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    Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Now Boasts 900 Pound-Feet From Its Diesel Engine


    • 900 Pound-Feet from a Diesel Heavy-Duty Truck?!


    If you thought the heavy-duty wars were done and over with, you thought wrong. Ram announced today that the 3500 Heavy Duty - a model with best-in-class tow ratings of 30,000 lbs when equipped with the 6.7L inline-six Cummins diesel engine - has upped the ante once again. The inline-six for the 2016 model year will now produce 385 horsepower and 900 pound-feet of torque. That's an increase of 35 pound-feet when compared to last-year's model.

     

    The increase in power also means increase in tow ratings - 31,210 pounds according to the SAE's J2807 certification process. To deal with the increase in tow weight, Ram beefed up the rear axle ring gear hardware from 12 to 16 bolts.

     

    "Ram maintains leadership in all three pickup segments offering best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class towing, best-in-class power and best-in-class payload," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, FCA US. "Ram continues to break records in the most important consumer-driven titles of the pickup truck market and we’re not slowing down.”

     

    The Ram 2500 Heavy Duty also sees a minor increase in max tow weight from 17,970 to 17.980 pounds.

     

    Ram says the updated heavy duty trucks will be at dealers starting in the forth quarter of this year with prices of $32,680 for the 2500 and $33,185 for the 3500 - includes a $1,195 destination charge.

     

    Source: Ram Trucks

     

    Press Release is on Page 2



    2016 Ram Heavy Duty Widens its Leadership Gap With a Triple-decker Presence: Best-in-class Power, Towing Capacity and Payload Capacity

    • 2016 Cummins 6.7-liter calibration hits a best-in-class 900 lb.-ft. of torque. The most torque ever offered in a mass-production vehicle
    • 2016 Ram 3500 crushes the competition with up to 31,210 pounds of SAE J2807-spec. towing capacity, beating the closest competitor by more than two tons
    • 2016 Ram 2500 holds best-in-class ¾-ton towing title with 17,980 pounds of capacity
    • Ram 3500 maintains best-in-class payload of 7,390 pounds with 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8
    • Ram 3500 raises its best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) to 39,100 pounds
    • Ram maintains credibility and customer confidence as the only automaker to align with SAE J2807 towing standard across its entire pickup truck line
    • Fuel economy is top of mind for Ram 1500 customers and the exclusive 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine continues to crush the competition with an amazing 29 miles per gallon (mpg)
    • The first 2016 Ram Heavy Duty trucks begin rolling off the factory line third quarter of 2015
    • Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/60,000 miles on gas engines and five years/100,000 miles on diesel engines


    June 22, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram continues as "King of the Hill" in the heavy-duty battleground with the introduction of the 2016 model year Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. The capability leaders further build on a list of best-in-class claims.
    Additionally, for two years running, the Ram 1500 leads pickup truck fuel economy with the exclusive 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, delivering 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 29 miles per gallon (mpg).
    "Ram maintains leadership in all three pickup segments offering best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class towing, best-in-class power and best-in-class payload," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, FCA US. "Ram continues to break records in the most important consumer-driven titles of the pickup truck market and we're not slowing down."
    Ram Engineering and Cummins developed a new, hard-hitting fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration for the 6.7-liter I-6 diesel that produces an additional 35 lb.-ft. of torque. This improvement raises the bar from Ram's current title at 865 lb.-ft. of torque to 900 lb.-ft. of torque — a number never achieved in a mass-produced vehicle.
    The previous heavy-duty towing title also belongs to the Ram 3500 at 30,000 pounds. The 2016 Ram 3500 brings that stat to 31,210 pounds, further distancing the closest rival by more than two tons. To handle the increased towing capacity, Ram engineers beefed up the rear axle ring gear hardware from 12 to 16 bolts on all trucks equipped with the 11.8-inch axle. The additional hardened bolts and stronger material are used in the differential case to assure long-term durability.
    The most payload available in a pickup is 7,390 pounds for a 6.4-liter-equipped Ram 3500 model, more than 3.5 tons.
    The 2016 Ram 2500 also continues its ¾-ton towing leadership with a dominating 17,980 pounds of capacity.
    Ram is the only automaker to back its entire pickup truck line and towing claims with SAE J2807 testing criteria.
    "Ram has bookended its innovation leadership in the pickup segments and thoughtfully engineered better trucks, including our Ram 1500 with real-world fuel economy approaching 30 mpg and the Ram 3500 with a mind-boggling 31,210 pounds of towing capacity, even on the hottest day," said Mike Cairns, Director— Ram Truck Engineering, FCA US. "Our 2016 Ram Trucks own pertinent, functional titles while delivering award-winning interiors and exclusive features that entice customers."
    Pricing
    2016 Ram 2500 - $31,4852016 Ram 3500 - $31,990
    NOTE: Pricing does not include $1,195 destination

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    $33k for a truck with that type of capability and power is actually really good for this day and age. 

