The midsize Ram's platform is a key issue.
"Being able to find a cost-effective platform in a region where we can build it with low cost and it still being applicable in the market is what they're struggling with at the moment," Manley said on a conference call to discuss FCA's first-quarter earnings. "I want that problem solved, frankly, because it's a clear hole in our portfolio. It will not be filled by Gladiator because Gladiator is a very, very different mission. Trust me, they're focused on it. We need to get it fixed soon."
In addition to peering into FCA's future product pipeline, Manley gave an update on the Ram Classic, the previous-generation pickup that still has life left.
Manley said the Ram Classic isn't going away anytime soon. The Classic, he said, will enable Ram to make gains in government and commercial sales.
Even though the Classic lacks some of the bells and whistles of its successor, dealers have said it retains wide appeal among consumers not ready to absorb the higher payments of the redesigned pickup and commercial clients who need basic work vehicles. Some dealers predict the Classic will remain a viable option for at least the rest of 2019.
Manley said he sees no reason to change the two-truck approach.
"The strategy has worked well for us," he said. "The Classic is what I would call the real traditional workman's truck."