It's been nearly two years since Ram started selling a redesigned version of its light-duty pickup.

But the previous generation, still sold as the ageless Ram 1500 Classic, isn't going anywhere, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' U.S. sales chief, Reid Bigland.

Bigland credits the Classic as key to the brand's 18 percent surge in pickup sales last year, which allowed it to top Chevrolet 's Silverado for the first time. The brand sold a record 703,023 vehicles overall in 2019.

"Ram Classic and then the all-new Ram DT strategy is a very formidable one-two punch in the marketplace," Bigland said at the NADA Show.

The suburban Detroit plant that builds the Ram Classic will shut for 14 weeks to prepare for production of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Bigland said, "but once that downtime is ended, we're going to get right back up and continue to build up the Ram Classic. It's offering a tremendous value in the marketplace at that entry level."

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