Update 1: Dodge Temporarily Kills Light-Duty Diesel for Ram 1500

Dodge Temporarily Kills Light-Duty Diesel for Ram 1500

Update #1 June-18-2009 01:49 PDT:
Chrysler spokesperson Bryan Zvibleman told PickupTrucks.com this afternoon that "we continue to explore all types of propulsion options. We have no additional information to share at this time."


Chrysler has killed its much-anticipated light-duty diesel engine for the half-ton Dodge Ram 1500, at least temporarily, according to a motion filed by Chrysler in bankruptcy court earlier this week and reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"This is not a surprise," Mark Land, director of public relations at diesel engine manufacturer Cummins, told PickupTrucks.com today. “We're OK with this. We've been trying to rework development of the [light-duty diesel] engine over the last several months, given the current economic climate."

Chrysler hasn't responded to a request for comment.

Land said Cummins' engine contract with Chrysler has been voided as part of Chrysler's Chapter 11 debt restructuring. Under Chapter 11, Chrysler's assets and liabilities were assigned to two entities: Old Chrysler and New Chrysler. Italian automaker Fiat, which recently merged with New Chrysler after that portion of the company emerged from bankruptcy, did not assume the light-duty diesel contract, leaving it with the Old Chrysler.

"Chrysler hasn't told us they don't want to [build the engine]," Land said. "It just won't happen under the terms of the original contract with the New Chrysler."


News of the small Cummins engine being killed isn't surprising. GM, Ford and Toyota have also indefinitely paused their small-diesel programs. Ford, GM, Chrysler and Toyota had previously promised half-ton diesel engines for their half-ton pickups by 2010.

In January, Chrysler told PickupTrucks.com that the ultra-clean diesel engine had been postponed until 2011 or later.

Land says development of the light-duty diesel engine will continue, with or without Chrysler.

"We've slowed the pace down considerably, but our plans for a new production line are still moving forward," Land said.


every manufacturer is commented on except nissan. what about their LCV's, relationsihp w/ ZF transmissions, and since cummins is open to deal w/ others, why not Nissan? and just in general, what's going on w/ the 2010 titan; will it even exist?

Chrysler is hurting because higher fuel prices and a ravaged economy drove consumers to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. So their response? Kill off the only engine that had much hope of making their full-size pickup trucks fuel-efficient while retaining (and improving) their towing and hauling capabilities.

Chrysler should have killed off all of the gasoline engines and and offered only the diesel.

Looks like Mahindra will be getting my business end of 2009 or early 2010.

Dammit people, why is it so hard to buy a diesel light truck in this country?

Agh! Idiots!

They already even had a deal with VW for Jeep engines! Just use a VW motor. Dangit, if they got even half what I get in my Jetta in a 1500, I'd be all over that.

Nissan is the most likely to purchase the light duty diesel for it's Titan program and commercial vehicle program. Will Nissan build it's light trucks going forward or contract them out to Dodge or GM is the question.

FMB, you know the answer to that question already: oil and labor interests, backwards emissions laws, and our good old friend greed. All of those things will make sure we don't see too many small diesel solutions for quite some time. Pathetic.

But on the lighter side, I'll be looking at Mahindra, too, only it appears both TR models will miss the best body configuration: an extended cab with a 6 foot bed. Oh well. I guess if I'd have to choose, I'd take a single-cab TR20 and the 7.5 foot bed over the pricier TR40 with its short bed and 2nd row of mouths to listen to in the back seat. ;) Put something like a Leer 122 tall topper shell on a TR20 and that has to be the next cult off-road camper truck!

I just wish some of these domestics had the balls to push more back-to-basics designs with smart powerplants like Mahindra. Maybe Ford's EcoBoost will be better than I'm expecting. But I'm not sure the T6 Ranger will. It's going to be fun to watch where the market goes in a year or two's time, that's for sure.

The biggest problem is trucks have lost 15% market share. It is funny that a Dodge truck buyer will be buying an Indian truck. Both are jokes.

Good decision.

Ford Transit Connect Van has lot more space than these trucks and it has door too for security.

And it has 23 MPG compared to these Trucks 10 MPG or lesser.

Where weight of the cargo is not important, people can go for Transit. Nissan is also planning to launch such a Van.

Sales of Pickups has been going down for the last 5 years, it will continue to accelerate in the coming years.

Gas prices stand at $2.68/gallon today and it keeps increasing.

Come on American car companies!! Build us some diesel light duty trucks! Like the Hilux on Top Gear.

Well I guess I should be yelling at the EPA for the horrific laws we have against diesels. Oh yeah, diesels are just so bad that more than 50% of vehicles in Europe are diesel!

Look up 'Project Sipster': 84 mpg, 0-60 in 7 sec., for $7000 in mods to an '81 Rabbit

I can't belive the U.S. auto industry. VW has been building diesel for about 10 years,for the U.S. market. I want to buy an american made car/truck, but the slow to react U.S. auto industry to bring a diesel to market is making me take a longer look at Vdubs TDI. COME ON U.S. AUTO MAKERS GET US A DIESEL and NOT THAT POS THAT GM DUMPED ON US in the early 1980's

The cummins diesel in the ram 1500 was chryslers best chance.
F*ck CARB. Disappointed....upset.... ...torqued.....angry...pissed
oil interests, and crooked politicians = greed

hang'em all

I don't think well ever see a diesel half ton, all the manufacturers have been talking about adding one for years promising one, and then when it gets close to production time they wimp out.

Good News...

Cummins is renegotiating a contract to make light-duty diesel engines for Chrysler.

Chrysler had canceled the contract as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. But Cummins spokesman Mark Land says that frees Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins to negotiate a deal with the new company created by the sale of most of the automaker's assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat Group SpA.

The cancellation doesn't affect Cummins' deal to make engines for heavy-duty Dodge Ram pickup trucks. The plant that makes those engines was closed last month but Land says it's expected to reopen when Chrysler resumes truck production.

The production line for the light-duty engines is being built at a different Cummins plant in Columbus. Land says that work has been slowed until the situation is clarified.

@Ed: Isn't that what we reported?


RATS !!!!!!

@Max Reid: What are you talking about, the Transit Connect might have more space but probably can't pull a trailer for even more space, and pickups don't get 10 mpg or less, diesels get from 13-17 in most trucks and half tons get 18-21. If you hook up a trailer to one of those vans it probably would get 12-15 mpg not to mention a not very heavy trailer like the pickups would be able to pull. Also whats the deal with you saying that truck sales have been going down the last 5 years? In 2005 the big 3 sold in record numbers, and thats only bout 4 years ago, and in 2006 they did sell a little less but thats the economy/obama's fault


Navistar is coming with a new V8 at 6,4 litre. CGI in the block!

Configuration: V-8
Displacement: 6.4 L (389 cu. in.)
Power Output: 220-300 hp (164-224 kW)
Peak Torque: 560-660 lb.-ft. (762-898 Nm)
Aspiration: Turbocharged
Combustion System: Direct Injection
Dry Engine Weight: 1,225 lbs. (556 kg)
B50 Life: 350,000 Miles (603,504 km)

I am not surprised that Dodge would back down from building a diesel 1/2 ton. In tough economic times most people are not going to spend the extra money to buy a truck with a diesel engine. The price of diesel is predicted to climb above the price of gas again. The emission systems that have been added to diesel engines in heavy duty pickups have reduced their fuel economy by 20 - 30 %. The purchase cost of a diesel engined pickup is outrageously high. The sale of heavy duty diesel pickups has crashed so why would the manufacturers want to risk several billion dollars in investments to build an engine that might not sell. I like the way Ford is going with their Ecoboost and Bobcat engines. They are reported to have similar power characteristics to that of diesels at a fraction of the cost.

Even though Dodge killed the contact, Cummins has already said it will continue to develope the engine. So Cummins doesn't want to be caught without having an engine ready to sell. I think the Cummins brand name has great value in it and some car-maker should use there engines.

Well DodgeFan;
The first OEM to put a diesel in a light duty pickup gets my business. I was really looking forward to the Ram 1500 with the cummins. Now? Maybe I buy a Mahindra. take that dodge.

@ TY, So you'll buy any truck just because it has a diesel? Let alone a crappy Indian truck? You need to rethink this.

Tom, I hear you. It's mostly just wonderment. I'd of course wait at least several years for reliability, longevity and total cost of ownership marks to be measured, if Mahindra even makes it until then. But in the meantime that wouldn't stop me from testing one. And if you suspect that I couldn't care less about any over-proportioned, over-powered, low-mpg, gasser alternatives, then you'd be dead on. It's in that spirit that I was hoping the Ram would slim down, re-power and gain build quality, so that by the time a Mahindra came along, it wouldn't even be an afterthought. But clearly that's not going to be the case.

Hey everyone, really disappointed with Chrysler not going ahead with the Cummings 5.0L V6 in the 1/2 ton Dodge . Was looking foreward to it. Not sure what the mileage would be but, I had a 2006 3/4 ton Dodge with the 5.9L 6 cyl Cummings that got almost 25 MPG (not towing anything) after it was broken in. I used to tow RV trailers from the manufacturer to the dealers through-out the U.S. and Canada until I totally lost it on an icy road and wind storm in Canada. While towing the 14 thousand pound units, I got about 12 MPG but, with the Trail-lite trailers I got around 19 to 22 MPG depending on if there was a head wind or not. So, now I`m hoping Chrysler will change their minds and put a 1/2 ton Dodge diesel out by end of 2010.

It is just a bunch of BS that the US automakers don't produce diesel engine cars. They have been producing them in Europe for years. I drove a Ford Focus in Italy that ran on diesel. So no. We want a mid size diesel trucks and cars now. I own 2 TDI VW Jettas. I get 42 MPG in summer running the AC and upto 50 MPG in the winter here in central Texas.

Really disappointed as well. Been a loyal Dodge nut since mid 90's. Been looking to buy a new truck and have been waiting for a 1/2 ton diesel. If Dodge doesn't do it soon, I'll might have to step up to a 3/4 ton, and at that point it may not be with Dodge. Really hope they jump back on to the 1/2 ton diesel track. It makes the most sense for consumers if they do it.

hi,i've been driving pick up trucks here in europe for 15 years.it seems that whilst i'm "allowed" to buy jap trucks Dodge RAM 's are priced out of the market with custom duties.Then there's the fuel issue we WANT a light duty diesel AND WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO BUY DODGE pick up trucks in europe and we don't just want some barbie sized vehicle it's gotta be big hope that CHRYSLER are listening..

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