     

    Edit: Doh! I was fooled!  That's the price for the gasser.  The coal burner is about a $9k upcharge. 

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    its impressive to say the least, but what raises my eyebrow is how well does it control a 31k pound load? the opposite of towing is stopping and i feel there are going to be a lot of arrogant owners showing off with jackknifed trucks the further up these ratings go.

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    So, I'm trying to build one online(I know 2015 model) and I can't figure how to actually get the max towing with the dually. Basically, I can't find the dually option. I assume that is the option that maximizes towing capacity, right?

    ..jeez..I found it.. lol

     

    Well is the new truck is like the outgoing model the dually and diesel add $12,500 to the base price.

    8300 - Engine

    3000 - Trans

    1200 - Dual rear wheels

    Edited by ccap41
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    These towing capacities are such folly anymore. All the trucks out there are more capable than most will ever see so I really don't by the hype anymore.

    The regulations are only going to get worse so I hope the price does not go higher and the performance down.

    As for Ram things at Chrysler is mostly in a mode where they are going for any trick they can. 700 HP engines in cars that need replaced worse. Soon I expect we will see the trucks not updates as soon as they need due to lack of money and they will wither with even more rebates and lower profits.

    The best hope for Ram and Jeep right now it they are sold off to a caring parent company with money. I know VW would love to have both.

    Most people really have no idea how bad things are at FCM. The Sergio merger talks in public are one of the most alarming pleas of desperation I have seen from a automakers leader.

     

    I think the real trick moving forward on the trucks is making them more affordable with a Diesel. They have enough Torque now to do about anything.

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    These towing capacities are such folly anymore. All the trucks out there are more capable than most will ever see so I really don't by the hype anymore.

    The regulations are only going to get worse so I hope the price does not go higher and the performance down.

    As for Ram things at Chrysler is mostly in a mode where they are going for any trick they can. 700 HP engines in cars that need replaced worse. Soon I expect we will see the trucks not updates as soon as they need due to lack of money and they will wither with even more rebates and lower profits.

    The best hope for Ram and Jeep right now it they are sold off to a caring parent company with money. I know VW would love to have both.

    Most people really have no idea how bad things are at FCM. The Sergio merger talks in public are one of the most alarming pleas of desperation I have seen from a automakers leader.

     

    I think the real trick moving forward on the trucks is making them more affordable with a Diesel. They have enough Torque now to do about anything.

    Riiiight....talk to me in 5 years and I'll accept your apology.

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    TAF in 5 years Ram may be made by VW in Brazil.

     

    Unless they get someone with deep pockets Ram and Jeep will be sold and Chrysler could very well be gone. Yes they are in that deep *$*$ right now.

     

    I will stick with the 10 years several analyst have given them. All I know is Sergio better look to Peugeot for help as they are about his only option.

     

    The last thing I want to see is Chrysler fail but they are in a spiral and it is not up right now.

    I am not worried about an apology as while I am not a fan I will not celebrate it. This is not good for the auto industry and not good for America even if they really are not an American controlled company any longer.

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    TAF in 5 years Ram may be made by VW in Brazil.

     

    Unless they get someone with deep pockets Ram and Jeep will be sold and Chrysler could very well be gone. Yes they are in that deep *$*$ right now.

     

    I will stick with the 10 years several analyst have given them. All I know is Sergio better look to Peugeot for help as they are about his only option.

     

    The last thing I want to see is Chrysler fail but they are in a spiral and it is not up right now.

    I am not worried about an apology as while I am not a fan I will not celebrate it. This is not good for the auto industry and not good for America even if they really are not an American controlled company any longer.

    You are absolutely clueless about the auto industry.............

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    Ok smart guy then where am I going wrong? I just love detractors who present no evidence.

     

    FCA is over capacity on production and is hemorrhaging money.

    Chrysler is discounting cars to sell them at rates we saw pre bail out. I know as my in-laws just got a hell of a deal on a 300 for the price of a Malibu.

    Jeep is still doing well and the trucks are doing ok but should be doing better as they are hit with large rebates.

     

    Fiat is a total mess and if Greece defaults it will take most of the Euro community with economically and that could finish off Fiat.

     

    GM and most other large MFG want nothing to so with Sergio and he will need to find someone with volume that could help but most interested are financially not much better. It also would still not solve his over capacity issues.

