In October, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed a group of automotive analysts, where he was quoted as follows. “We have a unique opportunity with renewal of the [Ram] pickup line, with the powertrains we selected, to significantly increase output. We will also be exploring, as a result of that investment, some other segments.” Speculation related to a full-size Ram 1500-based SUV has been swirling ever since. And there is no denying the allure of $10,000 per unit margins. But what is the business case? The analysis begins with the 1500 truck, which is scheduled for a major update in two years. Production will move from Warren Truck Assembly to Sterling Heights with the 2017 to 2018 model year changeover. The larger, more modern facility will enable FCA to meet demand for Ram trucks, which increased 2.6 percent last year to 542,000 units in North America. And excess capacity will also become available when they move from 3.3 million square foot Warren to 5.0 million square foot Sterling Heights. Platform sharing is an economic necessity. The most effective platform shares are typically those that mask shared origins and enable designers to provide related products with character...