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Found 148 results

  1. FCA US LLC Reports May 2015 U.S. Sales Increased 4 Percent; Best May Sales Since 2005 62nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Sales exceed 200,000 units; first time since March 2007 Jeep® brand sales up 13 percent; best monthly sales ever Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler record their best monthly sales ever Chrysler 200 sales up 537 percent; best monthly sales ever Dodge Challenger sales increase 29 percent; best monthly sales ever Seven FCA US vehicles post sales records in May June 2, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 202,227 units, a 4 percent increase compared with sales in May 2014 (194,421 units), and the group’s best May sales since 2005. The Chrysler, Jeep ® and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Chrysler brand’s 32 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand during the month. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 62-consecutive months. “Our Jeep brand continues to set records with its best monthly sales ever in May, helping us to achieve our 62nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Despite one less industry selling day this May versus a year ago, we posted a 4 percent sales gain and exceeded the 200,000-unit threshold for the first time since March 2007.” Seven FCA US vehicles set records in the month of May, including the Chrysler 200 which recorded its best monthly sales ever. Sales of the 200 were up 537 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago. The new 200 had the largest percentage increase of any FCA US vehicle in May. Likewise, the all-new Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler, and the Dodge Challenger each posted their best monthly sales ever. In addition, the Jeep Patriot, Ram ProMaster van, and Dodge Dart logged their best sales in the month of May. FCA US finished the month of May with a 69-day supply of inventory (540,509 units). U.S. industry sales figures for May are internally projected at an estimated 17.9 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 32 percent, the brand’s best May sales since 2008 and its 11th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 200 increased 537 percent in May, the mid-size sedan’s best monthly sales ever and the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any FCA US vehicle in the month. It was the ninth-consecutive month that the 200 logged record sales, topping its previous all-time monthly record in March of this year. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales increased 13 percent, the brand’s best monthly sales ever and its 20th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month dating back to November 2013. Three Jeep brand vehicles set records in May. The Cherokee and Wrangler each recorded their best sales months ever, while the Patriot logged its best sales in the month of May. With its 16 percent increase, the Wrangler topped 20,000 units for the first time. The Patriot’s 31 percent year-over-year increase was the largest sales percentage gain of any Jeep brand model for the month. The all-new Jeep Renegade, the most capable small sport utility vehicle (SUV), had sales of 4,416 units in its second full month of sales, up 5 percent compared with sales in the previous month of April. The Renegade in May was selected by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com (www.kbb.com) for its annual list of the “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.” The Jeep Grand Cherokee had its best May sales since the year 2000. Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup truck, Ram ProMaster, Ram ProMaster City, and Ram Cargo Van, were up 12 percent, the brand’s best May sales since 2005. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 8 percent in May, the pickup’s best May sales in 11 years. Sales of the Ram ProMaster van increased 146 percent, its best May sales since the full-size van was launched in October 2013. FIAT Brand Sales of the all-new 2016 Fiat 500X began in May as the first vehicles began to arrive in FIAT studios. The 500X combines iconic Italian style with functionality, performance and available all-wheel-drive confidence. The vehicle is available in five trim levels. The base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Fiat 500X starts at $20,000 (excluding a destination charge of $900). FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500 and 500L, were down 19 percent in May, compared with the same month a year ago. The 500 was selected in May by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com as one of its “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.” Dodge Brand Sales of the Challenger increased 29 percent in May, the muscle car’s best monthly sales ever. Dart sales were up slightly year-over-year as the compact sedan posted its best ever sales in the month of May. Dodge Durango sales edged up slightly for its best May sales since 2005. Dodge brand sales were down 22 percent in May, compared with the same month a year ago, due in large part to model changeover at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, where the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are built. The plant resumed production of Grand Caravans in late May.
  2. You would think that with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Terrain and refreshed Toyota Tacoma, the likes of Ford and Ram would be getting in the midsize truck action. But Ram boss Bob Hegbloom can't make it work for the brand. The problem according to Automotive News is the price of higher fuel economy. Hegbloom explained that back in the heyday of midsize trucks - the 1980's - consumers bought them because they were considerably smaller, less expensive, and boasted impressive fuel economy. Although midsize trucks had less capability than their full-size compatriots, consumers didn't mind. "When you look at those four factors, that's truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for. I've been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four -- and even with what's out there on the market today, I haven't seen anyone who can deliver on all four," said Hegbloom. To Hegbloom, a midsize truck from Ram would have to achieve 35 MPG on the highway. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can achieve 29 MPG on the highway. "If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you're going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You're also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you're going to raise the price," said Hegbloom. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  3. You would think that with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Terrain and refreshed Toyota Tacoma, the likes of Ford and Ram would be getting in the midsize truck action. But Ram boss Bob Hegbloom can't make it work for the brand. The problem according to Automotive News is the price of higher fuel economy. Hegbloom explained that back in the heyday of midsize trucks - the 1980's - consumers bought them because they were considerably smaller, less expensive, and boasted impressive fuel economy. Although midsize trucks had less capability than their full-size compatriots, consumers didn't mind. "When you look at those four factors, that's truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for. I've been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four -- and even with what's out there on the market today, I haven't seen anyone who can deliver on all four," said Hegbloom. To Hegbloom, a midsize truck from Ram would have to achieve 35 MPG on the highway. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can achieve 29 MPG on the highway. "If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you're going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You're also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you're going to raise the price," said Hegbloom. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. Previously, the market for vans was stagnate. Old models paired with poor optimism in the business world made vans appealing as cold liver and onions. But Bloomberg reports that vans are making a comeback. Data from Edmunds shows that van sales by unit have more than double in the past five years, outpacing the pace set by the auto industry overall. More surprising is that in the first quarter, sales of vans climbed another third. If this growth trend continues, its expected that 475,000 vans will be sold in the year. So what is causing this explosion in van sales? Two factors. First are new vans arriving in showrooms. Ford. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Ram have introduced new vans that are more efficient and boast more space. "The big trend that we’ve seen is customers being able to right-size their vehicle for the job that they need. We had a show where we had the Mustang GT500 and the conversion van, and the van actually drew as much attention,” said Yaro Hetman, the brand manager for the Transit. Secondly is the resurgent of specific jobs; skill trades, deliveries, and transportation. The National Federation of Independent Business says the optimism in business has been growing in the past few years. With this increased optimism, comes sales. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  5. Previously, the market for vans was stagnate. Old models paired with poor optimism in the business world made vans appealing as cold liver and onions. But Bloomberg reports that vans are making a comeback. Data from Edmunds shows that van sales by unit have more than double in the past five years, outpacing the pace set by the auto industry overall. More surprising is that in the first quarter, sales of vans climbed another third. If this growth trend continues, its expected that 475,000 vans will be sold in the year. So what is causing this explosion in van sales? Two factors. First are new vans arriving in showrooms. Ford. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Ram have introduced new vans that are more efficient and boast more space. "The big trend that we’ve seen is customers being able to right-size their vehicle for the job that they need. We had a show where we had the Mustang GT500 and the conversion van, and the van actually drew as much attention,” said Yaro Hetman, the brand manager for the Transit. Secondly is the resurgent of specific jobs; skill trades, deliveries, and transportation. The National Federation of Independent Business says the optimism in business has been growing in the past few years. With this increased optimism, comes sales. Source: Bloomberg
  6. FCA US LLC Reports April 2015 U.S. Sales Increased 6 Percent; Best April Sales Since 2007 61st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Jeep® brand sales up 20 percent; best monthly sales ever Jeep Cherokee sales increase 27 percent; best monthly sales ever Dodge Challenger sales up 32 percent; best monthly sales ever Nine FCA US vehicles post sales records in April May 1, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 189,027 units, a 6 percent increase compared with sales in April 2014 (178,652 units), and the group’s best April sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Jeep® and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in April compared with the same month a year ago. The Chrysler brand’s 26 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand during the month. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 61-consecutive months. “We launched the spring selling season with nine vehicle sales records and a 6 percent year-over-year increase that extends our sales streak to 61-consecutive months of sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our all-new Jeep Renegade small SUV is off to an exceptional start with more than 4,200 units sold in its first full month in the market helping to propel our Jeep brand to its best monthly sales ever.” Nine FCA US vehicles set records in the month of April, including the Dodge Challenger, which posted its best monthly sales ever. Challenger sales were up 32 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago. Likewise, the all-new Jeep Cherokee had its best monthly sales ever last month with its 27 percent increase. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, Dodge Journey, Ram pickup truck and Ram ProMaster each recorded their best April sales ever. The 200 mid-size sedan achieved its record with a 348 percent year-over-year increase, the largest percentage increase of any FCA US vehicle in April. FCA US finished the month of April with a 78-day supply of inventory (567,761 units). U.S. industry sales figures for April are internally projected at an estimated 17.0 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales increased 26 percent, the brand’s best April sales since 2013 and its 10th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 200 were up 348 percent in April, the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of April and the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any FCA US vehicle in the month. It was the eight-consecutive month that the 200 logged record sales, including its all-time sales record in March of this year. The all-new 200 was named “Car of the Year” in April by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) association. Also in April, the new Chrysler 300C Platinum made Ward’s prestigious 10 Best Interiors List for 2015. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 20 percent, the brand’s best monthly sales ever and its 19th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month dating back to November 2013. Three Jeep brand vehicles set records in April. The Cherokee’s 27 percent increase resulted in its best monthly sales ever. The Wrangler and Patriot each logged their best ever sales in the month of April. With its 27 percent year-over-year increase, the new Cherokee had the largest sales percentage gain of any Jeep model for the month. The all-new Jeep Renegade, the most capable small sport utility vehicle (SUV), recorded 4,214 units sold in its first full month of sales. The Renegade picked up a major award in its first full month in the market. The Renegade was named to the Ward’s 10 Best Interiors List for 2015 last month by editors of WardsAuto.com. In addition, the Renegade was named Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year and winner of the Compact Utility category in last month’s 21st-annual “Mudfest” competition hosted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA). The Cherokee was voted winner of the Family Utility class in the same competition. Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup truck, Ram ProMaster, Ram ProMaster City, and Ram Cargo Van, were up 4 percent, the brand’s best April sales since 2005. Sales of the Ram ProMaster increased 43 percent, the full-size van’s best April sales since the vehicle was launched in October 2013. Sales of the Ram ProMaster City, which went on sale in January, continued to ramp up as greater volumes of the compact van arrived at Ram dealerships. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 3 percent in April, the pickup’s best ever sales in the month of April. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was named “Truck of the Year” last month by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) association and was winner in the Pickups category at last month’s “Mudfest” competition hosted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA). The Ram Power Wagon was voted winner of the Extreme Capability category at Mudfest. FIAT Brand Sales of the Fiat 500L were flat in April, compared with the same month a year ago. FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500 and 500L, were down 13 percent in April. Just in time for the spring and summer top-down driving season, the FIAT brand introduced in April the new Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio. This new addition to the FIAT brand product lineup offers vintage Italian styling with open-air driving excitement, starting at $24,700 U.S. MSRP. Dodge Brand Sales of the Challenger were up 32 percent in April, the muscle car’s best monthly sales ever. The Dart posted its best ever sales in the month of April. Sales of the Dart were up 42 percent, the largest percentage sales gain of any Dodge brand vehicle in April. The Charger posted a 12 percent increase for its best April sales in seven years. Dodge brand sales were down 16 percent in April, compared with the same month a year ago, due in large part to model changeover at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, where the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are built.