     

    So Stew if you feel you are so enlightened you might want to share how Fiat and Chrysler are doing so well then as I see no real up right now.
    The RWD cars needed replaced  a couple years ago not updated. The 500 has not done as well as they had expected and the new cars the Dart and 200 are an improvement but neither are at the top of sales or ratings.

    Add into this the quality control is really in the dumper right now with most of the cars in the top ten being from FCM. Also the repeat buyer percentage of Chrysler products last year was at 24% Only the increase in truck sales have kept them above Mitsubishi who is the worst.

     

    OK where is the up side here? Please we are interested.  

    Edited by hyperv6
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    TAF in 5 years Ram may be made by VW in Brazil.

     

    Unless they get someone with deep pockets Ram and Jeep will be sold and Chrysler could very well be gone. Yes they are in that deep *$*$ right now.

     

    I will stick with the 10 years several analyst have given them. All I know is Sergio better look to Peugeot for help as they are about his only option.

     

    The last thing I want to see is Chrysler fail but they are in a spiral and it is not up right now.

    I am not worried about an apology as while I am not a fan I will not celebrate it. This is not good for the auto industry and not good for America even if they really are not an American controlled company any longer.

    You are absolutely clueless about the auto industry.............

     

     

    You've gotta be able to back up statements like that around here.

     

    FCA is on shaky ground, though I don't see quite the doom that hyper does. 

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    Drew I have spent the last two years watching the  movements of Fiat and Chrysler and  I don't want to be filled with doom but unless everything Sergio is doing works spot on it is only going to get worse. This is not my opinion but many market analyst.

     

    The market watchers are very wary.

     

    The 5 goals of Sergio are such.

     

    1 Grow premium brands. by 2018 75K Masurati and 400K Alfa. This is pretty ambisous and both have not made their goal for sales in any recent history.

     

    2. Fiat is struggling in Europe but they will get boost to grow in the N America, Asia and Latin America.  Again out side the 500 line they have failed and the 500 is not setting the world on fire. And Sergio has pretty much admitted there is no profit in Europe.

     

    3 Jeep and Ram are funding the whole deal and all that keeps Fiat afloat. Remember Ferrari is spun off now too. He needs the profits here. Jeep is Doing ok and the Renegade will be important not to fail. Discounts on the trucks are not helping and no new truck in the near future could really hurt as Ford and GM continue to upgrade to new platforms sooner.

     

    4 Sergio said he needed to sell 6 Million units to break even. Now his new plans call for 7 million. note this was 2014 and now this year he is crying for a new partner as he just does not have the volume to make it with development cost and under capacity plants.

     

    5 Sergio wants to do this with out wall st. Not easy for even an healthy company to say let alone on trying yet to rebuild.

     

    As I said this out line was last year and most market people said it could not be funded properly. While that is TBD the fact is his cry for help indicates he is desperate. These deals are generally done in private as to not to appear desperate. Well too late.

     

    Previous plans to sell 500K Alfas by 2014 failed and as well as 85K in the USA by 2014. Fiat has never lived up to the original projections in NA.

     

    My fear is Sergio will bleed the Jeeps and trucks dry on rebuilding Fiat and show little love to the rest of Chrysler. Yes they got a refresh on the LX models but they needed replaced 4 years ago. Their replacments as well as many others in the FCM line have been pushed back due to lack of funds.

     

    Now toss in the stagnate economy and the default of Greece and it could make a high risk venture nearly impossible.

     

    Now there is always the Chinese to come in and buy or VW to part out what they want.

     

    Things at Chrysler are odd as Chrysler itself is a main stream brand now. Even the 300 is not considered to compete with the likes of Lincoln or Buick anymore. They still lack a good solid small car and Dodge is all about performance and nothing else.  This transformation is still progressing and may not do much to help things.

     

    Take a look at all the product and investment GM has done since the bail out and now look at Chrysler/Fiat and see what they have done. There is a big difference and in 5 years this will really show up in the show rooms.

     

    I have no death wish for Chrysler but at the rate it is going they are going the same direction they were before the bail out and this time they will not get a third bail out. I would expect part to live but much of the rest will be with Plymouth.

     

    The Fiat partnership was like injecting  a Viruses and it will just grow till it kills the host.

     

    The media is out there with Bloomberg, WSJ, Forbes and others. Right now there is still hope but not many think the odds are in their favor.

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    I see a good 50% of Sergio's whining as personal greed.  In the event of a merger, he stands to make a tidy sum of money. 

     

    Jeep is growing like crazy and they're going to sell the snot out of the Renegade in China.  I wouldn't be surprised if they actually run into capacity constraints on that car. 

