Work Truck magazine has named the Ram 4500/5500 Chassis-Cab its 2015 Medium-duty Truck of the Year.
This is the second time in five years that the Class 4 and 5 Ram Chassis-Cab has earned the publication’s top honor.
Sherb Brown, Work Truck’s publisher, wrote, “The truck is tough and functional, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s great to drive.”
The winner of the award is determined by the readers of Work Truck and Heavy Duty Trucking magazines — over than 100,000 operators of medium-duty trucks. There were 11 trucks in the field, and the readers were asked to consider which best fit their fleet requirements, including effectiveness, durability, quality, servicing, maintenance, and lifecycle costs.
Jeep is ready for the 85th annual Geneva Motor Show with two new show vehicles that will be on display, along with a special edition Wrangler that will go on sale in Europe this summer.
The Renegade Hard Steel show car is based on the Trailhawk and combines style and technology with offroad capabilities. It was created by Jeep in collaboration with Mopar and with the help of the FCA Style Center in Turin, Italy.
The Hard Steel showcases the customizing potential of the Renegade and also provides a look at possible future Mopar accessories.
No Jeep show display would be complete without a custom Wrangler.
The Wrangler Rocks Star is based on a Rubicon equipped with FCA’s 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, a five-speed automatic transmission and B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires.
The Rocks Star is loaded with Mopar accessories starting with black satin “US Army” star decals on the hood and rear quarter panel, half doors, skid plate and a black running board. A light bar that surrounds the windshield completes the package. Inside, there are special rubber car mats, roll bar handles and special moldings.
The Rocks Star is finished in Jeep’s Baja Yellow Clear Coat with black accents.
The Geneva International Motor Show opens to the public on March 5 and runs through March 15. The show is at the Palexpo Center near the Geneva International Airport.
FCA México reported that sales of the four Chrysler brands grew 10% in February.
The Chrysler Town & Country led Chrysler brand sales to a 42% sales increase last month. The Town & Country accounted for 59% of all Chrysler deliveries.
Dodge brand sales were down 60 units last month, a 3% drop compared to February 2014.
Challenger sales rose 18% marking the muscle car’s best February in Mexico since 2009.
The Dodge Attitude, a rebadged Mitsubishi Mirage, posted 896 sales, making it the brand’s best-selling model. The Dodge Journey was second with 881 sales.
Dealers in Mexico sold 244 Dodge Visions, an new in-house rebadge of a Fiat Siena that replaced the Hyundai-built Dodge I10 this year.
Jeep brand sales rose 11% to 1,880 units. Wrangler deliveries jumped 15% to 248 units, the Wrangler’s best February in Mexico since 2008. Cherokee sales were strong with 452 units, second only to the Patriot’s 461. Dealers sold 419 Grand Cherokees last month, a 1% increase.
Total Ram brand sales were up 35%, compared to February 2014, with 1,249 units sold. The Fiat Strada-derived Ram 700 was the most popular model with buyers who bought 551 of the small pickups.
CHRYSLER BRANDS – MEXICO – FEBRUARY SALES
Total Chrysler Brands
*Dodge brand sales include cars made by other manufacturers
Fiat brand sales were up 28% last month as the new Uno hit dealer showrooms.
Total FCA México sales rose 19% to 7,877 units thanks to a 67% surge in sales of Mitsubishi vehicles (FCA México distributes the Mitsubishi line). The big mover for Mitsubishi was the L200 pickup, the newest generation of which will share its platform with a new pickup being added to the Fiat Professional lineup in 2016. The original version of this truck was sold in the U.S. as the Dodge Ram 50 and Plymouth Arrow pickups.
Jeep is showing off a new special edition package for the European Wrangler in Geneva starting tomorrow.
The new Wrangler Black Edition II features a host of unique appointments inside and out that add all of Europe’s most popular appearance upgrades in one easy-to-order package.
The Jeep Wrangler Black Edition II is built on the Sahara trimline, with two different drivetrain packages – a 2.8L diesel with 200 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, or the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 284 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. Each of these engines send their power through a 5-speed automatic transmission to the wheels via a Command-Trac NV241 four wheel drive system; it comes in two and four door versions.
Specific to the Black Edition II package is a collection of black accents around the exterior, including on the inner portion of the distinctive Jeep grille, the 18” wheels, the exterior badging, the headlight bezels, the spare tire cover, the mirrors, the side step bars and the Mopar fuel filler cover. Other key exterior features of the Wrangler Black Edition II are the Mopar PowerDome hood and the removable Dual Top system. Exterior color options include Bright White, Black, Firecracker Red and Billet Silver.