  7. FCA US LLC Reports February 2015 U.S. Sales Increased 6 Percent; Best February Sales Since 2007 59th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Jeep brand records best February sales ever; Jeep Patriot records best sales month ever Dodge Challenger sales up 42 percent; best February sales ever Chrysler 200 sales up 31 percent; best February sales ever Nine FCA US vehicles achieve their best February sales ever March 3, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 163,586 units, a 6 percent increase compared with sales in February 2014 (154,866 units), and the group’s best February sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Jeep®, and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in February compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 21 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand during the month and its best February sales ever. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 59-consecutive months. “In spite of snow and bitter cold that slowed auto sales in many regions of the country, FCA US still turned in a 6 percent sales increase and extended our year-over-year sales streak to 59-consecutive months,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Even with tougher year-over-year sales comparisons in 2015, our vehicle lineup continues to produce record sales results.” Nine FCA US vehicles set records in the month of February, including four of the five Jeep brand vehicles. The Jeep Patriot turned in its best sales month ever, while the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, and Jeep Compass each recorded their best ever sales in the month of February. The Dodge Challenger, Fiat 500L, Chrysler 200, Ram ProMaster, and Ram Cargo Van each recorded their best ever sales in the month of February. FCA US finished the month of February with an 85-day supply of inventory (577,277 units). U.S. industry sales figures for February are internally projected at an estimated 16.5 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 21 percent, the brand’s best sales performance ever in the month of February and its 17th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month dating back to November 2013. Four of the five Jeep brand vehicles turned in sales records during the month. Sales of the Jeep Patriot were up 59 percent in February, the compact SUV’s best sales month ever and largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model. The Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler, and Compass each recorded their best ever sales in the month of February. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 8 percent for its best February sales in nine years. For a third-consecutive year, the Patriot was named the winner of Kelley Blue Book’s lowest 5-Year Cost to Own award in the Compact SUV/Crossover category, while the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited earned the same award in the Mid-size SUV/Crossover segment. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales increased 13 percent, the brand’s best February sales since 2008 and its eighth-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 200 were up 31 percent, the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of February. The 200 was recognized as the Best Family Vehicle by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) during last month’s Chicago Auto Show. MAMA is a nonprofit group of more than 200 automotive journalists and industry professionals who developed the award to help consumers make a wise purchase decision when it is time to shop for a family vehicle. Ram Truck Brand Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 7 percent in February; its 58th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was the pickup truck’s best February sales since 2004. Ram Light Duty pickup sales increased 7 percent in February while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 3 percent. The Ram 1500 was named by U.S. News & World Report last month as its Best Full-size Truck for the Money. In the site’s ranking of vehicle choices, Ram 1500 scored the highest among full-size pickups available to U.S. buyers. Within its class, the Ram 1500 took top honors for its outstanding value and critical acclaim. This is the second year in a row Ram’s half-ton entry has won the award. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram ProMaster, Ram ProMaster City, and Ram Cargo Van, were up 12 percent, the brand’s best February sales since 2007. The ProMaster Van and Ram Cargo Van each recorded their best ever sales in the month of February. The ProMaster City, which went on sale in January, is beginning to arrive in Ram Truck dealerships in greater numbers. FIAT Brand Sales of the Fiat 500L were up 19 percent last month, its best sales ever in the month of February. Sales of the 500L have been up year-over-year for four-consecutive months. FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500 and 500L, were down slightly in February compared with the same month a year ago. The 2016 Fiat 500X crossover, the latest addition to the FIAT lineup, will arrive in FIAT studios in the second quarter of 2015. On the heels of the FIAT brand’s return to Super Bowl advertising, FIAT fans can now configure the all-new crossover at www.fiatusa.com. The FIAT brand is coming off of a record year in 2014. The FIAT brand’s full-year sales were up 7 percent in 2014, compared with sales in 2013. It was the FIAT brand’s best annual sales since the brand was re-introduced in the U.S. in 2011. Dodge Brand Sales of the Dart were up 52 percent, the largest percentage sales gain of any Dodge brand vehicle during the month. The Challenger turned in its best ever February sales with a 42 percent year-over-year sales gain. Dodge brand sales were down 15 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago, due in part to model changeover at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, where the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are built. The new 2015 Dodge Charger last month picked up a Driver’s Choice award for “Best Sports Sedan” from MotorWeek, the automotive television magazine program. Charger sales were up 16 percent in February, its best February sales since 2007.
  8. Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited. Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash. The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels. Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity. “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.” Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.” The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015. Exterior The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome. On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens. The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps. Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name. Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow. The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl. Interior The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them. The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited. Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease. Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction. Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge. The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels. Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair. Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties. New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal. Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited. Other Features Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model.