     

    Ram will always be 3rd of the D3 trucks, but they can take a bigger chunk from the other D2 than they did before. As long as they keep the interior and look up to date, the hardware under the hood will be competitive enough for a good 4 years. I really have no fear from the Tundra and Titan.

     

    There is the new Mini-van coming for Chrysler as well as a new Wrangler.  I disagree that the LX cars need to be replaced just yet. 

     

    FCA may be "just floating" right now, but I don't see them sinking unless the Greek thing gets really bad.

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    Jeep is paying all the bills to keep thing alive but even with increased sales it can not do it all alone.

     

    Yes Ram will sell but with the large incentives they will not deliver the money they really need out of them. They will make a profit but they will also leave a lot on the table. One thing that is helping them now is the Ford issues.

     

    The Mini Van will not regain its past glory. That ship has sailed and they need more CUV models. That is where the market is at and why so many companies are scaling back on Mini Vans.

    The Wrangler is not brand new and the 2017 model is reported to be delayed along with 12 other  models 1 year or more that were slated to be replaced. Toledo is debating if the plant is going to get incentives and remain in Toledo.

     

    The LX models need replaced badly. They are ghastly over weight and again they leave a lot of sales on the table. The platform is based on a very old Benz model and it is showing. With a new Mustang and Camaro the Challenger is only going to decline in sales. 700 HP is only going to help to a point along with the special packages.

     

    This is the problem. While Ram is selling ok low profits and not as much volume increase as needed. LX not as much volume as they could have with a lighter more modern platform. Dart another car lacking volume it should have. Chrysler while it has improved is not improving enough.

     

    Chrysler was the division that was to have been the cash cow to pay for the rest of Fiat's other plans but Sergio needs volume more than he is getting. With increased competition from all sides it is going to be difficult to meet his goals. Then he has set goals for Maserati and Alfa that are almost laughable.

    Toss in this all the quality issues and it is bad with the lack of repeat buyers. Even my In Laws like their new 300 that they got dirt cheap but with the issues they have had it will be the last.

     

    There is a slim chance they could pull this off but as the one Wall St Analyst stated they have to get everything right and have no set backs. He just did not think that could happen. While they are not falling fast most predict it will take about ten years for them to hit crises mode.

     

    I was lucky to sit down and meet with the head of the performance parts division. He really painted a picture of where the investment company left Chrysler going into to the deal with Fiat. It was bleak. Things inside were a lot worse than people realize and in time I think the truth will come out. GM had their issues but they at least were not left with little to work with in future products and programs. Chrysler was left to die and just didn't. 

     

    I really would love to see Chrysler break away and join up with a better partner than Fiat. At this point Sergio and Fiat are the boat anchor that will take them down. Chrysler needs a stronger partner with money to get them where they need to be. Not someone bleeding their profits into Luxury Euro divisions that will not pay off.

    Unless Sergio hits his numbers and he never has things will get ugly.

     

    Jeep will live on somewhere as I expect Ram but the cars are very expendable right now and no one would want to take them on. As for the rest of Fiat they could go to hell in a hand basket for all I care.

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    Keep is doing excellent, no and s if or buts, Chrysler is showing sales increases and the 200 is far outstripping anyone's expectations.  The onl reason minivan sales are down is because the factory was down retooling for the next gen and only came back online last month.  The local dealers haven't had ANY minivans to sell for a few months.  The LX cars, Patriot, Compass, and Journey are pure profit at this point with their architecture paid of long ago and between these 3 sold nearly 25k last month.  The same is true with the LX cars.  Dart sells enough to bring in a profit, but it's sales champ status will have to wait until the next refresh.  Dodges sales were simply hurt by the loss of the Avenger and no minivans to sell.  Ram is on a roll, sales were up for all but the Cargo van last month (which is based on the minivans and started being built again BTW).  The Fiat 500 sales fine for the it is and realize a lot 9of dealers loss product because of the strike in the harbors last month.  i think the 500X could be the real success once it hits lot and they REALLY need a larger dealer base.  Alfa is shaping up nicely and if they bring what they have been and what they are showing and more like that, then we have a sales success on our hands.  Never mind that excellent new platform that is going to shared with Dodge and possibly Chrysler.   The big question is Europe where sales are hurting.  You claim to have paid attention to what has been happening, but it looks more like you are picking and choosing the bad things, ignoring the reasons, and just wanting them to fail to prove you right. 

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    All trucks move on incentives. Ford and GM are both known for having truck incentives.   GMC is offering over $8k off certain Sierra configurations. Ford is offering $6k back on certain F-150 models.  Ram having incentives is just the nature of the business.

     

    I don't expect the Mini-van to regain its past glory, but the current FCA vans have fallen too far behind and sales reflect that.  Caravan is down 49% for the year and T&C is down 44% for the year.  That is a big drop... too big.

