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First Drive: 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie

Comfort reminiscent of a luxury car with truck utility.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.12, 2019

The 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie offers comfort reminiscent of a luxury car, but offers plenty of truck utility.

Pickup trucks are hot now and no truck is getting more attention than the Ram 1500, which is ringing up scores of plaudits.

The honors, among them North American Truck of The Year for 2019, are well deserved.

Reviews You Can Use!

For anyone who has driven traditional pickup for work, climbing into the cab of a Ram 1500 Laramie is a revelation as it has the kind of comfortable luxury one traditionally associates with full-sized luxury sedans. (more…)

Ram Aims for Commercial Customers With New HD Trucks

Brand focuses on truck's flexibility to lure buyers.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.08, 2019

Jim Morrison, director of marketing, Ram Brands, introduced Ram's new commercially oriented heavy-duty trucks at the Chicago Auto Show.

Ram is hoping to lure more buyers to commercial-oriented heavy-duty pickups with a new 2019 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab, geared specifically to be put to work in a variety of different situations.

Jim Morrison, director of marketing for the Ram Brands, said the new family of heavy-duty chassis cabs will also delivers a package with more capability, more comfort and more technology.

Business News!

With a segment-leading towing capacity of up to 35,220 pounds, the highest Gross Combined Weight Rating of 43,000 pounds and payload up to 12,510 pounds, Ram’s haulers are built for heavy-duty work while achieving new levels of efficiency and upfitter friendliness, Morrison said. (more…)

Ram Brings on Multifunction Tailgate for Pickups

New tailgate offers flexility, functionality -- and takes competition in the midsize truck market to a new level.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.06, 2019

The 2019 Ram 1500 will have the Multifunction Tailgate. It will be available across all the 1500 models.

Call it the battle of the beds. The cargo beds, that is.

With the fight for market share in the lucrative pick-up truck market steadily escalating, Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. and General Motors all have new or upgraded pickups ready for consumers that focus on features and functions that are heating up their traditional competition.

While some of the updates improve creature comfort, there’s a heavy emphasis on functionality, especially when it comes to both carrying — and accessing — cargo. Ram Truck, FCA’s truck brand, is unveiling a new tailgate for the Ram 1500 that it says will make it easier to use.

Breaking News!

“The Ram Multifunction Tailgate is intuitive to operate, and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.” (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Unveils New Ram Heavy Duty at NAIAS 2019

New truck may be most important intro in some time.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.14, 2019

Ram has six variants, or trim levels, for its new heavy-duty truck platform, including the 2500 HD Longhorn Edition.

Once upon a time, they talked about the cars built in Detroit.

But now pick-up trucks are the king of the road in the Motor City and the appearance of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup, with its blend of technology and power, fitted into a body that’s been completely re-engineered, will be one of the most important vehicles revealed at the 2019 edition of the North American International Auto Show.

Truck News!

Executives from Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. describe the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty as the most powerful, most capable pickup in hotly contested and enormously profitable segment, which commands the full attention of not only FCA but also its local rivals General Motors. (more…)

FCA May Reassess Plan to Move Ram Pickup out of Mexico

Company may need to continue production South of the Border to meet strong demand.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.29, 2018

Fiat Chrysler outsold rival Ford Motor Co. in September, led by strong sales of its Ram pickup truck.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Monday it is moving ahead with plans to shift production of its Ram pickup from Mexico to Michigan, a statement appeared to open up the opportunity that it will continue to build the newly redesigned truck at its Saltillo, Mexico plant.

Such a decision would be a critical one by new FCA CEO Michael Manley and likely reflect the fact that demand for the 2019 Ram truck is so strong the company’s current U.S. operations simply can’t keep up, resulting in potential customers having to shift to products like the Ford F-Series and the two newly redesigned trucks launched this year by General Motors.

Product News Now!

“Moving the Ram Heavy Duty to Warren from Mexico is our plan of record. Of course, we always assess latest market and economic conditions when making significant industrial moves,” FCA said in a statement on Monday. (more…)

Ram Using “Family” Colors on New Farm Trucks

Case Red and New Holland Blue keep truck colors in the family.