  9. Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited. Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash. The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels. Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity. “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.” Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.” The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015. Exterior The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome. On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens. The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps. Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name. Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow. The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl. Interior The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them. The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited. Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease. Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction. Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge. The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels. Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair. Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties. New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal. Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited. Other Features Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model. View full article
  10. Next up in the 2014 review wrap-up is sporty cars. Originally I was going to call this sports cars, but only one can be considered it. The other two happen to be sporty takes on standard models. First: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PHRT For an automobile to remain true to its mission for a quarter-of-a-century is an amazing feat. Such is the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. When it first was shown back in 1989, it promised to bring fun and sporty driving that roadsters from the fifties and sixties, but with better reliability. Throughout its three generations, the MX-5 Miata has achieved this, along with a loyal and rabid fan base. With a new MX-5 Miata coming over the horizon, I wanted to give the third-generation model a final spin. Well a 2015 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PHRT arrived for a week to do just that. Mazda decided to stick with the shape from the first-generation MX-5 Miata and make evolutionary changes to it. I think this is a wise decision as you can tell there is a direct lineage from first model to the current one. The front end has a rounded shape and the smiling grille that has been a key part of Mazda’s last-generation designs. There is also a lip spoiler which comes as part of the Grand Touring trim level. Along the side are some the largest wheel flares I have ever come across on a vehicle. Its a nice touch as it makes the Miata that much more distinctive. Now the third-generation Miata is special because it introduced a power hardtop. The hardtop gives the Miata a coupe look when it is up and provides extra sound deadening. Putting the hardtop up or down only takes around ten seconds. One note, the hardtop when folded does take up a majority of trunk space. So pack really lightly if you decide to take a trip in one.Getting inside the Miata is a bit of an acrobatic act as the way you have enter involves folding your legs and then lowering yourself into the seat. Once you are settled in, you feel that you have become one with the vehicle thanks to the low seating position which means all controls are in easy reach. The leather bucket seats provide a multitude of adjustments so you can your find your perfect spot. The dash is nothing fancy with black plastics and aluminum trim which helps reduce distraction while driving. Standard on the Grand Touring is a Bose sound system. The system sounds great when you are puttering along in the city or along a back road. But if you decide to hit the freeway, the sound system has it work cut out as it has to try to drown out an abundance of road noise. Power comes from a 2.0L MZR four-cylinder paired with the optional six-speed automatic. This combination produces 158 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. Go for the six-speed manual on the Grand Touring and it nets you an additional nine horsepower. Those numbers are somewhat worrisome when you also take into account a curb weight of 2,619 pounds for the power hardtop model. But once you slip behind the wheel and get moving, those thoughts of being underpowered wash away. The engine has to be worked to use all that power, but Mazda made sure that you enjoyed doing it by making the engine pop and rev freely, giving you the thoughts of driving a sixties roadster.. The six-speed automatic was very smooth and provided crisp shifts. Fuel economy is rated at 21 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. My week saw an average of 25.1 MPG. Of course the real story of any Miata is its handling. I heard all of the superlatives and cheers about the MX-5 Miata’s handling, and I have to say those claims are very much true. The Miata is a joy around curves as the suspension keeps the vehicle steady and makes sure no body roll makes an entrance. Steering was excellent thanks to the right amount weight and feel. This is a vehicle that wants to be pushed and it rewards you when you decide to. When you decide to drive the Miata on a daily basis, the ride does let in a few bumps. After spending a week with the MX-5 Miata, I was sad to see it go. Mazda has been able to keep the spirit of the original Miata with the third-generation model. With excellent handing characteristics, the addition of a power hardtop, and a design all its own, it shows why the Miata has been able to last as long as it has. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Mazda Model: MX-5 Miata Trim: Grand Touring PHRT Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve VVT Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 158 @ 6700 Torque @ RPM: 140 @ 5000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/23 Curb Weight: 2,619 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $30,550 As Tested Price: $32,735 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $1,390 Next: Ram 1500 R/T The past ten to twenty years in the pickup truck market has seen an explosion in trims and model variations. You can get a standard work truck with the vinyl seats or go all the way for a luxury model with such amenities as heated and cool seats, and dual-zone climate control. But one area in the marketplace that has been neglected for sometime is the sports truck. Models such as the Chevrolet 454SS, Ford Lightning, and Dodge Ram SRT-10 really don’t exist anymore. But Ram wants to let you know that sport truck is still a thing and it comes in the form of 1500 R/T Regular Cab. Ram has got the basics down on the 1500 R/T. The R/T comes when you order the Sport trim level with the standard cab and 6’4” bed. Exterior changes include a blacked-out mesh grille, a new hood with faux air vents, twenty-two inch chrome wheels, and dual exhaust pars. Donning a red paint job, the R/T gives the Ram 1500 a mean look. Inside are a set of bucket seats wrapped in cloth and leather, and dash layout familiar to anyone who has been in a recent Chrysler product. This means an eight-inch screen for the UConnect infotainment system and a compressive gauge package. Getting in truck was a little bit of a hassle as its quite leap to get in. A set of step bars would be nice feature for this truck. But once inside, it was easy to get settled and understand where everything was. Power for the R/T is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired up with an eight-speed automatic. Despite a curb weight of 5,106 pounds, this powertrain is able to get the Ram 1500 moving at a rapid rate. 0-60 will take you around the mid-5 second area. The eight-speed automatic provides lightning fast shifts and keeps the truck in the zone of power. I should also mention the noise of HEMI makes you want to push the go pedal that little more to enjoy the sweet sounds. Don’t expect to win any fuel economy awards though. The 1500 R/T is rated at 15 City/22 Highway/17 Combined. I got 18 MPG during my week. As for the ride, the Ram 1500 R/T has to be one of the smoothest rides I have ever experienced in a truck. Thanks a to multi-link, coil spring setup in the rear, bumps and imperfections were mostly ironed out. Even when the Ram was called in to haul a freezer and a wood lathe, the suspension was able to keep the truck level and provide a comfortable ride. Don’t expect the R/T to be a handling champ. Ram didn’t lower the suspension, which means you’ll have a bit of body roll. Also the steering is a bit slow and somewhat light in feel. But for many buyers, this isn’t a big deal. While the marketplace for sport trucks has dwindled a bit, the 2014 Ram 1500 R/T shows that you can still make a decent case for having a fun truck that can still do its fair share of work. Now if we could only convince them about stuffing the 6.4L HEMI into it… Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500 R/T, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: R/T Engine: 5.7 HEMI V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/22/14 Curb Weight: 5,106 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $35,105 As Tested Price: $38,595 (Includes $1,195 Destination Charge) Options: Uconnect 8.4N AM/FM/BT/ACCESS/NAV - $500.00 Convenience Group - $495.00 Spray-In Bedliner - $475.00 Remote Start and Security Group - $350.00 Class IV Receiver Hitch - $335.00 Rear Sliding Windows - $140.00 Next: Lexus LS 460 F-Sport Most of the luxury manufacturers have a high-performance model of their flagship sedan to entice those who want a bit of sport along with the amenities of a flagship. Mercedes-Benz is the best known with their S-Class AMG models, followed by the Audi S8 and Jaguar XJR. The latest one to join the fun is Lexus with the LS 460 F-Sport. Is it possible for a company known for producing some of the softest and most comfortable vehicles to embrace the sporty side? The LS hasn’t changed much since we last looked at it in our review of the 600h L last year. What has changed is what the F-Sport package adds. Up front, the spindle grille gets a new mesh insert and larger air intakes. A set of nineteen-inch multi-spoke wheels hide a set of large, Brembo brakes. Around back is a new bumper with chrome exhaust ports. These changes do give the LS a sporty outlook. Although, I not sure if red suits LS as it makes it look a bit gangly. White or black suits it much better. Inside is the same as the exterior. The only real changes of note are new brushed aluminum trim pieces, F-Sport embossed seats, and aluminum pedals. The LS is nice place to sit in and the controls are in easy reach. But I think its aging quite fast, especially when you compare it to like of the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Not helping matters is the Remote Touch interface which is slow to react and quite jumpy when moving around. Under the hood, you’ll find a 4.6L V8 with 386 horsepower and 367 pound-feet. Opt for the all-wheel drive model and those numbers drop to 360 and 347 respectively. Whichever way you decide to have your power sent to wheels, an eight-speed automatic is standard. Acceleration is very strong and power comes on very smoothly. However if you were expecting some theatrics from the V8 with loud noises, prepare to disappointed. The only real noticeable change from the standard LS to the F-Sport is new piping to channel some of the engine noise inside. The eight-speed automatic is barely noticeable when it shifts. On the fuel economy front, the LS 460 F-Sport RWD is rated at 16 City/24 Highway/19 Combined. I saw 18.6 MPG during my week. Now the big changes the F-Sport brings to the LS deals with the suspension. The air suspension has been lowered by 20 millimeters and has been tuned for more sporty driving. Other changes include low-profile summer tires and a limited-slip differential. I can say there is a difference when you have the LS in the Sport or Sport+ setting when compared to the LS in normal. The suspension stiffens up a bit and keeps the vehicle stable when you decide to have a bit fun in the curves. However, the steering doesn’t have the weight or feel that is needed for a sporting sedan. It veers more to the light and numbness most owners of the LS are used to. As for day to day duties, the LS 460 F-Sport handles that about as well as a standard LS with a quiet and smooth ride. So the LS 460 F-Sport has shown that Lexus is capable of building sporty flagship up to a point. If they can work on the steering, they might have a real contender on their hands. Maybe that’s for the next-generation model. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LS 460 F-Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: LS Trim: 460 Engine: 4.6L DOHC 32-valve VVT-iE V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 386 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 367 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19 Curb Weight: 4,365 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $72,140 As Tested Price: $88,080 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: F-Sport Package - $8,350.00 F-Sport Comfort Package - $1,650.00 Mark Levinson 19-Speaker Audio System - $1,580.00 Pre-Collision System - $1,500.00 LED Headlamps - $1,450.00 View full article