     

    The LX models are not ghastly overweight.   Chrysler 300 V6 - 4,029, Dodge Charger V6 - 3,934, Dodge Charger V8 - 4,264 - Hyundai Genesis V6 - 4,138, Chevrolet Impala V6 - 3,800, Buick Lacrosse V6 - 3,988, Chevrolet SS - 3,975 (for comparison purposes), Lincoln MKS - 4,204, Ford Taurus - 3,917, Toyota Avalon - 3,505 (however, I think Toyota took it too far, the latest Avalon doesn't isolate noise like the old one or the others in this class).   The LX cars' weight are on par for their class and in most cases, the LX cars beat the competition on fuel economy when comparing engines in the same class. I've driven all of the cars in this list extensively and only the Avalon can even match the LX V6 cars on fuel economy.   A while back one of the Buick PR people was bragging on Facebook about his LaCrosse V6 rental got him 30mpg.   If I was in an LX car, I would have to check to see if the parking brake was stuck if I got that kind of mileage, 33 - 35mpg is the norm on the highway in the LX cars... I've done it many times in many locations.

     

    I agree you that the Dart has been left for dead.  They need to MCE it soon.  However, the Chrysler 200 seems to have finally gained traction. 

     

    I've driven a number of the FWD vehicles with the 9-speed auto and they finally seem to have the 9-speed auto figured out, but I think they still need to work on throttle control. 

     

    I feel that Sergio is FCA's biggest liability. Period.  His ego and his pet projects are what going to hurt the whole organization.  Alfa is a "nice to have" but not a necessity for paying the bills... but he'll sacrifice the entire organization to save Alfa and Fiat.

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    Of the Detroit Gang, Sergio is definitely the one walking the finest line as far as tolerance for screwups go. But like Drew said, product-wise they're doing pretty good right now, at least on this side of the pond. By the same token I suppose you could say that necessity is the mother of invention as far as some of their engine options. But I'm still loving my EcoDiesel and the take rate on the Hellcats is nearly as crazy as the cars themselves, so there's that.

    It all boils down to Yurp. If Fiat/Alfa/Maserati can utilize good platform sharing with the North American operations and thus avoid being a financial black hole, this may yet end well.

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    All trucks move on incentives. Ford and GM are both known for having truck incentives.   GMC is offering over $8k off certain Sierra configurations. Ford is offering $6k back on certain F-150 models.  Ram having incentives is just the nature of the business.

     

    I don't expect the Mini-van to regain its past glory, but the current FCA vans have fallen too far behind and sales reflect that.  Caravan is down 49% for the year and T&C is down 44% for the year.  That is a big drop... too big.

     

    The LX models are not ghastly overweight.   Chrysler 300 V6 - 4,029, Dodge Charger V6 - 3,934, Dodge Charger V8 - 4,264 - Hyundai Genesis V6 - 4,138, Chevrolet Impala V6 - 3,800, Buick Lacrosse V6 - 3,988, Chevrolet SS - 3,975 (for comparison purposes), Lincoln MKS - 4,204, Ford Taurus - 3,917, Toyota Avalon - 3,505 (however, I think Toyota took it too far, the latest Avalon doesn't isolate noise like the old one or the others in this class).   The LX cars' weight are on par for their class and in most cases, the LX cars beat the competition on fuel economy when comparing engines in the same class. I've driven all of the cars in this list extensively and only the Avalon can even match the LX V6 cars on fuel economy.   A while back one of the Buick PR people was bragging on Facebook about his LaCrosse V6 rental got him 30mpg.   If I was in an LX car, I would have to check to see if the parking brake was stuck if I got that kind of mileage, 33 - 35mpg is the norm on the highway in the LX cars... I've done it many times in many locations.

     

    I agree you that the Dart has been left for dead.  They need to MCE it soon.  However, the Chrysler 200 seems to have finally gained traction. 

     

    I've driven a number of the FWD vehicles with the 9-speed auto and they finally seem to have the 9-speed auto figured out, but I think they still need to work on throttle control. 

     

    I feel that Sergio is FCA's biggest liability. Period.  His ego and his pet projects are what going to hurt the whole organization.  Alfa is a "nice to have" but not a necessity for paying the bills... but he'll sacrifice the entire organization to save Alfa and Fiat.

    on the vans, like i said, they spent a few months out of production while the factory was retooled for the next gen.  they just came back online late last month.  The local dealerships haven't had any minivans to sell for a few months now and probably will not get any for a month or so longer.   that is the single and whole reason why their sales have dropped so much.  otherwise they are still competitive with good room, nice interiors, great powertrains and features such as blue-ray and class exclusive stow and go seating.  I also like the fact they haven't went swoopy "yet" and still look like a proper van. 

