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On 1/28/2019 at 1:32 PM, logtruckman said:

We all need 1000 pound feet of tq to get groceries , these diesel pickups are retarded ,theres no way that kind of power is needed or even able to be put to the ground ,and you know ford will put theirs up to 1050-1100 pounds just say they have more ,pretty soons the rams will have a x15 in theirs .

Agree-and your point on getting that to the ground- think every component in those trucks is up to handling those HP/torque numbers?  I imagine costs on down the road with these things will be high-unless the electronics make the power available on a very controlled basis.

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How are they getting around a cdl when they say the make tow weight is over 35k pounds?

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14 minutes ago, HeavyGunner said:

How are they getting around a cdl when they say the make tow weight is over 35k pounds?

They'll probably have a disclaimer about "RV" use in that capacity only or something along those lines.

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This is exactly what all the rich kids, (spoiled) need nowadays to be out of the way of their parents. 

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Fiat Chrysler recalls 882,000 pickup trucks for steering, pedal issues

David Shepardson, Reuters  /  February 5, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said on Tuesday it would recall 882,000 pickup trucks worldwide in two new recalls to address steering and pedal issues.

The Italian-American automaker said it was recalling about 660,000 heavy duty Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks from the 2013 through 2017 model years, including 574,000 in the United States, as drivers could potentially experience steering loss.

A nut could come loose and prevent drivers from being able to steer the vehicle, Fiat Chrysler said, adding it had reports of one injury and eight accidents possibly related to the issue.

The company will also recall 222,000 2019 Ram 1500 pickup trucks worldwide to better secure brake pedals while the vehicles’ adjustable-pedal feature is in use.

The brake pedal could get detached if drivers move pedals to the rear-most position, the company said. That could be dangerous if trucks are traveling at highway speeds.

Last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled about 180,000 2019 Ram 1500 pickups to tighten a fastener linked to reports of power-steering loss. Fiat Chrysler said the issue could lead to steering problems.

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On 1/30/2019 at 9:48 AM, HeavyGunner said:

How are they getting around a cdl when they say the make tow weight is over 35k pounds?

Doesn't that only become an issue if you are hooked up to a trailer over 10,000lbs?

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2 hours ago, Red Horse said:

Doesn't that only become an issue if you are hooked up to a trailer over 10,000lbs?

Anything over 26000gvw needs a cdl to be legal in Montana unless you're a farmer. 

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They can claim 900 and 1000 ft-lbs all they want, but they sure don't feel that strong to me.

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1 hour ago, HeavyGunner said:

Anything over 26000gvw needs a cdl to be legal in Montana unless you're a farmer. 

Correct-as it is in most states I believe- I was replying to the comment that if "tow weight exceeded 35,000 you needed a CDL.  I think in this state (MA) if you have an F-550 say and a trailer over 10,000 lbs you need a class A. CDL

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The 2019 Ram 1500 Pickup Now Has a Trick Tailgate of Its Own

Joey Capparella, Car & Driver  /  February 6, 2019

A new Multifunction Tailgate option has 60/40 clamshell doors in an attempt to compete with GMC's MultiPro tailgate.

GMC is busy touting its new Sierra 1500 pickup's MultiPro tailgate option that flips and folds in several different ways; it's the centerpiece of the company's new marketing campaign, in fact. But when one of the domestic full-size trucks does something, it's a sure bet that the others will be hot on its heels. Hence a good reason why the new Ram 1500 is now adding a trick tailgate of its own called the Multifunction Tailgate that will soon be available as an option on all 2019 Ram 1500 models.

The Ram takes a different approach than the GMC, splitting the tailgate horizontally into hinged 60/40 sections that can swing out, clamshell style, when the tailgate is raised. Each door can be opened individually up to 88 degrees. The tailgate lowers normally in a single piece, has the same damped action as the regular Ram's tailgate, can be operated by remote, and can accommodate a 2000-pound load when lowered. Ram also notes that the tailgate can execute all of its functions even when a trailer is attached. It weighs around 75 pounds more than a standard tailgate, according to Ram.

Opting for the Multifunction Tailgate will cost $995 on any trim level—as opposed to the GMC, which only offers its fancy tailgate on upper trim levels—and it comes with a spray-in bedliner, ordinarily an extra-cost option. It can also be paired with an optional $295 retractable center step to aid access into the bed. Ram says it's possible to retrofit the new tailgate to an existing 2019 1500 truck, but because it would require replacing the box in addition to the tailgate, it's an impractical proposition likely to cost several thousand dollars (stand-alone beds for the old Ram cost upward of $4000). Pickups with the new tailgate option will be available at dealerships starting in late spring 2019.

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17 hours ago, Red Horse said:

Correct-as it is in most states I believe- I was replying to the comment that if "tow weight exceeded 35,000 you needed a CDL.  I think in this state (MA) if you have an F-550 say and a trailer over 10,000 lbs you need a class A. CDL

Over 26K combined gvw needs class A You can pull 16000lb trailer with a dually as long as the truck gvw isn't over 10K lbs. The 10,000 lb trailer limit comes in is when the truck is over 6k gvw which is basically  F550 and up. I would hope that someone pulling a 35k goose neck would know he needs a Class A but then again..............

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Ram Chassis Cab goes high-tech

Jake Lingeman, Autoweek  /  February 7, 2019

The Chicago Auto Show is always a little truck-heavy, and for 2019, it’s the retooled Ram Chassis Cab that’s one of the first off the block.

The 3500, 4500, 5500 grades will come with a segment-leading towing capacity of 35,220 pounds and a payload of 12,510 pounds, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says.

An updated Cummins diesel I-6 now produces 800 pound-feet of torque; that’s also the most in Class 4 and 5 trucks. With 97 percent high-strength steel frames, the new Chassis Cab pickups are up to 120 pounds lighter than outgoing models.