  11. Next up in the 2014 review wrap-up is sporty cars. Originally I was going to call this sports cars, but only one can be considered it. The other two happen to be sporty takes on standard models. First: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PHRT For an automobile to remain true to its mission for a quarter-of-a-century is an amazing feat. Such is the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. When it first was shown back in 1989, it promised to bring fun and sporty driving that roadsters from the fifties and sixties, but with better reliability. Throughout its three generations, the MX-5 Miata has achieved this, along with a loyal and rabid fan base. With a new MX-5 Miata coming over the horizon, I wanted to give the third-generation model a final spin. Well a 2015 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PHRT arrived for a week to do just that. Mazda decided to stick with the shape from the first-generation MX-5 Miata and make evolutionary changes to it. I think this is a wise decision as you can tell there is a direct lineage from first model to the current one. The front end has a rounded shape and the smiling grille that has been a key part of Mazda’s last-generation designs. There is also a lip spoiler which comes as part of the Grand Touring trim level. Along the side are some the largest wheel flares I have ever come across on a vehicle. Its a nice touch as it makes the Miata that much more distinctive. Now the third-generation Miata is special because it introduced a power hardtop. The hardtop gives the Miata a coupe look when it is up and provides extra sound deadening. Putting the hardtop up or down only takes around ten seconds. One note, the hardtop when folded does take up a majority of trunk space. So pack really lightly if you decide to take a trip in one.Getting inside the Miata is a bit of an acrobatic act as the way you have enter involves folding your legs and then lowering yourself into the seat. Once you are settled in, you feel that you have become one with the vehicle thanks to the low seating position which means all controls are in easy reach. The leather bucket seats provide a multitude of adjustments so you can your find your perfect spot. The dash is nothing fancy with black plastics and aluminum trim which helps reduce distraction while driving. Standard on the Grand Touring is a Bose sound system. The system sounds great when you are puttering along in the city or along a back road. But if you decide to hit the freeway, the sound system has it work cut out as it has to try to drown out an abundance of road noise. Power comes from a 2.0L MZR four-cylinder paired with the optional six-speed automatic. This combination produces 158 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. Go for the six-speed manual on the Grand Touring and it nets you an additional nine horsepower. Those numbers are somewhat worrisome when you also take into account a curb weight of 2,619 pounds for the power hardtop model. But once you slip behind the wheel and get moving, those thoughts of being underpowered wash away. The engine has to be worked to use all that power, but Mazda made sure that you enjoyed doing it by making the engine pop and rev freely, giving you the thoughts of driving a sixties roadster.. The six-speed automatic was very smooth and provided crisp shifts. Fuel economy is rated at 21 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. My week saw an average of 25.1 MPG. Of course the real story of any Miata is its handling. I heard all of the superlatives and cheers about the MX-5 Miata’s handling, and I have to say those claims are very much true. The Miata is a joy around curves as the suspension keeps the vehicle steady and makes sure no body roll makes an entrance. Steering was excellent thanks to the right amount weight and feel. This is a vehicle that wants to be pushed and it rewards you when you decide to. When you decide to drive the Miata on a daily basis, the ride does let in a few bumps. After spending a week with the MX-5 Miata, I was sad to see it go. Mazda has been able to keep the spirit of the original Miata with the third-generation model. With excellent handing characteristics, the addition of a power hardtop, and a design all its own, it shows why the Miata has been able to last as long as it has. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Mazda Model: MX-5 Miata Trim: Grand Touring PHRT Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve VVT Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 158 @ 6700 Torque @ RPM: 140 @ 5000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/23 Curb Weight: 2,619 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $30,550 As Tested Price: $32,735 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $1,390 Next: Ram 1500 R/T The past ten to twenty years in the pickup truck market has seen an explosion in trims and model variations. You can get a standard work truck with the vinyl seats or go all the way for a luxury model with such amenities as heated and cool seats, and dual-zone climate control. But one area in the marketplace that has been neglected for sometime is the sports truck. Models such as the Chevrolet 454SS, Ford Lightning, and Dodge Ram SRT-10 really don’t exist anymore. But Ram wants to let you know that sport truck is still a thing and it comes in the form of 1500 R/T Regular Cab. Ram has got the basics down on the 1500 R/T. The R/T comes when you order the Sport trim level with the standard cab and 6’4” bed. Exterior changes include a blacked-out mesh grille, a new hood with faux air vents, twenty-two inch chrome wheels, and dual exhaust pars. Donning a red paint job, the R/T gives the Ram 1500 a mean look. Inside are a set of bucket seats wrapped in cloth and leather, and dash layout familiar to anyone who has been in a recent Chrysler product. This means an eight-inch screen for the UConnect infotainment system and a compressive gauge package. Getting in truck was a little bit of a hassle as its quite leap to get in. A set of step bars would be nice feature for this truck. But once inside, it was easy to get settled and understand where everything was. Power for the R/T is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired up with an eight-speed automatic. Despite a curb weight of 5,106 pounds, this powertrain is able to get the Ram 1500 moving at a rapid rate. 0-60 will take you around the mid-5 second area. The eight-speed automatic provides lightning fast shifts and keeps the truck in the zone of power. I should also mention the noise of HEMI makes you want to push the go pedal that little more to enjoy the sweet sounds. Don’t expect to win any fuel economy awards though. The 1500 R/T is rated at 15 City/22 Highway/17 Combined. I got 18 MPG during my week. As for the ride, the Ram 1500 R/T has to be one of the smoothest rides I have ever experienced in a truck. Thanks a to multi-link, coil spring setup in the rear, bumps and imperfections were mostly ironed out. Even when the Ram was called in to haul a freezer and a wood lathe, the suspension was able to keep the truck level and provide a comfortable ride. Don’t expect the R/T to be a handling champ. Ram didn’t lower the suspension, which means you’ll have a bit of body roll. Also the steering is a bit slow and somewhat light in feel. But for many buyers, this isn’t a big deal. While the marketplace for sport trucks has dwindled a bit, the 2014 Ram 1500 R/T shows that you can still make a decent case for having a fun truck that can still do its fair share of work. Now if we could only convince them about stuffing the 6.4L HEMI into it… Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500 R/T, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: R/T Engine: 5.7 HEMI V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/22/14 Curb Weight: 5,106 lbs Location of Manufacture: Saltillo, Mexico Base Price: $35,105 As Tested Price: $38,595 (Includes $1,195 Destination Charge) Options: Uconnect 8.4N AM/FM/BT/ACCESS/NAV - $500.00 Convenience Group - $495.00 Spray-In Bedliner - $475.00 Remote Start and Security Group - $350.00 Class IV Receiver Hitch - $335.00 Rear Sliding Windows - $140.00 Next: Lexus LS 460 F-Sport Most of the luxury manufacturers have a high-performance model of their flagship sedan to entice those who want a bit of sport along with the amenities of a flagship. Mercedes-Benz is the best known with their S-Class AMG models, followed by the Audi S8 and Jaguar XJR. The latest one to join the fun is Lexus with the LS 460 F-Sport. Is it possible for a company known for producing some of the softest and most comfortable vehicles to embrace the sporty side? The LS hasn’t changed much since we last looked at it in our review of the 600h L last year. What has changed is what the F-Sport package adds. Up front, the spindle grille gets a new mesh insert and larger air intakes. A set of nineteen-inch multi-spoke wheels hide a set of large, Brembo brakes. Around back is a new bumper with chrome exhaust ports. These changes do give the LS a sporty outlook. Although, I not sure if red suits LS as it makes it look a bit gangly. White or black suits it much better. Inside is the same as the exterior. The only real changes of note are new brushed aluminum trim pieces, F-Sport embossed seats, and aluminum pedals. The LS is nice place to sit in and the controls are in easy reach. But I think its aging quite fast, especially when you compare it to like of the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Not helping matters is the Remote Touch interface which is slow to react and quite jumpy when moving around. Under the hood, you’ll find a 4.6L V8 with 386 horsepower and 367 pound-feet. Opt for the all-wheel drive model and those numbers drop to 360 and 347 respectively. Whichever way you decide to have your power sent to wheels, an eight-speed automatic is standard. Acceleration is very strong and power comes on very smoothly. However if you were expecting some theatrics from the V8 with loud noises, prepare to disappointed. The only real noticeable change from the standard LS to the F-Sport is new piping to channel some of the engine noise inside. The eight-speed automatic is barely noticeable when it shifts. On the fuel economy front, the LS 460 F-Sport RWD is rated at 16 City/24 Highway/19 Combined. I saw 18.6 MPG during my week. Now the big changes the F-Sport brings to the LS deals with the suspension. The air suspension has been lowered by 20 millimeters and has been tuned for more sporty driving. Other changes include low-profile summer tires and a limited-slip differential. I can say there is a difference when you have the LS in the Sport or Sport+ setting when compared to the LS in normal. The suspension stiffens up a bit and keeps the vehicle stable when you decide to have a bit fun in the curves. However, the steering doesn’t have the weight or feel that is needed for a sporting sedan. It veers more to the light and numbness most owners of the LS are used to. As for day to day duties, the LS 460 F-Sport handles that about as well as a standard LS with a quiet and smooth ride. So the LS 460 F-Sport has shown that Lexus is capable of building sporty flagship up to a point. If they can work on the steering, they might have a real contender on their hands. Maybe that’s for the next-generation model. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LS 460 F-Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: LS Trim: 460 Engine: 4.6L DOHC 32-valve VVT-iE V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 386 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 367 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19 Curb Weight: 4,365 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $72,140 As Tested Price: $88,080 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: F-Sport Package - $8,350.00 F-Sport Comfort Package - $1,650.00 Mark Levinson 19-Speaker Audio System - $1,580.00 Pre-Collision System - $1,500.00 LED Headlamps - $1,450.00
  12. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com Syracuse Utah found itself in the news today about a auto chase through Founders Park. A 14yr old took his grandfathers Hyundai Veloster out for a joyride. Bryson Rowley, concerned for his and others children's safety used his Diesel Ram to keep the Juvenal from causing anymore harm by ramming head on into the car. luckily no one was hurt by the fast driven auto nor in the head on collision that took place. The following video was posted online for people to see of the chase and hit. You can watch the police raw footage and extended video coverage at Fox's web site. This information was attained via local Fox13 news.
