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Dodge diesel delayed

by Bill Cawthon on

Dodge Ram 1500 pickup buyers will have to wait at least another year to have a diesel option. The new light-duty Cummins engine scheduled for introduction in 2010 has been pushed back to 2011 at the earliest.

Frank Klegon, Chrysler’s VP of product development said the company is re-evaluating its approach to diesel emissions because of tougher federal regulations that mandate a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions by 2010. To meet the requirements, the company must go with with either a catalytic converter or a urea system.

The delay probably won’t have a serious impact on sales unless there is another run-up in gasoline prices like the one that hit the U.S. in late spring and summer last year. Current diesel demand for light-duty trucks is not strong at this time and both Ford and Toyota have put their plans for such engines on hold.

At this time, the 6.7-liter, 6-cylinder diesel offered in Dodge’s heavy-duty Ram trucks is the only one that meets 2010 emissions standards.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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