Tag: Trucks

By on November 10, 2015


Making its debut at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, the Fiat Fullback will be playing its first season in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa next May.

The Fullback — a rebadged Mitsubishi L200 — takes its name from the position found in rugby, soccer, and American football. Its purpose: to help Fiat break into the medium-duty pickup segment in the aforementioned EMEA market, where 675,000 units from the likes of Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi were sold in 2014.

(Read More…)

By on October 30, 2015


In Part One we looked at Clessie Cummins’ development of the first practical and reliable diesel truck engines and his earliest attempts to race diesels in the Indy 500. Though he had succeeded in developing the technology, he still hadn’t achieved the ultimate proof of concept that market success brings. (Read More…)

By on October 30, 2015

(Note to readers: This was the piece on Clessie Cummins that should have appeared first. Unfortunately, Part 2 of the series ran first and will be rerun later this afternoon — Aaron.)

clessie-cumminsDiesel engines have been in the news lately, and not for good things. The admission by Volkswagen that it has been using a software device to cheat on government emissions testing of at least some of its diesels may taint compression ignition, oil-fired engines in the passenger car market. The trucking industry, however, will continue to use diesels. That’s mostly because of a guy named Clessie Lyle Cummins.

If you’re an automobile or truck enthusiast you likely know his last name, but just as likely know nothing about him.

His accomplishments date to building a working steam engine for his family’s Indiana farm as an 11 year old in 1899, casting the engine parts from molten iron poured into hand-carved molds. As a teenager, he started to take odd jobs including fixing machinery, which led to a job at the maker of Marmon automobiles — Nordyke and Marmon. He was also member of the pit crew of Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp that was the winner of the very first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911, and offered suggestions that made the car faster. Cummin’s loved the Indy 500 and his engines would eventually run there, with some measure of success. (Read More…)

By on October 7, 2015

All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade Limited

Total Fiat Chrysler Automobiles volume is up six percent this year thanks to record sales at Jeep, FCA’s top-selling outlet. However, despite that wave of Jeep-directed affection in the U.S., sales at the company’s other brands have fallen two percent through the first nine months of 2015.

Even in September, an extraordinarily high-volume month for the U.S. auto industry, a month in which sales shot up 15 percent compared with the same period one year earlier, FCA’s non-Jeep marques posted only a modest one percent increase. Jeep’s 40 percent surge to more than 77,000 sales produced a 14 percent overall uptick for FCA’s U.S. operations, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram plus Fiat and Alfa Romeo. (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2015


Ford on Thursday rolled out its newest Super Duty truck — 350 pounds lighter than the outgoing model — complete with aluminum-alloy body, high-strength steel frame and new 6-speed transmission for its V-8 engine.

According to Ford, the truck’s frame is up to 24 times stiffer than the outgoing frame, and the company reportedly used high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloys — which are separate from civilian grade because they use more of it before 9 a.m. than we’ll use all day. Or something.

The Super Duty truck can be fitted with either a 6.7-liter V-8 turbocharged diesel, a 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine, with the latter being mated to a new TorqShift-G six-speed transmission.  (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2015

TTAC-2014_Ram-EcoDiesel-front (1)

This has not been a banner summer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In the past 90 days, FCA has recalled nearly 4 million cars and trucks for various issues including hackable cars, volatile fuel tanks, faulty airbags and now, in some of its Ram trucks, airbags with minds of their own.

In a statement Thursday, FCA said it was recalling more than 1 million pickups for a faulty steering wheel wiring harness that could rub against a spring and deploy the driver’s side airbag. The company said it was aware of two injuries related to the airbag deployment. Ram trucks — all models — made between 2012-2014 are affected by the recall. More than 235,000 trucks in Canada will be recalled as well.

In addition, FCA is recalling roughly 350,000 trucks for faulty welds and non-compliant side-curtain airbags.

(Read More…)

By on August 29, 2015


Sergio Marchionne seems to be taking a different tactic in this year’s UAW negotiations. Instead of threatening to take product out of North America and send it to China, the head of FCA is playing to the hearts and minds of the union membership, even going so far as to admit all automakers have screwed workers in the past.

“To be perfectly honest, we’ve all fucked with the UAW, right? We were threatened by them, so we took all the pickup trucks that we sell — and 90 percent of those pickup trucks are sold in this country, right — we took it away, and then we delocalized them” Marchionne told Automotive News’ Larry P. Vellequette.

(Read More…)

By on August 26, 2015


Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting.

Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus at the plant. Ford announced production of those two products would move to Mexico in 2018.

The last U.S.-spec Ranger was most recently produced at Ford’s St. Paul, Minnesota plant, which shuttered in 2011.

According to sources, the formal decision would need to be ratified by Ford executives and the union’s board. (Read More…)

By on August 21, 2015

Raptor Prototype Testing

Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan.

The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and that capability likely won’t decrease — but we don’t know if it’ll go up.

“The all-new Ford Raptor will be more capable than the previous Raptor, including improved wheel travel and ground clearance,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine told us.

(Read More…)

By on August 5, 2015

For the first time in the nameplate’s history, Toyota will offer a Limited version of its mid-size Tacoma — which was the fifth-best selling truck of all trucks last month — and that’s probably a big deal.

The automaker outlined for us the lineup for the new Tacoma, which will hit dealers in September, and the walk up to the Limited trim — which is at the top trim, for now — sounded light at the bottom and heavy at the top. We’re not allowed to discuss pricing yet, so that’ll have to wait.

However, a top-end Limited trim means that Tacoma isn’t immune to the immutable First Law of Pickup Trucks: You can charge whatever you want for these things. And product planners probably have more in store for the Tacoma. (Read More…)

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