  13. FCA US LLC Reports December 2014 U.S. Sales Increased 20 Percent – Best December Sales in a Decade; Full-Year Sales Up 16 Percent – Strongest Annual Sales Since 2006 57th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Annual U.S. sales top 2 million units; best full-year sales since 2006 Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales gains in December compared with same month a year ago Jeep brand records best ever December and annual sales Chrysler 200 sales up 187 percent; best December sales ever Ram pickup truck sales up 32 percent; best December sales ever FIAT brand posts best ever annual sales Eleven FCA US vehicles set sales records in December January 5, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 193,261 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in December 2013 (161,007 units), and the group’s best December sales since 2004. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in December compared with the same month a year ago. The Chrysler brand’s 53 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand and the brand’s best December sales since 2007. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 57 consecutive months. “Our best December sales in a decade pushed our full-year sales over the 2-million unit threshold for our best annual sales since 2006,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Last year marked our fifth consecutive year of annual sales growth in the U.S., and once again, we were the fastest-growing automaker in the country.” Eleven FCA US vehicles set records in the month of December, including all three Ram Truck brand and three Jeep brand vehicles. The Ram pickup truck, Ram ProMaster and Ram Cargo Van each logged their best ever December sales. The Jeep Patriot had its best sales month ever, while the all-new Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler logged their best ever December sales. The Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Journey each posted their best ever sales in the month of December. The Fiat 500L turned in its best sales month since it was launched in June 2013. Full-year FCA US sales were up 16 percent in 2014, compared with annual sales in 2013. This was the company’s fifth consecutive year of annual sales growth. FCA US sales surpassed the 2-million unit threshold in 2014, the company’s best annual sales since 2006. The Jeep and FIAT brands each recorded their best ever annual sales in 2014. FCA US finished the month of December with a 72-day supply of inventory (537,731 units). U.S. industry sales figures for December are internally projected at an estimated 17.3 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 53 percent, the brand’s best December sales since 2007. The brand’s increase was driven by the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Sales of the 200 were up 187 percent; the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of December and its sixth consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. December also was the 200’s best monthly sales performance in 2014. For the second straight month, the 200 outsold combined 200/Dodge Avenger sales from the previous year. Sales of the Town & Country were up 10 percent compared with the same month a year ago. It was the minivan’s best December sales in seven years. Production for the new 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan began in December at the Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant in Canada. The Chrysler brand’s annual sales increased 2 percent, compared with sales in 2013. It was the brand’s best annual sales since 2008. The Town & Country had its best annual sales since 2007. Ram Truck Brand Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 32 percent in December; its 56th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was the pickup truck’s best ever sales for the month of December and its top sales month during 2014. Ram Light Duty pickup sales increased 45 percent in December while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 9 percent. Esquire magazine named the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, America’s most fuel-efficient pickup, its "Truck of the Year" in December. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram ProMaster and Ram Cargo Van, were up 35 percent, the brand’s best December sales in 11 years. December also was the brand’s best sales month of 2014. The ProMaster and the Cargo Van each recorded their best ever sales in the month of December. The Ram Truck brand’s annual sales increased 28 percent in 2014, its best full-year sales since 2005. The pickup truck turned in its best annual sales since 2003. Jeep Brand Jeep brand sales were up 19 percent, the brand’s best sales performance ever in the month of December and its 15th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month this year, including its all-time sales record in May. All five Jeep brand vehicles posted year-over-year sales increases in December. The Patriot logged its best sales month ever, while the Cherokee and Wrangler each recorded their best ever sales in the month of December. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 4 percent, its best December sales in three years. The Compass logged its best December sales since 2006. Full-year Jeep brand sales were up 41 percent, the brand’s best ever annual sales performance. The Jeep brand sold 692,348 units in the U.S. in 2014, handily beating its previous annual record of 554,466 units in 1999. The Compass, Patriot and Wrangler each posted their best ever annual sales in 2014. The flagship Grand Cherokee had its best annual sales performance since 2005. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were up 1 percent, the brand’s best ever sales in the month of December. The brand’s increase was driven by the 4 percent year-over-year increase in Fiat 500L sales. It was the 500L’s best monthly sales since the vehicle was launched in June 2013. The FIAT brand’s full-year sales were up 7 percent, compared with sales in 2013. It was the FIAT brand’s best annual sales since the brand was re-introduced in the U.S. in 2011. Dodge Brand Three Dodge brand vehicles set sales records in December. Sales of the Challenger were up 72 percent, the muscle car’s best ever sales in the month of December and the largest percentage sales gain of any Dodge brand model in the month. Likewise, the Dart and Journey each recorded their best ever sales in the month of December. The all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger earned a five-star overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in December. Five stars is the highest possible safety rating given by NHTSA. Sales of the Durango full-size SUV were up 14 percent, its best December sales since 2005. Dodge brand sales were down 2 percent in December, compared with the same month a year ago. The Dart, Challenger and Journey each posted their best ever annual sales in 2014, while the Durango logged its best annual sales since 2006.
  14. Even though the Ram ProMaster City is hitting dealerships right now, there is already talk of expanding the lineup. Edmunds spoke with Joe Benson, head of Ram's commercial truck operations who hinted that more variations of the ProMaster City could be forthcoming if the demand is there. "When we learn more about our customer needs here, then we can go to that portfolio and bring in what we need, which includes the diesel engine, a short wheelbase, maybe a seven-passenger version. We have that flexibility in the future," said Benson. Other models up for consideration include a high-roof variant and a pickup variant with drop-down sides to access the cargo bed. Benson predicts that sales of compact cargo vans to reach 100,000 units by 2016, a two-fold increase to the 50,000 units predicted for this year. His reasoning comes from owners of the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans looking to get into a new van. Source: Edmunds
  15. Even though the Ram ProMaster City is hitting dealerships right now, there is already talk of expanding the lineup. Edmunds spoke with Joe Benson, head of Ram's commercial truck operations who hinted that more variations of the ProMaster City could be forthcoming if the demand is there. "When we learn more about our customer needs here, then we can go to that portfolio and bring in what we need, which includes the diesel engine, a short wheelbase, maybe a seven-passenger version. We have that flexibility in the future," said Benson. Other models up for consideration include a high-roof variant and a pickup variant with drop-down sides to access the cargo bed. Benson predicts that sales of compact cargo vans to reach 100,000 units by 2016, a two-fold increase to the 50,000 units predicted for this year. His reasoning comes from owners of the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans looking to get into a new van. Source: Edmunds View full article
  16. Chrysler Group LLC Reports November 2014 U.S. Sales Increased 20 Percent; Best November Sales Since 2001 56th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales gains in November compared with same month a year ago Chrysler 200 sales up 155 percent; best November sales ever Ram pickup truck sales up 21 percent; best November sales ever 11 Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in November Jeep brand sales up 27 percent; best ever November sales Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 200, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Durango, and Fiat 500 rated “Best Buys” by leading consumer publications for 2015 model year December 2, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 170,839 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in November 2013 (142,275 units), and the group’s best November sales since 2001. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in November compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 31 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand and the brand’s best November sales since 2003. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 56-consecutive months. “Sales of our all-new Chrysler 200 sedan were up a strong 155 percent in November, helping Chrysler Group to achieve its 56th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “In total we had 11 vehicles last month that set new sales records. Calendar year to date, Chrysler Group remains the fastest growing automaker in the country.” Eleven Chrysler Group vehicles set records in the month of November. The Dodge Dart, Ram ProMaster and Ram Cargo Van each recorded their best ever monthly sales. In addition, the all-new Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler 200, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, Fiat 500L, and Ram pickup truck logged their best ever November sales. Sales of the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan were up 155 percent in November, the mid-size sedan’s best monthly sales this year. The Ram Truck and Chrysler brands recorded the largest percentage sales gains of Chrysler Group brands in November. Chrysler Group finished the month of November with a 80 days supply of inventory (549,086 units). U.S. industry sales figures for November are internally projected at an estimated 17.5 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Ram Truck Brand Sales of the Ram pickup were up 21 percent in November, its 55th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was the pickup truck’s best ever November sales. Ram Light Duty sales increased 30 percent in November while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 3 percent. The editors of Motor Trend named the Ram 1500 the winner of their 2015 half-ton truck shootout in November. The judges were particularly impressed with the performance of the Ram 1500’s EcoDiesel V-6 engine as well as its eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, a combination that boasts best-in-class 28 mpg fuel economy. The 1500 was named 2015 Green Truck of the Year by the Green Car Journal in November, and earned a “Best Buy” designation from Consumer Guide Automotive and Consumers Digest. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram ProMaster van and Ram Cargo Van, were up 31 percent, the brand’s best November sales in 11 years. Both the ProMaster and Cargo Van recorded their best ever monthly sales last month. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 30 percent, the brand’s best November sales since 2007. The brand’s increase was driven largely by the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan. Sales of the 200 were up 155 percent, the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of November and its best sales month this year. The 200 earned a “Best Buy” from Consumers Digest and from Consumer Guide Automotive in November, as well as the “Best Sedan” award from the Hispanic Motor Press Awards. Both consumer publications designated the Chrysler Town & Country minivan as a “Best Buy” as well. Sales of the Chrysler 300 increased 18 percent last month, the full-size sedan’s best November sales in seven years. The Chrysler brand unveiled the new 2015 Chrysler 300 at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The new 2015 Chrysler 300 takes the nameplate’s style and sophistication to new levels through iconic design proportions and inspired materials, world-class quality and craftsmanship, best-in-class 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway fuel economy, and class-exclusive innovations – including a state-of-the-art TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission now standard on every model. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 27 percent, the brand’s best sales performance ever in the month of November and its 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month this year, including its all-time sales record in May. The Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler and Patriot each logged their best ever November sales. The all-new Cherokee was the brand’s highest-volume seller for the third-consecutive month. For a fifth-consecutive year, the Wrangler, Mopar’s most-accessorized vehicle, was recognized as the “Hottest 4x4-SUV” at the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in November. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 3 percent, its best November sales in 11 years. Consumers Digest designated the Grand Cherokee as a “Best Buy” in the Mid-Size SUV category in November. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were up 1 percent, its best November sales since 2012. The brand’s increase was driven by the 20 percent year-over-year increase in Fiat 500L sales. The 500L recorded its best November sales ever. The Fiat 500 earned a “Best Buy” in the Subcompact segment last month from Consumers Digest. The FIAT brand unveiled the all-new 2016 Fiat 500X at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The 500X is the latest addition to the FIAT lineup in North America, combining the authentic Italian design and engaging driving dynamics synonymous with the FIAT brand, together with an advanced all-wheel-drive system, unmatched functionality, and a full array of safety, comfort and convenience features. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up slightly year-over-year in November, the brand’s best November sales since 2007. Sales of the Dodge Dart were up 39 percent, the compact sedan’s best ever monthly sales, eclipsing the all-time record it set in May of this year. The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Journey each recorded their best ever sales for the month of November. The Challenger’s 51 percent increase was the largest percentage sales gain of any Dodge brand model in the month. The all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, which began shipping to Dodge dealers in November, was named the “Best Sportscar” by the Hispanic Motor Press Awards and “Best Muscle Car” by Popular Mechanics. Sales of the Journey mid-size crossover were up 46 percent. The Dodge Durango and Dodge Grand Caravan each earned a “Best Buy” from Consumers Digest and from Consumer Guide Automotive in November.
