When Ram released the 3.0-liter, EcoDiesel V-6 for its 1500 pickup, the world took notice as this made Ram the only truck manufacturer with a diesel in a light-duty pickup in the U.S. Despite the attention it received, no one expected the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to be nearly as popular as it became, as Ram received 8,000 requests for the pickup within three days of revealing it. Needless to say, a small diesel engine in a light-duty pickup is obviously what the American market has been craving.
Chrysler, Ram’s parent company, is not one to sit back and watch paying customer leave dealers because they cannot find an EcoDiesel in stock. Rather, the automaker has just announced that it will increase the mix of EcoDiesel models it sends to dealers to meets this demand. Specifically, it will increase the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s mix in the Ram 1500 lineup to 20 percent, which is double the initial mix.
What’s most impressive about the success of the EcoDiesel is that 60 percent of its sales have been what manufacturers classify as “conquest sales.” This means that over half of EcoDiesel sales went to owners of competing brands. In the pickup truck segment, where brand loyalty is intense, this is an incredible feat.
All of this success is attributed to the perfect balance that the EcoDiesel engine offers. It produces a modest 240 horsepower, but its torque is set at a stump-pulling 420 pound-feet, which plays a big part in the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel being able to tow up to 9,200 pounds. What’s more, the Ram EcoDiesel also turns in an incredible 28 mpg highway, and independent testing has shown returns in excess of 30 mpg at cruising speed.
It looks like the long-time No. 3 in the pickup truck segment may be looking to move up the ladder soon. Sure; increased EcoDiesel production itself won’t be enough to push Ram up a slot, but it certainly helps drive up interest in the brand as a whole. In August 2014 alone Ram saw a 31-percent increase in light-duty pickup sales, helping push the Ram lineup to within 6,000 units of the No. 2 Silverado’s monthly sales.