On the inside, the new Jeep Wrangler Black Edition II package comes with black leather seats, gloss black trim throughout the cabin and a premium UConnect infotainment package with a 6.5” touchscreen, navigation, a 40 gig hard drive and a variety of input sources. Basically, the interior is fully loaded with black heated leather seats and plenty of black trim – which is fitting considering the name of this package.
Finally, as a special bonus for this special edition package, the Wrangler Black Edition II comes with a unique Jeep Owner’s Group package. This includes an elaborate multifunction tool, a Jeep Owner’s Group sticker, a cargo bag made from recycled seat belts and a Jeep Owner’s Group hat.
There is no official pricing information available for the Jeep Wrangler Black Edition II, but considering the long list of premium features, it will likely be priced towards the upper end of the European Wrangler lineup when it reaches dealerships sometime this summer.
Ram, the only maker of factory-built CNG pickups (rather than conversions), will expand its CNG (compressed natural gas) series to include the 2500 Regular Cab and rear wheel drive models (from just the 4×4 Crew Cab). Designed for fleets, the Ram CNG is a clean-burning, dual-fuel option that helps to reduce dependence on oil from other nations, which helps both national security and the trade balance.
All Ram CNG trucks are powered by a specially set up 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine, and have both tanks and either eight or 35 gallon gasoline tanks. The system moves from CNG to gasoline and back automatically, and has a range of 301 highway miles on CNG alone, and 966 miles with the 35 gallon tank.
At current prices, CNG is around $1.25 less than its equivalent in gasoline. The truck is rated at 1,580 lb of payload, with a four-foot-eight usable bed length and 7,650 lb of towing. Its front gross weight rating allows for snow plow use. For more, see our existing CNG Ram page.
With a 31.2% jump in sales, the Chrysler 200 was one of the top ten best-selling passenger cars in February. The 200 came in at No. 8 among all cars and No. 3 among American brands, trailing only the Ford Fusion and Chevy Cruze.
It was No. 17 on the industrywide list and joined the Ram pickup as the only Chrysler-brand vehicles in the top 20 (the Jeep Cherokee was No. 21).
In year-to-date sales, the Chrysler 200 is still in the top ten among passenger cars, but it drops to No. 9. In total light vehicle sales, the 200 checks in at No. 18. Behind the Fusion, Cruze and Ford Focus.
While total Dodge brand sales were down last month, cars sales were surprisingly strong. Stripping out the discontinued Avenger, sales of Dodge brand cars rose 31.5% in February.
The Charger was the best-selling full-size car for the month and checked in at No. 37 out of 297 in total light vehicle rankings. It ranked 17th in the passenger car standings and was the sixth-most-popular American car.
The Challenger and Dart also posted good numbers. Dart sales soared 51.5% in February
Total sales of Chrysler brands, which are usually overwhelmingly tilted towards light trucks, were in line with Ford and GM when it came to the car-truck mix last month.
Utilimaster, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, will create and operate a Ram Commercial Upfit Center and Mopar Custom Shop in Saltillo, Mexico. This involves long-term agreements with FCA, Ram, Mopar, and vocational package suppliers.
Utilimaster has OEM upfit center operations in multiple locations, and opened in Saltillo last year. The goal is to provide integrated solutions for specialty vehicles based the Ram Promaster series.
In a press release, Utilimaster’s John Marshall, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, stressed their products’ cost-effectiveness.
The deal also includes agreements with Knapheide, Leggett & Platt/MasteRack, Adrian Steel, AutoTruck, Farmbro, and Midway, all of which can be contacted directly to order the packages and have them delivered them to a local dealership, without extra time or travel costs.
Common packages will be stocked at the center, including FedEx Ground and Home Delivery packages. The Ram ProMaster upfit hotline is at (574) 848-2111.
The center works out of a 125,000-square-foot facility in Saltillo and uses around 30-40 people for assembly: they can normally finish an installation within three to five days.
Utilimaster develops and builds products for the mobile retail, package delivery, truck rental, bakery/snack delivery, and utility and linen/uniform rental businesses. They can also do in-field installations and retrofit existing equipment.
Spartan Motors, Utilimaster’s parent company, creates specialty vehicles, truck bodies, and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV), emergency response, government, delivery and service markets. The company employs around 1,700 people in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, and Florida.
The postal van shown above is a speculative rendering by Bill Cawthon. Thanks for the story, patfromigh.