  17. The burgeoning compact cargo van marketplace will soon have a new entrant. In a few weeks, Ram dealers will be getting the 2015 Ram ProMaster City and the truck manufacturer has revealed pricing for it. The ProMaster City will start at $24,125 (includes a $995 destination charge) for the base cargo van version, and $25,125 for the ProMaster City Wagon. There is an up-level SLT model for both versions which adds $1,525 to the price. The Ram ProMaster City comes with the 2.4L Tigershark inline-four with 178 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy numbers for the ProMaster City are 21 City/29 Highway/24 Combined. "The new Ram ProMaster City enters the Class 1 market with a long list of customer-focused, best-in-class features, including the highest available payload and cargo capacities. Customers can look to Ram Commercial for a full line of trucks and vans that set the standard for cost of ownership and innovation," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand. Related Stories: General Motors and Ram Fight For Their Share In The Truck Market Ram Enters The Compact Commercial Van Market With The 2015 ProMaster City Ram Finally Confirms Small Cargo Van, To Be Named ProMaster City Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Announces Pricing and Unsurpassed Standard Highway Fuel Economy for 2015 Ram ProMaster City - Starting at $23,130 "right-sized" ProMaster City offers best-in-class titles where they count - 2015 Ram ProMaster City aggressively competes in the compact Class 1 van segment with a fuel economy rating of 21 MPG city, unsurpassed standard 29 MPG highway and 24 MPG combined - Ram ProMaster City best-in-class features: > 178 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque > Payload – 1,883 pounds > Cargo volume – 131.7 cubic feet > Distance between wheel wells – 48.4 inches - Available in two-seat cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations, new Ram ProMaster City offers modern styling and professional appeal in a small, capable package - Unsurpassed towing capacity- 2,000 lbs. - Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles - Ram Commercial offers exclusive pre- and post-sale solutions with BusinessLink and On the Job customer service programs November 12, 2014, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Continuing its commercial offering momentum, Ram Truck announces pricing and fuel economy for the all-new 2015 ProMaster City. The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Cargo is $23,130, plus $995 for destination. The MSRP for the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon starts at $24,130 plus $995 destination. "The new Ram ProMaster City enters the Class 1 market with a long list of customer-focused, best-in-class features, including the highest available payload and cargo capacities," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO- Ram Truck Brand. "Customers can look to Ram Commercial for a full line of trucks and vans that set the standard for cost of ownership and innovation." With the 2.4-liter Tigershark and exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City delivers EPA fuel economy of 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway and 24 MPG combined. The ProMaster City also offers an unsurpassed 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. Configurations and pricing Configuration MSRP Destination Tradesman Cargo $23,130 $995 Tradesman SLT Cargo $24,655 $995 Wagon with rear and side windows $24,130 $995 Wagon SLT with rear and side windows $25,655 $995 Engineering The Ram ProMaster City holds a set of hard-working credentials starting with a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, the widest in the class. The width between the ProMaster City's wheel wells provides an extra margin of capacity allowing building materials and pallets to be loaded quickly and easily. Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City's nearly vertical side panels offer a width dimension of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet for the cargo van version of the ProMaster City. The rear of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with 60/40 split rear doors. Using lessons learned from European customers, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items and not block the path to the curbside of the van The five-passenger wagon version of the Ram ProMaster City is equipped with a three-passenger second row. The second-row seating is split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and tumbling forward to expand cargo room. Powertrain The all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 generating a best-in-class 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, while its peak torque – 174 lb.-ft. (231 N•m) at 3,900 rpm – is greater than any standard-equipment engine in the segment. The centerpiece of the all-new ProMaster City's powertrain is its segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. The ProMaster City is the first commercial van ever to feature a nine-speed automatic, and one of the first vehicles to be so equipped in automotive history. Manufacturing The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey. Awarded the World Class Manufacturing Gold Medal, this 3.6-million sq. ft. (83.7-acre) state-of-the-art plant also assembles the Fiat Doblò. The optional cargo van configuration is upfitted at the Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore, Maryland. View full article
  18. The burgeoning compact cargo van marketplace will soon have a new entrant. In a few weeks, Ram dealers will be getting the 2015 Ram ProMaster City and the truck manufacturer has revealed pricing for it. The ProMaster City will start at $24,125 (includes a $995 destination charge) for the base cargo van version, and $25,125 for the ProMaster City Wagon. There is an up-level SLT model for both versions which adds $1,525 to the price. The Ram ProMaster City comes with the 2.4L Tigershark inline-four with 178 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy numbers for the ProMaster City are 21 City/29 Highway/24 Combined. "The new Ram ProMaster City enters the Class 1 market with a long list of customer-focused, best-in-class features, including the highest available payload and cargo capacities. Customers can look to Ram Commercial for a full line of trucks and vans that set the standard for cost of ownership and innovation," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand. Related Stories: General Motors and Ram Fight For Their Share In The Truck Market Ram Enters The Compact Commercial Van Market With The 2015 ProMaster City Ram Finally Confirms Small Cargo Van, To Be Named ProMaster City Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Announces Pricing and Unsurpassed Standard Highway Fuel Economy for 2015 Ram ProMaster City - Starting at $23,130 "right-sized" ProMaster City offers best-in-class titles where they count - 2015 Ram ProMaster City aggressively competes in the compact Class 1 van segment with a fuel economy rating of 21 MPG city, unsurpassed standard 29 MPG highway and 24 MPG combined - Ram ProMaster City best-in-class features: > 178 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque > Payload – 1,883 pounds > Cargo volume – 131.7 cubic feet > Distance between wheel wells – 48.4 inches - Available in two-seat cargo van and five-seat passenger Wagon configurations, new Ram ProMaster City offers modern styling and professional appeal in a small, capable package - Unsurpassed towing capacity- 2,000 lbs. - Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles - Ram Commercial offers exclusive pre- and post-sale solutions with BusinessLink and On the Job customer service programs November 12, 2014, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Continuing its commercial offering momentum, Ram Truck announces pricing and fuel economy for the all-new 2015 ProMaster City. The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Cargo is $23,130, plus $995 for destination. The MSRP for the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon starts at $24,130 plus $995 destination. "The new Ram ProMaster City enters the Class 1 market with a long list of customer-focused, best-in-class features, including the highest available payload and cargo capacities," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO- Ram Truck Brand. "Customers can look to Ram Commercial for a full line of trucks and vans that set the standard for cost of ownership and innovation." With the 2.4-liter Tigershark and exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City delivers EPA fuel economy of 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway and 24 MPG combined. The ProMaster City also offers an unsurpassed 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. Configurations and pricing Configuration MSRP Destination Tradesman Cargo $23,130 $995 Tradesman SLT Cargo $24,655 $995 Wagon with rear and side windows $24,130 $995 Wagon SLT with rear and side windows $25,655 $995 Engineering The Ram ProMaster City holds a set of hard-working credentials starting with a 48.4-inch span between the rear wheel wells, the widest in the class. The width between the ProMaster City's wheel wells provides an extra margin of capacity allowing building materials and pallets to be loaded quickly and easily. Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City's nearly vertical side panels offer a width dimension of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet for the cargo van version of the ProMaster City. The rear of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with 60/40 split rear doors. Using lessons learned from European customers, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items and not block the path to the curbside of the van The five-passenger wagon version of the Ram ProMaster City is equipped with a three-passenger second row. The second-row seating is split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and tumbling forward to expand cargo room. Powertrain The all-new 2015 Ram ProMaster City is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 generating a best-in-class 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, while its peak torque – 174 lb.-ft. (231 N•m) at 3,900 rpm – is greater than any standard-equipment engine in the segment. The centerpiece of the all-new ProMaster City's powertrain is its segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. The ProMaster City is the first commercial van ever to feature a nine-speed automatic, and one of the first vehicles to be so equipped in automotive history. Manufacturing The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey. Awarded the World Class Manufacturing Gold Medal, this 3.6-million sq. ft. (83.7-acre) state-of-the-art plant also assembles the Fiat Doblò. The optional cargo van configuration is upfitted at the Chrysler Group Transformation Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
