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Ram struggling to keep up?

by David Zatz on

The former “Dodge City” complex in Warren, Michigan, and its counterpart in Saltillo, Mexico, have reportedly been struggling to keep up with demand for Rams.  One Warren employee wrote that the plant was on two shifts, six days per week, and often adding a shift on Sundays; the plant would, he wrote, probably produce even more trucks, but for the lack of parts.

While some reporters have speculated that Chrysler would open a third truck plant (one, near St. Louis, was only relatively recently closed), CEO Sergio Marchionne has been more cautious, putting the odds of adding capacity at around 50/50. Before opening a new plant, Chrysler would have to deal with the supply of parts, and would likely try to boost capacity at Warren by adding employees and shifts.

Ram 1500 now has the top two slots in fuel efficiency, with the diesel model topping out EPA listings (28 mpg highway) and beating even some four-cylinder small trucks; while the V6/eight-speed combination, which seems to have less “pull” among buyers, is #2. The Ram 2500 recently gained a link/coil suspension in the rear, smoothing out the ride of the heavy duty pickup, and both 2500 and 3500 now have an optional 6.4 liter Hemi engine pushing out 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The diesel has been popular, which may be one reason GM announced it would have a diesel option for its new midsize trucks.

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