Fiat Chrysler’s Ram pickup-truck brand unveiled early last year its Ram 1500 pickup with a diesel engine and the model that mesmerized clients with its ability to marry trailer pull power to fuel efficiency became an instant victor.
The US automotive media and numerous industry observers had been calling for quite some time there would be a great market for buyers and businesses to snap for personal use a truck that had a diesel engine under the hood. Naturally, not long after Ram presented the model, initial customer orders skyrocketed and the company said last year it would change its initial sales mix from 10 to 20 percent. That’s even as the diesel Ram 1500 typically commends an extra $3,000 to $4,500 over the usual V6 and V8 gasoline versions. Today, third party sales sources indicate Ram has failed to live up to the self imposed 20 percent sales target for the “EcoDiesel” – data for registrations through May reveal less than 10 percent of Ram 1500 models feature the diesel powertrain. That means FCA might lose $10,000 or more of profit on each truck and could disenfranchise customers that seek the mighty but frugal engine. And the brand also said around 60 percent of buyers of the EcoDiesel are conquest customers – a rate unheard of in the pickup market, which is very loyal.
The company meanwhile says the disparity between the actual sales and their internal goal comes from the troubles of reaching the exact supply requests – it’s been producing 20 percent of 1500 pickups with the diesel but has issues providing dealers with the right inventory. “What we build and ship is different from what the (current) sales are showing,” said Ram truck spokesman Nick Cappa.