Will 2002 Ram Get Mercedes or Cummins Diesel?

Automotive News reported on Monday March 06, 2000 that DaimlerChrysler will power the 2002 Dodge Ram with its own Mercedes-Benz Diesel engine but Cummins Engines has issued a news release stating otherwise.

Automotive News quoted both Mercedes spokesperson Enrico Mueller and an unnamed manager in Dodge's Powertrain Development Group as stating the change from the current Cummins diesel to a Mercedes diesel would begin in the next generation Ram and most likely be of common-rail design - possibly the MBE-906 model. The 6.4L six cylinder MBE-906 is larger than the current 5.9L I6 Cummins used in the Ram.

Switching to a Mercedes-Benz diesel could possibly save DaimlerChrysler millions of dollars in costs but cost Cummins around 20% of its total annual revenues. Cummins stock price has plummeted to a 52-week low of around 32 on the news. Cummins has had a close relationship with Dodge since 1989.

In response to this news Cummins Engines issued a statement from Tim Solso, its chairman and chief executive. "I spoke to (DaimlerChrysler president) Jim Holden last night in Auburn Hills, who confirmed that Cummins would remain the diesel engine option in its Dodge Ram pickup truck". And in the last few days David Elshoff, a DaimlerChrysler spokesperson, also confirmed that Cummins had been told it will remain the diesel engine supplier for the trucks. A Mercedes engine would be used only if DaimlerChrysler were to decide to build a medium-duty truck, which is larger than the light-duty Ram pickup, the spokesman.

So which will it be? We are speculating that both the Mercedes and Cummins engines will be used in the next generation Dodge Ram.