It seems the idea of a half-ton truck with a light-duty diesel engine has officially died now that Dodge has joined Ford, GM, and Toyota in at least stalling, if not killing completely, production of such a truck.
Previously, Dodge, Ford, GM, and Toyota had promised a light-duty diesel engine for their half-ton pickup trucks by 2010. Ford, GM, and Toyota all stalled the projects several months ago, leaving Dodge as the only possible company to build a half-ton diesel truck. Dodge’s truck could now be dead after its contract with Cummins was canceled in bankruptcy proceedings for the automaker.
“This is not a surprise. We’re okay with this,” Mark Land, director of public relations at Cummins, told PickupTrucks.com. “We’ve been trying to rework development of the [light-duty diesel] engine over the last several months, given the current economic climate.”
The contract Cummins had with Chrysler was voided during Chrysler’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. It seems the contract was thrown into Old Chrysler and not assumed by Fiat when New Chrysler and Fiat merged.
“Chrysler hasn’t told us they don’t want to [build the engine],” said Land. “It just won’t happen under the terms of the original contract with the New Chrysler.”
Land did say that development of the light-duty diesel engine would continue with or without Chrysler. “We’ve slowed down the pace considerably, but our plans for a new production line are still moving forward.”