Fiat Chrysler Automobiles left some unanswered questions about trucks and powertrains last week when it shared a five-year product plan and business outlook.
FCA has three midsize trucks, one on the ground now -- the Fiat Fullback sold overseas -- a Jeep pickup coming next year and the just-announced midsize Ram coming by 2022. It's senseless for FCA to have three similar-size trucks unless the vehicles share a majority of their parts. Think Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon.
Numerous outlets have reported that the Jeep pickup could use a Ram pickup frame. But if so, the Jeep would likely not be midsize and probably couldn't be based on the hot-selling JL Wrangler, the latest generation of the venerable off-roader.
The Fullback debuted in 2016 and uses Mitsubishi underpinnings. By 2022, it will be old and in need of an update.
It would seem a no-brainer that all three trucks would share the same basic frame, suspension components and powertrains, with perhaps only the length of the frame changing to suit each model. Maybe FCA boss Sergio Marchionne didn't want to drill down to that level of detail. But at least one analyst, Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific, says he believes the Jeep and midsize Ram will share parts, with the rear axle and cabs different for each truck. They could also be built in the same plant, perhaps in Toledo, Ohio, where the Wrangler is made.