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.11, 2018

Ram has added two new colors for its "farm" trucks: Case Red, above, and New Holland Blue.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. plans to utilize the colors from farming equipment to enhance the appeal of Ram in the nation’s farming communities.

The 2018 Ram Chassis Cab Harvest Edition is specifically designed for farming. The truck is visually distinguished by two limited availability colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue.

Product News!

Case IH and New Holland farm tractors and other agricultural equipment are manufactured by subsidiaries of CNH Industrial. CNH Industrial N.V. shares a common ancestry with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. CNH, which like Fiat Chrysler N.V., which are controlled by Exor, the holding company owned by the Agnellis, Fiat’s founding family. (more…)

Marchionne Out, Manley In as Fiat Chrysler CEO

Questions about health issues blamed for Marchionne’s early departure.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.21, 2018

Larger than life: Marchionne outlined a broad 5-year-plan during a day-long June session in Milan.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Saturday that Jeep and Ram brand boss Michael Manley will replace CEO Sergio Marchionne, who due to complications from recent surgery is gravely ill and will not return to work.

Though the 66-year-old Marchionne was known to have undergone surgery this past week for what was reported to be a shoulder problem. According to FCA’s statement, the Italian-born and Canadian-educated Marchionne experienced “unexpected complications,” while his conditions had “worsened significantly in recent hours.”

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Word of Marchionne’s departure quickly echoed through the automotive grapevine. Few industry executives have had a higher profile presence in recent decades, and even fewer could be said to have done more to shape a company in his own image as did Marchionne, who rescued the then-bankrupt Chrysler by securing a U.S. government bailout and then merging it with Italy’s Fiat S.p.A.

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Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List

Nissan, GMC, Hyundai and Ram also score well in annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.19, 2018

Genesis was the top brand overall in the 2018 VSA, while the G90 sedan was top Luxury Car.

Reflecting the massive shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, light trucks are doing a better job of pleasing buyers, at least if the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are any indication. And SUVs are the most satisfying products of all, reports consulting and research firm AutoPacific, Inc.

But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Genesis, the new Korean luxury brand that has yet to introduce its first utility vehicle, was the number one brand in the 2018 VSA, edging out more established competitors, such as Lexus, and achieving the highest score ever in the annual satisfaction study.

Best of the Best!

“In just two years, Genesis has reached a level of owner satisfaction unattained by more established luxury brands,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, adding that the Genesis G90 sedan also won the VSA for Luxury Car for the second year in a row.

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Another Transmission Recall at Fiat Chrysler

Move targets over 200,000 Pickups that could roll away.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.16, 2018

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 229,000 Ram pickups due to a problem with the the trucks unexpectedly shifting out of park.

Fiat Chrysler will recall 229,000 Ram pickups due to a defect that cause them to unexpectedly roll away.

Because a pin can become dislodged inadvertently if a driver keeps a foot on the brake when it is shifted into park, the normal shift interlock mechanism can be deactivated, allowing the vehicle to unexpectedly shift out of park without a key in the ignition or a foot on the brake.

Safety News!

It is the latest in a series of transmission problems for the Detroit automaker, though most of the recent issues have involved new electronic shifters that don’t have a direct mechanical linkage to the gearbox. One issue was linked to the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who was crushed by his Jeep two years ago. (more…)

Justice Dept. Offers FCA Settlement – With “Substantial” Fines for Diesel Scam

Prosecutors in Germany expand their own probe of FCA and Bosch.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.05, 2018

1 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

The Justice Department wants to settle its probe accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of rigging more than 100,000 diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pass emissions tests – but its offer would require “substantial” penalties.

Regulators have accused FCA of using a defeat device, software similar to what was used by Volkswagen, to bring down emissions of exhaust gases like smog-causing oxides of nitrogen while undergoing tests. Under real-world operation, however, the vehicles reportedly would produce substantially more of the emissions than legally permissible.

Enviro-News!

The alleged scheme has gotten FCA into trouble on both sides of the Atlantic. In German, prosecutors are ramping up their own investigation into apparent collusion between Fiat Chrysler and mega-supplier Robert Bosch. The company, which has supplied engine control technology to FCA, as well as VW and other automakers, claims it did not attempt to held the Italian-American automaker sidestep regulatory mandates.

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