Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV loaded up the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 with technology. That has bumped the sticker price up to $31,695 for the base model, the automaker announced Tuesday. The base price for a comparable 2018 model is $30,895.

“In launching the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we knew it was important to offer class-leading features and technology. But it’s also important to offer our great product at a competitive price,” said Mike Manley, head of the Ram brand, in a statement. “We feel that we’ve delivered the right no-compromise mix that Ram Truck customers will appreciate.”

The new truck is currently being shipped to dealers, marking the official start to the pickup wars as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and FCA all roll out brand-new pickups over the next year.

Ford leads the pack with sales of the F-Series, though GM sells more pickups overall across its Chevrolet and GMC brands. GM and FCA are targeting Ford’s F-Series with the all-new Silverado due out later this year and the all-new Ram 1500.

Ford, meanwhile, plans to roll out the 2019 Ranger midsize truck early next year while it pushes to build and sell more full-size SUVs. The F-Series just had its best February sales in 18 years.

The full-size trucks are big money makers for the Detroit Three. Employees and executives there joke that manufacturing the trucks is like printing money. They have high margins, and profits from the trucks go to fund investment in the companies’ mobility, electrification and autonomous vehicle ventures.

Full-size pickups had the second-fastest growth of any segment in 2017, trailing compact SUVs. The average transaction price for the full-size truck segment was $44,500 in 2017. The F-150 sold for $45,662 on average, while the Silverado 1500 went for $43,230 and the Ram 1500 sold for $43,844 on average last year.

Pricing on the new trucks will be one selling point. The base model F-150 currently has a suggested retail price of $27,610. A 2018 Silverado runs $28,300, though GM is phasing that model out as it brings in the new trucks.

The new Ram will debut with seven trim levels, each of which have different technology options. While the base model Tradesman Quad Cab 4x2 runs $31,695, the top-of-the-line Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4 V-8 with the 12-inch touchscreen console will sell for $57,390.

Both Ford and GM have pickup variants that sell for tens of thousands more than the base model. The U.S. automakers have taken to debuting new technology and luxury features on trucks as well as luxury sedans.

The new Ram also boasts more than 100 safety features, including adaptive cruise-control, forward-collision warning, trailer-sway damping control, lane-departure warning and parking assist. The Ram 1500 is built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

Read or Share this story: