Dodge Continues Commercial Vehicle Market Offensive with Strategic Upgrades, Enhancements

  • 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs’ fuel economy 23 percent better than Chevy Kodiak and GMC Topkick; 14 percent better than Ford F-550 Chassis Cab 
  • 2008 Dodge Sprinter offers 25 percent better fuel economy than Ford E-series vans 
  • 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs certified for up to 1,172 lbs. payload advantage over Ford F-450 and F-550 chassis cabs 
  • 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab standard Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) increased to class-leading 24,000 lbs. 
  • Power Take-Off (PTO) pump ratings for all Ram chassis cabs increases 55 percent 
  • PTO prep package now available with Laramie trim-level trucks 
  • All-new ambulance prep package introduced for 2009 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs 
  • Upgraded brake system for 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab extends service intervals and delivers maximum stopping power 
  • New 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Variable Valve Timing delivers increased horsepower and torque ratings with improved fuel economy 
  • Cummins 6.7-liter diesel engine available with Remote Start (automatic only) 
  • Leading Chevrolet since April, Ford since July, Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab continues sales dominance in Class 3 segment
  • With 33,500 commercial vehicles sold in 2007 (285 percent increase since 2003), Dodge is now sixth-largest commercial manufacturer
February 25, 2008 , Atlanta -  Anchored by three powerful, capable and durable work trucks, the 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs; the 2008 Dodge Sprinter, the market’s top-performing full-size van; and the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van, Dodge continues its commercial vehicle market offensive with a barrage of product enhancements that will deliver maximum uptime, capability and savings to commercial customers. Enhancements were announced this morning at the 2008 National Truck Equipment (NTEA) Work Truck Show in Atlanta.

“Uptime, capability and reducing costs are extremely important to commercial customers, and Dodge meets those needs with the best light- and medium-duty vehicles on the market,” said Scott Kunselman, Vice President - Dodge Truck, Chrysler LLC. “With strategic upgrades, we will continue to enhance our commercial vehicle lineup to better serve the needs of our business customers.”

Class-leading Fuel Economy and Lowest Ownership Costs
Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs deliver improved fuel economy while continuing to offer low cost of ownership with the segment’s largest and longest-lasting brakes.

Armed with the Class 4-5’s largest standard fuel tank (52 gallons), 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs now boast best-in-class fuel economy and deliver up to 14 percent better fuel performance than the Ford F-550 Chassis Cab, and up to 23 percent better than the Chevy Kodiak and GMC Topkick. . Independent testing and validation was performed by TRC (Transportation Research Center), a leading research firm in East Liberty, Ohio.

In addition, with the legendary Cummins 6.7-liter diesel, a new optional 3.42 axle ratio is available on the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab to improve fuel economy.

Since its U.S. introduction in 2003, Dodge Sprinter has consistently delivered the segment’s best fuel performance and lowest ownership costs. The 2008 Dodge Sprinter delivers 25 percent better fuel economy (diesel models) than Ford E-series vans – the best fuel performance in the full-size van segment. Dodge Sprinter gas models boast up to a 14 percent advantage over Ford – best-in-class.

For diesel models, an average of 20.2 mpg was confirmed through independent testing and validation performed by AMCI (Automotive Marketing Consultants, Inc.) of Oceanside, California. Gas models averaged a best-in-class 15.2 mpg. In addition, the 3.92 axle ratio is now standard for diesel models, ensuring superior fuel economy.

Enhanced Capability, Power and Safety
Loaded with premium power and performance, all 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs have been verified with considerably increased Power Take-Off (PTO) pump rating – a 55 percent increase in gallons per minute – in order to provide more power, muscle and capability for pumps, lifts and hydraulic use.

Showcasing even more commercial capability and power, 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs are now certified for up to a 1,172 lbs. payload advantage over comparably equipped Ford F-450 and F-550 chassis cabs. The payload advantage on a Ram 4500 Chassis Cab with a 120-inch CA 4x4 regular cab is up to 669 lbs. For a Ram 5500 Chassis Cab (108-inch CA 4x4 regular cab), the payload advantage is up to 1,772 lbs.

Bringing even more ‘big rig” feel, commercial capability and enhanced safety, the brake system on the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab is upgraded with larger rotors and calipers and thicker brake pads. Enhanced capability and performance is assured as the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab’s standard Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) has been increased to a class-leading 24,000 lbs.

Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab’s all-new brakes are up-sized to provide more stopping power, increased brake-pad life and improved fuel economy. To improve stopping power, front and rear rotor sizes are increased 2 percent to 360 mm (front) and 358 mm (rear) – larger than rotors found on an equivalent Ford Chassis Cab. In addition, front calipers are up-sized 7 percent to include large twin 60 mm pistons for maximum stopping power.

New brake pads are 14 percent thicker (12.5 mm) with a 36 percent larger surface area (99 square cm). Compared to a Ford F-350, front pads have a 77 percent larger surface area (99 vs. 56 square cm). The new brakes reduce brake drag which results in a fuel economy improvement of .5 mpg. In addition, the rotor thickness increased 10 percent on the front (39 mm vs. 35.5 mm) and 12 percent on the rear (34 mm vs. 30 mm). Compared to an equivalent Ford vehicle, which uses 38 mm thick front rotors and 34 mm thick rear rotors, the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab will have the largest rotors in the segment.

Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cabs also feature a new 5.7-liter next-generation HEMI® V-8 with VVT (Variable Valve Timing) that will appeal to fleets requiring a gas engine. The new engine provides more power and torque with better fuel economy. The new engine incorporates a 9 percent higher compression ratio (10.5:1), Variable Valve Timing and an active intake manifold. These technologies, combined with engine and powertrain integration improvements, result in a 4 percent improvement in fuel economy. Preliminary results also show peak torque increases 8 percent to 404 lb.-ft. and peak power increases 15 percent to 380 hp. At 2,000 RPM, torque improves 6 percent to 350 lb.-ft.

Expanded Features and Product Offerings
Addressing a significant growth segment, Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs will offer an all-new ambulance prep package for the 2009 model year enabling easy upfit for ambulance body-builders. This all-new prep package includes a Cummins-specific battery voltage monitoring system with automatic idle control. As ambulances routinely idle for extended periods, this key feature tracks battery voltage and automatically revs the engine to charge the battery if power levels drop below a certain threshold.

Other new product features include the legendary Cummins 6.7-liter diesel engine (automatic transmission only) which will now be available with Remote Start. Also, all Dodge Ram chassis cab models now offer a PTO prep package for Laramie trim vehicles. Finally, 10 new low-volume paint colors are now available to fleet customers.

For small business owners, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo Van is optimized with a number of new factory upfit options. Included is a new exterior vinyl window shading that may be applied to the outside window, both full- and half-width cargo dividers, wire mesh and solid metal window interior inserts, a cargo compartment floor mat, and carpeted and molded wall liners placed over the inside of the windows so others can't see inside.

For fleet customers, new premium options include daytime running lights, power eight-way driver seat, power equipment group, security alarm, UConnect® hands-free communication system with Bluetooth® technology, and MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System with satellite radio, voice-activated capability, touch-screen and real-time traffic and navigation. Also available to fleet customers is speed control, security alarm, smoker’s group, heavy-duty engine cooling system, and a fleet delete option that removes supplemental side-curtain air bags, interior trim and sunscreen glass.

Delivering even more convenience, an electric sliding door will be available on 2009 model Sprinters.

Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab Continues Sales Dominance
In the marketplace for just over one year, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab continues to maintain its sales leadership and number-one ranking in both U.S. retail registrations and market share over the perennial leader, the Ford F-350. As the segment’s most upfit-friendly chassis cab, in April 2007, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab surpassed the Chevy Silverado Chassis Cab, the continuing runner-up to the Ford big rig. And in July 2007, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab bolted to the forefront past the Ford F-350 Chassis Cab and continues its dominance in the Class 3 conventional chassis cab market.

In 2007, Dodge sold 33,500 commercial vehicles, a 285 percent increase over 2003 when the company returned to the commercial vehicle market. In short order, Dodge is now firmly entrenched as the sixth largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles sold in the U.S.

Dodge Commercial Vehicles
Dodge continues to increase the breadth of its commercial products and offers a comprehensive array of vehicles and services designed with business customers in mind. Since its return to the commercial market in 2003, Dodge has introduced six all-new commercial vehicles. Along with the Dodge Ram 2500 Box-Off and the Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs — the Class 3-5 segments’ most powerful, capable and upfit-friendly work trucks — the Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van complements a growing Dodge commercial lineup that includes the class-leading Dodge Sprinter. Dodge also maintains a collaborative partnership with Daimler AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles.

Dodge BusinessLink
Launched in 1999 and offering no-cost enrollment, Dodge BusinessLink is a full-service commercial program comprised of a select network of Dodge dealers who know and understand unique vehicle needs of small businesses, fleet managers and other commercial vehicle customers. Providing exclusive benefits, BusinessLink dealers offer unprecedented business assistance including dedicated commercial account managers and sales teams, dealer inventories representing a higher mix of work-truck and other commercial vehicles, next-bay service and technicians, extended hours to minimize downtime, free loaner vehicles and more. BusinessLink also includes Dodge’s “On The Job” program, which offers discounts on upfits and direct cash incentives and savings on almost all Dodge commercial vehicles.

Dodge Brand
With a U.S. market share of 6.4 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC’s best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2007, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market.

The Dodge brand’s first crossover vehicle – the all-new 2007 Dodge Journey – is available in the first quarter of this year and will be available outside North America in both left- and right-hand drive in mid-2008. Arriving in the spring will be the limited-edition 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine that boasts 425 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft of torque. The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram with game-changing exterior and interior design, innovations, best-in-class features and craftsmanship will arrive in the fall. Also arriving this year will be the 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid. Recently, the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan arrived in dealerships with 35 new or improved features including the newest innovation, the Swivel ‘n Go™ seating system. In 2007, Dodge Avenger and Nitro entered key volume segments outside North America, joining Dodge Caliber, which launched in those markets in 2006.


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