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    I see that they were out of production for a bit... but I still feel that they've fallen too far behind.  Aside from some minor visual updates, it is an 8 year old vehicle now. 

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    True, but most vehicles realistically have a 10 year lifespan.  5 years, then was is really a major refresh for the next 5.  They got a very major refresh in 11, though the exterior was more refined than all new. 

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    Good point. Some folks DO seem to put a bit of emphasis on fleet sales as a percentage of overall numbers. Good to know!

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      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 5 percent year over year in the month. The brand introduced new special-edition Night packages for Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show in February. The new Night editions further expand the Ram factory-custom truck family from the half-ton Ram 1500 announced in September 2016 to the brand’s three-quarter and one-ton models. Production of the 2017 Ram HD Night models began in early February.
       
      Dodge Brand
      The Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, and Dodge Viper each posted sales gains in February, led by the Journey’s 55 percent year-over-year increase. The Challenger turned in a 19 percent increase, while Viper sales were up 23 percent in the month. The Dodge brand unveiled the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV – at last month’s 2017 Chicago Auto Show. In addition, Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com announced at the show that the Grand Caravan earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the minivan category for the third time in four years. The awards honor the vehicles and brands (luxury and non-luxury) with the lowest projected ownership costs, based on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Three Jeep brand models recorded sales increases in February. Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – and the Jeep Renegade posted 11 percent year-over-year sales increases. In addition, the Jeep Wrangler logged a 2 percent increase in February. Jeep brand retail sales were up year over year in February. The latest Wrangler – the new 2017Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon – debuted at the Chicago Auto Show last month, featuring improved off-road prowess with a stronger front axle, enhanced rock rails and heavy-duty cast differential covers. Also last month, KBB.com announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the Mid-size SUV/Crossover category for a third-consecutive year.
       
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 1 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the new Fiat 124 Spider were up 26 percent compared with the previous month of January. The 124 Spider was named in February as one of the Best Cars for the Money in the Sports Car category by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, according to the valuation experts at Hagerty, is one of 10 vehicles this year that stand out as the likeliest to grow in value and appeal to classic car enthusiasts. That puts the 124 Spider Abarth on the “Hagerty Hot List” for 2017. 
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up in its second month of year-over-year comparisons, and increased 36 percent compared with sales in the previous month of January. The Pacifica continues to earn a plethora of awards and accolades in 2017. In February, the Pacifica was named Best Minivan for the Money by U.S. News & World Report, 2017 Family Vehicle of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and MotorWeek’s 2017 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Minivan. The Chrysler 300 full-size sedan turned in a 2 percent year-over-year increase in February.
        
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 443 units were up 843 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Maserati Brand
      Maserati brand sales of 1,087 units were up 49 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      U.S. Sales Summary February 2017
                Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      2,737
      8,893
      -69%
      5,901
      15,164
      -61%
      Patriot
      5,512
      11,363
      -51%
      10,212
      19,947
      -49%
      Wrangler
      13,641
      13,349
      2%
      24,975
      24,336
      3%
      Cherokee
      13,615
      15,353
      -11%
      26,166
      32,136
      -19%
      Grand Cherokee
      18,925
      16,990
      11%
      36,226
      30,965
      17%
      Renegade
      7,915
      7,115
      11%
      17,280
      13,282
      30%
      JEEP BRAND
      62,345
      73,063
      -15%
      120,760
      135,830
      -11%
      200
      2,194
      6,259
      -65%
      4,055
      10,944
      -63%
      300
      5,386
      5,304
      2%
      10,094
      10,969
      -8%
      Town & Country
      108
      11,645
      -99%
      246
      23,028
      -99%
      Pacifica
      9,042
      71
      New
      15,712
      110
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,730
      23,279
      -28%
      30,107
      45,051
      -33%
      Dart
      1,683
      5,824
      -71%
      3,080
      11,104
      -72%
      Avenger
      0
      6
      -100%
      0
      15
      -100%
      Charger
      6,930
      8,765
      -21%
      14,083
      17,547
      -20%
      Challenger
      6,107
      5,142
      19%
      9,500
      10,803
      -12%
      Viper
      54
      44
      23%
      107
      72
      49%
      Journey
      9,906
      6,375
      55%
      22,542
      17,961
      26%
      Caravan
      13,682
      13,978
      -2%
      24,452
      24,933
      -2%
      Durango
      5,516
      6,851
      -19%
      10,223
      12,852
      -20%
      DODGE  BRAND
      43,878
      46,985
      -7%
      83,987
      95,287
      -12%
      Ram P/U
      39,046
      37,087
      5%
      72,815
      69,651
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      2
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      2,648
      2,697
      -2%
      5,999
      5,039
      19%
      ProMaster City
      1,091
      1,509
      -28%
      2,016
      2,665
      -24%
      RAM BRAND
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
      Giulia
      412
      0
      New
      482
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      31
      47
      -34%
      69
      115
      -40%
      ALFA BRAND
      443
      47
      843%
      551
      115
      379%
      500
      1,131
      1,120
      1%
      2,349
      2,101
      12%
      500L
      72
      370
      -81%
      178
      727
      -76%
      500X
      640
      1,161
      -45%
      1,240
      2,202
      -44%
      Spider
      302
      0
      New
      542
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,145
      2,651
      -19%
      4,309
      5,030
      -14%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      168,326
      187,318
      -10%
      320,544
      358,670
      -11%
          Total Car & MPV
      47,134
      58,575
      -20%
      84,949
      112,468
      -24%
          Total UV's
      78,407
      87,450
      -10%
      154,765
      168,845
      -8%
          Total Truck & LCV
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,087
      728
      49%
      1,976
      1,253
      58%

