers are trying to meet the demand. Ram is launching its second set of “Built to Serve” edition 2020 Ram 1500s. These limited-edition trucks will honor the Navy with special exclusive color schemes. Ram is already building the special edition vehicles and they should start arriving at dealers this month. Three more sets of special “Built to Serve” editions honoring different branches of the armed forces are still expected in the 2020 model year.

Ram Continues to Buck Sales Trends

As I reported recently, the Ram brand continues to buck sales trends, especially here in Colorado, where it is one a very few brands that saw sales rise during the Coronavirus crisis, when the rest of the industry saw sales plummet. The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association is out with its recap of new vehicle registrations for the first five months of 2020. Over all, vehicles sales are down 16.6 percent. Light trucks are down 11.3 percent, but Ram registrations are up 3.7 percent. Insiders tell me that Ram is still trying to fill dealer orders for their most popular vehicle. Inventories for some of the most popular configurations have dwindled because of the lack of production.

Nearby Ram Facilities Expected to Keep Operating

It is expected that the Mopar custom shop that is located near the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant will also continue operating instead of shutting down. The Mopar custom shop installs special accessories and personalization packages. The custom shop specializes on intricate procedures and the types of things that are difficult to complete on the production line. The custom shop has special spray booths for spray-in truck bed liners. They also have special areas for applying graphics packages and pin-striping. Rather than having different workers who have to accomplish everything, the shop has certain workers who can focus on doing a few things very, very well. Likewise, the Sterling Stamping Plant that produces parts for the truck plant is also expected to continue working through the summer.

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