NEW YORK — The electric pickup with a 500-mile range that Ram showed here last week represents the future for Stellantis.
But getting there by late 2024, when the Ram 1500 REV is slated to reach dealerships, is a costly proposition. That's why company executives at the New York International Auto Show emphasized the need to boost profitability, cut costs and confront sliding sales of today's gasoline-powered lineup to fund the shift to electric vehicles.
The REV is "what we're here to celebrate and talk about, but it's expensive," Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. told Automotive News. "That's the elephant in the room for everybody. The cost of electrification is expensive, so for sure we need to make sure that we protect the profitability of our current in-market [internal combustion engine] business to help fund the transition to electrification."
Protecting those profits amid the pandemic, inflation, regulatory changes, the microchip shortage and other developments has been a challenge. The costs related to developing and building EVs are among the reasons Stellantis cited in idling its Jeep Cherokee plant in Illinois at the end of February.