    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports January 2017 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand up 5 percent; pickup truck posts 4 percent increase Three Jeep® brand vehicles record sales increases in January; Jeep Renegade sales up 52 percent Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 24 percent in January Fiat 500 sales up 24 percent compared with same month a year go February 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -  FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 152,218 units, an 11 percent decrease compared with sales in January 2016 (171,352 units).
       
      In January, fleet sales of 42,868 units were down 31 percent year over year as FCA US continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 28 percent of total FCA US sales in January. FCA US retail sales of 109,350 units were flat for the month, and represented 72 percent of total January sales.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales increased 5 percent in January, compared with the same month a year ago, as the pickup truck posted a 4 percent sales gain. Three Jeep® brand models recorded increases in January, led by a 52 percent increase in Jeep Renegade sales. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s volume leader in January, were up 24 percent for the month. Sales of the Dodge Journey mid-size crossover were up 9 percent, while Fiat 500 sales grew 24 percent year over year.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 4 percent in January, compared with the same month in 2016. In addition, the Ram ProMaster van turned in a strong 43 percent sales gain. Ram Truck brand sales were up 5 percent year over year in January. At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in January, the brand introduced a special edition of the popular Ram 1500 Rebel – the Rebel Black. The Ram Rebel Black special edition traces its origin to one of the truck brand’s fastest-selling off-road powerhouses, adapting dark features as a design component. The package is offered with all available Rebel colors, adding black wheels, brush guard and theme-matched all-black interior.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Three Jeep brand models posted sales increases in January, led by the Jeep Renegade and its 52 percent year-over-year sales gain. The Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – recorded a 24 percent sales increase in January. The Jeep Wrangler logged a January increase as well. Last month, FCA US confirmed the addition of new models to the award-winning Jeep lineup – an all-new Jeep pickup truck and the storied Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. These actions are planned to be completed by 2020.
       
      FIAT Brand
      The Fiat 500 recorded a 24 percent sales increase in January compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat 124 Spider was named “Best New Convertible” of 2017 by the experts at Cars.com. The all-new Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.
       
