That flood of orders came from February 7-10, and that strong surge of interest apparently amounts to a new Ram record for the number of customer orders placed for a vehicle in such a short period of time. In fact, EcoDiesel models accounted for over half of Ram 1500 orders over that period, despite the fact that the diesel option costs several thousand dollars more than a comparable gasoline-engined model. That impressive total did not come entirely as a shock to Ram officials, however: "We knew customers have been asking for it," Nick Cappa, Ram Truck communications officer, tells Autoblog.
The 2014 Ram 1500 with its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 and standard eight-speed TorqueFlight automatic makes 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet – a combination good for 9,200 pounds of towing. Despite that pulling power, its fuel economy is rated at 28 miles per gallon highway (the best among trucks in its class), 20 mpg city and 23 mpg combined. Four-wheel drive variants gives up a single mpg in all categories.
Production of 2014 model-year trucks began in February, and shipments start in March. Ram expects EcoDiesel models to account for 10-15 percent of 1500-series orders this year. Another 8,000 units are allocated for March production, and according to Cappa, Ram has room to ramp up production if needed. In case you were wondering, you're not out of luck if you still want to get in on the first allocation of diesels. Individual customer orders take priority over dealers in Ram's computer system, so each one means fewer truck sitting on dealer lots. Scroll down for the full details.
• Between the afternoon of February 7th and the morning of February 10th, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel orders, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the exclusive powertrain
• First round of Ram 1500 EcoDiesel orders account for more than 50 percent of the total order mix
• Special order rate nearly twice the corporate average – an all-time high
• Overwhelming response attributed to best-in-class 28 MPG with 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity and strong consumer demand for exclusive light-duty diesel
• Actual customer orders for the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel take priority over dealer stocking orders
On the heels of EPA's certification of 28 MPG, Ram Truck opened the initial order allocation for the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to receive a flood of orders from dealers across the nation. More than 8,000 trucks equipped with the fuel-sipping engine that packs 420 lb.-ft. of torque have been placed-just over 50 percent of the total mix. Even more surprising is the amount of orders already paid for by customers- twice the corporate average of sold customer orders on a truck that customers have yet to test drive.
"The Ram 1500 is the only half-ton truck available with a diesel, so we see this as incremental business by having the only truck that can offer best-in-class fuel economy of 28 MPG combined with 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "It's every truck manufacturer's dream to have this kind of initial order demand for a product. Fuel economy is the No. 1 request of half-ton buyers and the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers without compromising capability."
The EcoDiesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 has earned a 28-mpg rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup. It also exceeds the EPA highway rating for the top-ranked small pickup. The breakthrough results mean Ram keeps the half-ton fuel-economy record set last year by the 2013 Ram 1500. Equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, the truck earned 25 mpg highway, a rating that stands for model-year 2014. The Ram 1500 now owns the half-ton pickup segment's top two spots in the EPA's 2014 highway fuel-economy rankings.
Production of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel began in February with a group of specialized trucks in popular configurations. Normal processes place the initial build under quality review to assure every truck meets or exceeds targets. Shipping is expected in March, keeping the planned delivery within the first quarter of 2014.
Although Ram has reached its first planned order allocation numbers in three days, customers who special order the new truck will have priority in the build. Orders for dealer stocking will be filled once sold customer orders are filled. The next order allocation of Ram 1500 EcoDiesel trucks will open in early March.
Ram 1500 - the most recognizable pickup on the road - delivers best-in-class fuel economy of 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including a fuel efficient and powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine and first-in-segment technologies: TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension. For 2014, the Ram 1500 offers a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine that delivers an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency 28 miles per gallon (mpg) - unsurpassed torque and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability.
About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as a standalone vehicle brand. Creating a distinct brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.
The Ram Truck brand has the most innovative lineup of full-size trucks on the market. Ram Truck has emerged as a full-size truck leader by investing substantially in new products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and features that further enhance their capabilities. Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.