Chrysler CEO Marchionne Hints at Diesel Dodge Durango, Ram Dakota

After the company launches a diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Group may also fit a diesel engine in the Dodge Durango SUV and next-generation Ram Dakota pickup. According to Ward’s Auto, light trucks will probably be the other Chrysler vehicles with diesels in the U.S. market.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee will receive a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that already is offered in the European market. Because the Dodge Durango is built on the same platform, and at the same factory in Detroit, Michigan, CEO Sergio Marchionne told Ward’s that the Durango could also receive the diesel mill.

Marchionne said that light trucks and SUVs are probably the only Chrysler Group vehicles that will get diesel engines in the U.S. He says experience shows few Americans want to buy diesel-powered passenger cars, and says that a Fiat 500 diesel “would never sell” on our shores.

In addition to the Grand Cherokee and Durango, Marchionne said the U.S. will receive a diesel version of the next-generation Ram Dakota. The prior generation of the small pickup (pictured) ended production in summer 2011, but a new version is on the way. Not much is known about the new Dakota, though Marchionne confirmed to Ward’s that it will be a unibody design, rather than the prior model’s body-on-frame setup. Other reports indicate Ram might export the Dakota to other markets around the world, including Europe and Asia.

Source: Ward’s Auto

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