      Dodge Brand
      Two Dodge brand vehicles recorded sales gains in January. The Dodge Journey mid-size crossover turned in a 9 percent increase, while Dodge Viper sales were up 89 percent. The Dodge brand announced in January that its new ultimate performance halo – the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – will be unveiled during the New York International Auto Show week in April.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan in 2016 – were up in its first month of year-over-year comparisons. Cars.com editors named the Pacifica the “Best of 2017” at their annual 2017 Best of Awards show hosted in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show. The Pacifica also was named the 2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by a panel of automotive experts last month at the auto show. The award is unique and considered by many to be one of the world’s most prestigious based on its diverse mix of automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada who serve as the voting jurors.
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 108 units were up 59 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Maserati Brand1
      Maserati brand sales of 889 units were up 69 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
      U.S. Sales Summary January 2017
                          Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
        Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
        Compass
      3,164
      6,271
      -50%
      3,164
      6,271
      -50%
        Patriot
      4,700
      8,584
      -45%
      4,700
      8,584
      -45%
        Wrangler
      11,334
      10,987
      3%
      11,334
      10,987
      3%
        Cherokee
      12,551
      16,783
      -25%
      12,551
      16,783
      -25%
        Grand Cherokee
      17,301
      13,975
      24%
      17,301
      13,975
      24%
        Renegade
      9,365
      6,167
      52%
      9,365
      6,167
      52%
        JEEP BRAND
      58,415
      62,767
      -7%
      58,415
      62,767
      -7%
        200
      1,861
      4,685
      -60%
      1,861
      4,685
      -60%
        300
      4,708
      5,665
      -17%
      4,708
      5,665
      -17%
        Town & Country
      138
      11,383
      -99%
      138
      11,383
      -99%
        Pacifica
      6,670
      39
      New
      6,670
      39
      New
        CHRYSLER BRAND
      13,377
      21,772
      -39%
      13,377
      21,772
      -39%
        Dart
      1,397
      5,280
      -74%
      1,397
      5,280
      -74%
        Avenger
      0
      9
      -100%
      0
      9
      -100%
        Charger
      7,153
      8,782
      -19%
      7,153
      8,782
      -19%
        Challenger
      3,393
      5,661
      -40%
      3,393
      5,661
      -40%
        Viper
      53
      28
      89%
      53
      28
      89%
        Journey
      12,636
      11,586
      9%
      12,636
      11,586
      9%
        Caravan
      10,770
      10,955
      -2%
      10,770
      10,955
      -2%
        Durango
      4,707
      6,001
      -22%
      4,707
      6,001
      -22%
        DODGE  BRAND
      40,109
      48,302
      -17%
      40,109
      48,302
      -17%
        Ram P/U
      33,769
      32,564
      4%
      33,769
      32,564
      4%
        Cargo Van
      0
      2
      -100%
      0
      2
      -100%
        ProMaster Van
      3,351
      2,342
      43%
      3,351
      2,342
      43%
        ProMaster City
      925
      1,156
      -20%
      925
      1,156
      -20%
        RAM BRAND
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
        Giulia
      70
      0
      New
      70
      0
      New
        Alfa 4C 
      38
      68
      -44%
      38
      68
      -44%
        ALFA BRAND
      108
      68
      59%
      108
      68
      59%
        500
      1,218
      981
      24%
      1,218
      981
      24%
        500L
      106
      357
      -70%
      106
      357
      -70%
        500X
      600
      1,041
      -42%
      600
      1,041
      -42%
        Spider
      240
      0
      New
      240
      0
      New
        FIAT BRAND
      2,164
      2,379
      -9%
      2,164
      2,379
      -9%
        TOTAL FCA US LLC
      152,218
      171,352
      -11%
      152,218
      171,352
      -11%
            Total Car & MPV
      37,815
      53,893
      -30%
      37,815
      53,893
      -30%
            Total UV's
      76,358
      81,395
      -6%
      76,358
      81,395
      -6%
            Total Truck & LCV
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
                        MASERATI BRAND
      889
      525
      69%
      889
      525
      69%
                      [1] The Maserati Brand is distributed in the United States by Maserati North America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. All other brands listed in this release are distributed by FCA US LLC.
    • By William Maley
      Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well.
      The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed.  You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well.  Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp.  Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top.   
      Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel
      Year: 2016
      Make: Ram Trucks
      Model: 1500 Crew Cab
      Trim: Laramie Longhorn
      Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600
      Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $52,365
      As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00
      4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00
      Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00
      Convenience Group - $495.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $280.00
      Cold Weather Group - $235.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well.
      The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed.  You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well.  Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp.  Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top.   
      Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel
      Year: 2016
      Make: Ram Trucks
      Model: 1500 Crew Cab
      Trim: Laramie Longhorn
      Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600
      Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $52,365
      As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00
      4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00
      Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00
      Convenience Group - $495.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $280.00
      Cold Weather Group - $235.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      2018 was going to be the year that Ram Trucks would introduce redesigned versions of their light and heavy-duty trucks using a new platform known as DT. But it seems the light-duty truck will be the only one riding on this new platform as the redesign for heavy-duty model has been pushed back.
      Sources tell Automotive News that Ram will be refreshing the current heavy-duty truck for 2018. It is unknown when Ram will actually introduce the redesigned version using the new platform. 
      Why is Ram switching to a refresh of the current heavy-duty truck? It comes down to money. At the moment, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has nearly $7 billion in net debt at the end of third quarter. CEO Sergio Marchionne is trying to reduce this massive debt before he retires in 2018. This means a number of projects FCA is working on have been delayed in an effort to conserve cash.
      This is the case for Ram and their heavy-duty trucks. Currently, FCA only has one plant building heavy-duty trucks in Saltillo, Mexico. By taking the plant offline for a few months for retooling to build the redesigned truck, this could cause a shortage of the current-generation trucks for dealers. Going with a refresh allows Ram to continue an uninterrupted supply of trucks.
      But there comes a problem for Ram going with a refresh. Both Ford and General Motors have introduced revised versions of their heavy-duty trucks that boast better towing numbers and fuel economy.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

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