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Chrysler Re-Enters CNG Market

March 10, 2012 in CNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Chrysler Roars into NGVs with Bi-Fuel Ram,
Says Its True Factory Production Shaves $6,000

“This is not a conversion,” said Chrysler Ram president Fred Diaz as he unveiled America’s only factory-built compressed natural gas bi-fuel pickup truck last week at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

Ram and Chrysler de Mexico president Fred Diaz introduced the factory CNG pickup at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis this past March.

CNG vehicles from Ford and GM are delivered from the factory to aftermarket firms – albeit with full OEM sanction and warranties – but the Ram CNG will be built on the production line in Saltillo (Coahuila), by the manufacturer itself, Diaz said.

This brings two benefits – a three-year/30,000 mile Chrysler warranty for the whole vehicle and fuel systems, and a savings on price of at least $6,000 that competitors incur for CNG conversions.

Diaz is also president of Chrysler de Mexico.

The Ram 2500 HD CNG, available from July as a Crew Cab 4×4 model with 169-inch wheelbase, is priced at $47,500, including a $995 destination charge. A comparable conventional Ram is priced around $39,745.

‘Factory-Built in North America for North America’

With a $3 difference between CNG and gasoline, a Ram owner will recoup the extra cost of the CNG vehicle in close to two years, Diaz said. The truck uses gasoline only on start up, and if CNG is not available.

Twin Type I Faber CNG tanks on Chrysler's factory-built bi-fuel Ram pickup.

The Ram CNG was engineered in collaboration with Chrysler’s major investor Fiat, which has an 80% market share in Europe’s clean vehicle market with more than half a million trucks and cars in service.

Appealing to American patriotism, Diaz said the Ram CNG runs on domestic gas instead of imported oil “and is factory-built in North America for North America.”

Diaz said the Ram CNG should prove popular with commercial and fleet operators, government agencies, and small businesses and contractors.

Ram Truck is experiencing a boom in popularity, Diaz said, with 22 consecutive months of higher sales and a 21% increase in 2011.

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