US buyers have been warming up to diesel engines lately and Chrysler is seeing that in the strong demand for its diesel-powered light-duty Ram pickup trucks.
The automaker has unveiled plans to increase production of diesel-powered Ram pickups in order to keep up with demand. The company says that it will boost production of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to 20 percent of the Ram 1500’s annual volume, up from 10 percent today. That is double the initial expectation Chrysler had for the diesel-powered Ram 1500.
Chrysler received more than 8,000 requests within three days of the model’s launch earlier this year. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite an output of 240hp and 420lb-ft (569Nm) of torque, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel returns 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) highway – that’s the industry’s highest EPA rating for pickups. Towing capability is up to 9,200 lbs (4,173 kg).
Currently, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the only diesel-powered truck in the light-duty segment in the US and Chrysler says nearly 60 percent of all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest over competitors.
The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico – the latter only builds Regular Cab models. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is manufactured by Fiat Group Automobiles’ VM Motori in Cento, Italy. Chrysler said the increase in EcoDiesel mix will be completed by the end of November at both the Michigan and Mexico plants.