  19. Chrysler Group LLC Reports October 2014 U.S. Sales Increased 22 Percent; Best October Sales Since 2001 55th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales gains in October compared with same month a year ago Jeep brand sales up 52 percent; best ever October sales Nine Chrysler Group vehicles record best ever October sales Chrysler 200 sales up 40 percent; best ever October sales Every Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram Truck brand vehicle experienced year-over-year growth in October Chrysler Group LLC earns nine awards at Texas Truck Rodeo; Jeep Grand Cherokee wins ‘SUV of Texas’ for fifth-consecutive year November 3, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 170,480 units, a 22 percent increase compared with sales in October 2013 (140,083 units), and the group’s best October sales since 2001. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in October compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 52 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand and the brand’s best ever sales in the month of October. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 55-consecutive months. “Chrysler Group sales increased 22 percent in October, our eighth month of double-digit growth this year and our 55th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Chrysler Group is the industry’s fastest-growing automaker driven in part by sales of our all-new Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and by the strong consumer demand for our award-winning Ram pickup trucks.” Nine Chrysler Group vehicles recorded their best ever October sales, including the all-new Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Chrysler 200, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Dart compact car. Sales of the 200 mid-size sedan were up 40 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep and Ram Truck brands recorded the largest percentage sales gains of Chrysler Group brands in October. Chrysler Group finished the month of October with a 84 days supply of inventory (530,338 units). U.S. industry sales figures for October are internally projected at an estimated 16.9 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Jeep® Brand Sales of the Jeep brand – the fastest-growing brand in the industry – were up 52 percent, the brand’s best sales performance ever in the month of October. The Jeep brand’s 52 percent increase was the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month and its13th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month this year, including its all-time sales record in May. The Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler and Patriot each logged their best ever October sales. The all-new Cherokee was the brand’s highest-volume seller for the second-consecutive month. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 5 percent, its best October sales since 2003. The Jeep brand won all five categories entered, including the coveted “SUV of Texas,” in the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo last month. The Grand Cherokee took home the “SUV of Texas” award for the fifth-consecutive year, as well as “Mid-Size SUV of Texas.” The Grand Cherokee Summit was named “Luxury Mid-Size SUV of Texas.” The Wrangler earned “Off-Road Utility Vehicle of Texas” while Cherokee was named “Compact SUV of Texas.” The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 won “Best Powertrain” in the competition. Ram Truck Brand Sales of the Ram pickup were up 33 percent in October, its 54th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was the pickup truck’s best October sales since 2003. Ram Light Duty sales increased 34 percent in October while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 33 percent. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram ProMaster van and Ram Cargo Van, were up 36 percent in October, the brand’s best October sales in 10 years. Both the ProMaster and Cargo Van recorded their best ever sales for the month of October. The Ram Truck brand took home two awards from TAWA’s Texas Truck Rodeo last month. The Ram 2500 won “Heavy Duty Truck of Texas” for the second-consecutive year, while the Ram Power Wagon earned the “Off-Road Truck of Texas” award. More than 60 TAWA members cast their votes after the two-day competition involving on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee won for “Best Powertrain.” Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 17 percent, the brand’s best October sales since 2007. The brand’s increase was driven largely by the Chrysler 200 sedan. Sales of the 200 were up 40 percent, the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of October. The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 earned a five-star overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in October. Five stars is the highest possible safety rating given by NHTSA. This five-star rating complements Top Safety Pick+ status given to all-new 200 by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in August. Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country were up 4 percent, the minivan’s best October sales since 2007. Chrysler 300 sedan sales increased 9 percent year-over-year in October. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were up 1 percent in October, its best October sales since the brand was re-introduced in the U.S. in 2011. The brand’s increase was driven by the 18 percent year-over-year increase in Fiat 500 sales. It was the 500’s best October sales since 2012. Sales of the Fiat 500L were up 48 percent compared with the previous month of September, but were down year over year in October. Sales of the 500L resumed in late September following a recall that affected an estimated 29,500 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Dodge Brand The Dodge Challenger, Dart and Journey each logged their best ever October sales. The Dart’s 28 percent increase was the largest percentage sales gain of any Dodge brand model in the month. Challenger sales, up 27 percent in October, included the new 2015 Challenger lineup. The Dodge brand received 4,000 orders for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat when the ordering system was opened for Dodge dealers last month. The brand now has more than 5,000 orders. In addition to the Hellcat, the full Challenger lineup – SXT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and SRT 392 models – has been extremely well received. The Journey mid-size crossover recorded its best ever October sales with a 9 percent year-over-year increase. Dodge Viper sales were up 16 percent in October as well, reflecting the repositioning of the iconic Detroit-built supercar for 2015. Dodge brand sales were down 8 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
  20. With Ford changing over to the next-generation F-150, General Motors and Chrysler see a rare opportunity to grab a bigger slice of the truck marketplace. "Without question you'll see GM and Ram will continue to play the incentive game to continue to bite into Ford's share," said Bill Rinna, LMC Automotive senior manager of North American forecasts to The Detroit News. Ford has idled its Dearborn Truck plant for several weeks to to retool for the 2015 F-150, a new model that will utilize aluminum in its construction. That leaves the Kansas City plant to keep producing the current F-150, till it undergoes a retooling early next year. With Ford unable to produce as many F-150s and a number of current buyers waiting for a new model, Ford won't be able to sell as many F-Series trucks. The company said that it expects to lose more than 90,000 sales of F-150 pickups during the changeover. Because of this, Chrysler and GM are ratcheting up their incentives to take away some of those sales going to Ford. Ram Trucks are offering either 0 percent for 72 months or $2,000 off on certain 2014 models. Chevrolet has expanded their Truck Month sales campaign which includes getting up to $9,500 off a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado All-Star LT Double Cab when someone trades in a 99 model year or newer vehicle. GMC is offering $5,000 off on certain Sierra regular cabs, and 0 percent financing and $1,500 on certain Sierra models. "The analysts are saying we're going to go after their share. Heck yes, we're going to go after their share," said Ram Trucks CEO and president Bob Hegbloom. Through September, Ram currently holds 21.3 percent of truck market; up 2.9 percent. Chevrolet saw its share climb 0.1 percent to 25.4 percent, while GMC saw its share climb 0.3 percent to 9 percent. Ford saw its share drop 2.2 percent to 37 percent. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  21. With Ford changing over to the next-generation F-150, General Motors and Chrysler see a rare opportunity to grab a bigger slice of the truck marketplace. "Without question you'll see GM and Ram will continue to play the incentive game to continue to bite into Ford's share," said Bill Rinna, LMC Automotive senior manager of North American forecasts to The Detroit News. Ford has idled its Dearborn Truck plant for several weeks to to retool for the 2015 F-150, a new model that will utilize aluminum in its construction. That leaves the Kansas City plant to keep producing the current F-150, till it undergoes a retooling early next year. With Ford unable to produce as many F-150s and a number of current buyers waiting for a new model, Ford won't be able to sell as many F-Series trucks. The company said that it expects to lose more than 90,000 sales of F-150 pickups during the changeover. Because of this, Chrysler and GM are ratcheting up their incentives to take away some of those sales going to Ford. Ram Trucks are offering either 0 percent for 72 months or $2,000 off on certain 2014 models. Chevrolet has expanded their Truck Month sales campaign which includes getting up to $9,500 off a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado All-Star LT Double Cab when someone trades in a 99 model year or newer vehicle. GMC is offering $5,000 off on certain Sierra regular cabs, and 0 percent financing and $1,500 on certain Sierra models. "The analysts are saying we're going to go after their share. Heck yes, we're going to go after their share," said Ram Trucks CEO and president Bob Hegbloom. Through September, Ram currently holds 21.3 percent of truck market; up 2.9 percent. Chevrolet saw its share climb 0.1 percent to 25.4 percent, while GMC saw its share climb 0.3 percent to 9 percent. Ford saw its share drop 2.2 percent to 37 percent. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  22. Ram announced today that it plans to increase production of the EcoDiesel from 10 to 20 percent of the Ram 1500's total volume mix. “Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of Ram Trucks. The EcoDiesel option has proved to be a massive success for Ram. The option has helped sales of Ram trucks climb 21 percent to 283,256 units through the month of August. The diesel option has also increased Ram's chunk in the total truck sales in the U.S. to 19.1 percent. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Increases EcoDiesel Mix to 20 Percent of Ram 1500 Pickup Production Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel powertrain, America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck, now 1/5th of total Ram 1500 production Overwhelming response attributed to best-in-class 28 MPG with 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity and strong consumer demand for exclusive light-duty diesel Ram 1500 EcoDiesel contributes to unprecedented conquest sales and increased average transaction price for Ram 1500 First-in-segment fuel economy technologies: TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension Best-in-class aerodynamics, coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.360 2013 and 2014 back-to-back winner – Motor Trend Truck of the Year® Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with entry/exit and loading, and features automatic load leveling Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles September 30, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Ram 1500 is America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck with its exclusive 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel that packs 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 28 miles per gallon (mpg). Fuel economy and the exclusivity of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is being credited for Ram’s decision to increase the diesel powertrain mix to 20 percent of the total Ram 1500 production volume — double the initial expectation. When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 requests within three days, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the exclusive powertrain. “Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors.” Ram truck is the only manufacturer to offer a light-duty diesel powertrain. Nearly 60 percent of all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest over competitors, an achievement considering brand-loyal strength of the segment. The premium powertrain also contributes to an increase in the Ram 1500s Average Transaction Price according to J.D. Power. Ram Truck worked with powertrain supplier VM Motori (Fiat Group Automobiles) to increase production to meet North American consumer demand. The total increase in EcoDiesel mix will be completed by the end of November at both Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, the powertrain system delivers an outstanding combination of fuel efficiency at 28 mpg, torque of 420 lb.-ft. and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability. The 2015 Ram 1500 capitalizes on a truckload of exclusive, pioneering, fuel-saving systems, including: eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics with grille shutters and air suspension. The Ram 1500 earned Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in 2013 and 2014, the first time a vehicle of any type has taken the coveted award back-to-back. The Ram 1500 also won the Truck of Texas in 2013 and 2014 — a rare double, back-to-back combination in the pickup segment.
