Chrysler Group dealers have ordered over 8,000 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups in the Feb.7-10 period – the first weekend that the vehicles were available to order. The number already makes up almost half of Ram 1500’s typical monthly production. Included in the order for the period were over 400 diesel-powered Ram 1500s that had already been sold to customers – which is around five times the normal percentage of sold orders for a typical pre-launch vehicle, disclosed Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram brand.
"This just helps to solidify in our minds that we did the right thing with this truck," Hegbloom told Automotive News. Chrysler started producing the Ram 1500s powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine late January at its Warren Assembly site in suburban Detroit, with deliveries to dealers expected in the next three weeks.
Hegbloom remarked that the percentage of initial diesel orders by dealers is around double or triple what brand executives had expected. He said that while demand is likely to slow down as dealers receive unsold inventory, presold orders in coming months will be prioritized for production to keep customer wait times down.
"Our anticipation is that there's going to be some ongoing demand for this powertrain," Hegbloom said. Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is powered by a diesel engine built by Fiat unit VM Motori that provides up to 240 hp of output and 420 pounds-feet of torque.
The engine is paired in the Ram 1500 to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its exhaust is treated with urea to cut emissions of oxides of nitrogen. The onboard urea tank needs to be refilled every 10,000 miles. Ram brand chief Reid Bigland estimated that Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will account for up to 30 percent of Ram 1500 sales.