Dodge Ram: Loss of Cummins power would hurt truck's future

According to Matt Stone, who writes a blog for Motor Trend, rumor has it that the new Fiat/Chrysler partnership may be the end of the Cummins-powered diesel engine in the Dodge Ram. I sure hope not.

cummins.jpgFiat, which just announced it will be sending the Dodge Sprinter back to Mercedes, might be bringing over a few of its vans to sell here. Gualberto Ranieri, vp of public relations for the Chrysler and Fiat partnership, told Bloomberg News the company is considering selling either the Fiat Ducato or the Daily – or maybe both – here in the U.S. Those vans are made by Iveco, a Fiat subsidiary.

But back to Cummins. The loss of the engine business, of course, would be a hit for Cummins, which recently has begun calling furloughed workers back to the job. There were 245,840 Dodge Rams sold in 2008, many of them with Cummins engines.

But just as importantly, it might mean the end of the heavy duty Rams with Cummins powered engines. That would be a shame as many people swear by Cummins power.

Fiat, in this country, is more associated with cars than anything else. From a public relations standpoint, while I know Fiat will want to use its own technologies, and I have no doubt that Fiat’s diesels are quality engines – after all, the company has plenty of experience in Europe running diesels and operates one of the largest commercial truck businesses in the world in Iveco - I’m just not sure how well a Fiat diesel pickup will sell here. I can imagine the sales pitch now: “The new 2011 Dodge Ram. The truck that runs with the hum of a car. Only from Fiat.”

Doesn’t really say power now does it?

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