  23. Ram announced today that it plans to increase production of the EcoDiesel from 10 to 20 percent of the Ram 1500's total volume mix. “Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO of Ram Trucks. The EcoDiesel option has proved to be a massive success for Ram. The option has helped sales of Ram trucks climb 21 percent to 283,256 units through the month of August. The diesel option has also increased Ram's chunk in the total truck sales in the U.S. to 19.1 percent. Source: Ram William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Ram Truck Increases EcoDiesel Mix to 20 Percent of Ram 1500 Pickup Production Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel powertrain, America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck, now 1/5th of total Ram 1500 production Overwhelming response attributed to best-in-class 28 MPG with 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity and strong consumer demand for exclusive light-duty diesel Ram 1500 EcoDiesel contributes to unprecedented conquest sales and increased average transaction price for Ram 1500 First-in-segment fuel economy technologies: TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension Best-in-class aerodynamics, coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.360 2013 and 2014 back-to-back winner – Motor Trend Truck of the Year® Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with entry/exit and loading, and features automatic load leveling Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles September 30, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Ram 1500 is America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck with its exclusive 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel that packs 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 28 miles per gallon (mpg). Fuel economy and the exclusivity of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is being credited for Ram’s decision to increase the diesel powertrain mix to 20 percent of the total Ram 1500 production volume — double the initial expectation. When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 requests within three days, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the exclusive powertrain. “Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors.” Ram truck is the only manufacturer to offer a light-duty diesel powertrain. Nearly 60 percent of all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest over competitors, an achievement considering brand-loyal strength of the segment. The premium powertrain also contributes to an increase in the Ram 1500s Average Transaction Price according to J.D. Power. Ram Truck worked with powertrain supplier VM Motori (Fiat Group Automobiles) to increase production to meet North American consumer demand. The total increase in EcoDiesel mix will be completed by the end of November at both Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, the powertrain system delivers an outstanding combination of fuel efficiency at 28 mpg, torque of 420 lb.-ft. and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability. The 2015 Ram 1500 capitalizes on a truckload of exclusive, pioneering, fuel-saving systems, including: eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics with grille shutters and air suspension. The Ram 1500 earned Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in 2013 and 2014, the first time a vehicle of any type has taken the coveted award back-to-back. The Ram 1500 also won the Truck of Texas in 2013 and 2014 — a rare double, back-to-back combination in the pickup segment. View full article
  24. Chrysler Group LLC Reports September 2014 U.S. Sales Increased 19 Percent; Best September Sales Since 2005 54th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales gains in September compared with same month a year ago Jeep brand sales up 47 percent; best September sales ever Six Chrysler Group vehicles record best ever September sales Ram pickup truck sales up 30 percent; best ever September sales Chrysler 200 sales up 15 percent; best ever September sales October 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 169,890 units, a 19 percent increase compared with sales in September 2013 (143,017 units), and the group’s best September sales since 2005. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in September compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 47 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand and the brand’s best ever sales in the month of September. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 54-consecutive months. “Continued consumer demand for our new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, our Jeep models, and the Ram pickup truck helped Chrysler Group achieve a 19 percent sales increase in September and our 54th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Chrysler Group sales continue to demonstrate strength as we recorded our seventh month of double-digit growth this year.” Six Chrysler Group vehicles recorded their best ever September sales, including the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler 200 and Ram pickup truck. Sales of the 200 were up 15 percent, compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep and Ram Truck brands recorded the largest percentage sales gains of Chrysler Group brands in September. Chrysler Group finished the month of September with a 71 days supply of inventory (500,402 units). U.S. industry sales figures for September are internally projected at an estimated 16.6 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 47 percent, the brand’s best ever sales in the month of September. The brand’s 47 percent increase was the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. It also was the brand’s 12th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in each month this year, including the all-time sales record in May. The Jeep Wrangler, Compass and Patriot each logged their best ever sales in the month of September. Ram Truck Brand The Ram pickup truck recorded its best ever sales in the month of September. Sales of the Ram pickup were up 30 percent in September, its 53rd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Ram Light Duty sales increased 21 percent in September while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 49 percent. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram ProMaster van and Ram Cargo Van, were up 35 percent in September, the brand’s best September sales since 2005. Cargo Van sales were up 13 percent in September, its best ever sales in the month of September. With sales of the Ram pickup on a 53-month sales streak, Chrysler Group’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan is increasing production. The plant that built back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year winners in 2013 and 2014 will be building an average of an additional 100 vehicles a day or 28,585 more trucks a year to keep up with demand. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 14 percent, the brand’s best September sales since 2007. The sales increase was driven by the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Sales of the 200 were up 15 percent last month, its best ever sales in the month of September. Sales of the Town & Country minivan were up 23 percent in September, the minivan’s best September sales in eight years. Continuing to offer the versatility and functionality it is known for, the Town & Country minivan is available in two additional models for 2015: The Town & Country LX offers an exceptional level of standard content at a starting price under $30,000; the Town & Country Limited Platinum builds on the luxury and convenience of the Town & Country Limited. FIAT Brand Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 29 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago. It was the 500’s best September sales since 2012. FIAT brand sales, which include the 500 and Fiat 500L, were up 6 percent in September. Sales of the 500L resumed last week following a recall that affected an estimated 29,500 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The knee air bags were replaced in these vehicles. Dodge Brand The Dodge Journey, Grand Caravan and Viper each recorded year-over-year sales increases in September. Sales of the Grand Caravan were up 3 percent, the minivan’s best September in two years. The Journey mid-size crossover logged its best September sales in two years as well. Viper sales were up 140 percent in September, reflecting the repositioning of the iconic Detroit-built supercar for 2015. Dodge brand sales were down 9 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago. The Dodge brand auctioned the first production 707-horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat VIN0001, the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever, for $825,000 at the Sept. 27 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014 auction. The auction benefitted Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people with significant intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas area. The Engelstad Family Foundation of Las Vegas matched the auction price, bringing the grand total raised for Opportunity Village to $1.65 million. With their generous donation, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat raised more money for charity than any other car in Barrett-Jackson history.
  25. With new fuel economy regulations coming around the corner, many automakers are trying a number of things to meet those upcoming standards. Case in point: Ford is using aluminum in the next-generation F-150, and General Motors is reportedly doing the same for their next full-size truck. What about Ram Trucks? A new report says the brand will be sticking with steel for the time being. Reuters has learned from two sources that when Ram gives their truck a refresh in 2017, aluminum will not be in the picture. The earliest that Ram would add the material is after 2020 when the truck will be redesigned. This move could either hurt Ram if aluminum proves to be ticket for sales, or could actually help if reports of aluminum stockpiles are short because of more automakers using it in their vehicles. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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