The 6.7-liter diesel isn’t the only engine option. The standard powertrain in the 2019 Chassis Cabs is a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, with cylinder deactivation, that produces 410 hp and 429 pound-feet. It is paired with either a standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission or an optional Aisin six-speed automatic transmission with Power Take-Off.

The six-speed uses a new transmission controller, according to Ram, for faster, more precise shifts under all conditions. The four-wheel disc brakes also get an upgrade for better pedal feel and shorter stopping distances.

The Ram Chassis Cabs come in four industry-standard lengths and feature a flat mounting surface in the back for upfit and accessory installations. It also features new powertrain mounts and C-pillar body hydromounts to help reduce noise and vibration and improve ride quality.

Active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and AEB with trailer brakes -- available on all trim levels. The trucks also are equipped with parking sensors, a 270-degree camera, trailer reverse guidelines and a cargo-view camera.

The trim lines available mainly follow the regular Ram pickups. It starts with Tradesman, SLT, Laramie and Limited. There’s also a new instrument panel and FCA’s new 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen with specific functions for the big trucks. It offers a choice of four audio systems, including a top-of-the-line, 750-watt Harman Kardon system.

A new bank of buttons and switches control accessories while the new HVAC system features 30 percent more airflow at lower noise levels, according to Ram.

Other creature comforts include wireless charging for cellphones, more cabin storage space, five USB ports and two available 115-volt outlets.

The 2019 Ram Chassis Cab goes on sale in the second quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced later, but the current 3500 Tradesman starts at about $35,000 and 5500 grades begin at $40,000.

Photo gallery – https://www.autonews.com/gallery/chicago-photo-gallery/2019-ram-chassis-cabs

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FCA says Q4 net surged 61% on N.A. growth, margins

Vince Bond Jr., Automotive News  /  February 7, 2019

UAW profit-sharing checks rise $500 to average $6,000 payouts

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, boosted by robust gains in North America, on Thursday posted a 61 percent surge in fourth-quarter net income to $1.47 billion along with revenue growth of 6 percent to $34.7 billion. 

For the full year, FCA's net income rose 3 percent to $4.1 billion. Revenue for the year ramped up 4 percent to $131 billion. 

FCA said its 44,000 UAW-represented workers in the U.S. will receive average profit-sharing payments of $6,000 -- a $500 increase from the year before -- on March 8.

The 2018 profit-sharing payment is based on the company's adjusted earnings performance in North America. FCA said its UAW hourly employees have received more than $29,000 in profit sharing, on average, since 2009.

The company said it invested more than $10 billion and created nearly 30,000 jobs in the U.S. in the last decade.

Quarterly results

FCA's quarterly gain was driven by its North American business, which boosted adjusted earnings almost 25 percent to $1.9 billion. FCA's net pricing and margins rose because of the regional unit's focus on trucks and SUVs. Adjusted margins increased to 8.7 percent from 8.0 percent a year ago. North American revenue surged 15 percent to $22.0 billion. 

Vehicle sales in the region rose 10 percent to 613,000 units, FCA said, while U.S. retail market share rose to 11.6 percent from 11.1 percent.

The quarter topped a full-year of breakthrough gains for FCA in North America, finishing the year with adjusted earnings rising 19 percent to $7.1 billion. Total revenue in the region improved 9.5 percent to $82.2 billion.

During a tumultuous year punctuated by the death of longtime CEO Sergio Marchionne, FCA's finances improved in 2018 by most measurements, such as:

  • A $4.9 billion improvement in industrial cash, to $2.2 billion, because of growth in net income and free cash flow.

  • The company's liquidity increased by about $850 million to $24 billion.

  • Because of ongoing debt reduction, financial expenses fell by $330 million.

  • Total tax expenses, mostly due to U.S. tax cuts, fell by $793 million. 

Europe and Asia remained among FCA's chief concerns during the year, with European unit sales sliding 3.4 percent to 1.32 million vehicles. Adjusted earnings in the region plunged 45 percent to $461 million. Total revenue in Europe showed a 0.5 percent gain to $26 billion. 

In China and Asia, deliveries dropped 28 percent to 209,000 units. Adjusted earnings plunged to a loss of $336 million from a gain of $195 million. Revenue plunged 17 percent to $3.1 billion. 

Manley comments

FCA CEO Mike Manley, who took over the company helm last summer, said the automaker entered 2019 with “strong product momentum” thanks to the redesigned Ram 1500 pickup that launched last year and Wrangler, along with the upcoming Ram Heavy Duty line that’s slated to launch this quarter and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup that arrives in the second quarter. 

Manley, speaking on a conference call, said Wrangler production will dip in the second quarter as the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Ohio goes down to prepare for the launch of the Wrangler plug-in hybrid in early 2020. 

The Ram Heavy Duty, he said, will see reduced output as the company ramps up production of the new model.

Manley said the brand learned from its shaky launch of the Ram 1500 in 2018, and is applying those lessons to the Ram Heavy Duty and the Gladiator.

“We were not pleased with its launch. We were slow getting up to full production rate. There were a variety reasons for that and we’ve corrected them,” Manley said. “The lessons we learned already helped to ensure that our all-new Ram Heavy duty truck is hitting its production targets early in the launch curve, and the Jeep Gladiator is also on track to start production on schedule.” 

Wrangler to Gladiator

Manley said the automaker expects to see some consumer movement from the Wrangler to the Gladiator.

“We looked and tried to do as much work as possible to see if we felt that there would be large percentages of substitution between the two vehicles. In our plans, we’re expecting somewhere in the order of 10 to 15 percent,” Manley said.

He added: “As I think about combined volume going forward, that really gives some illustration of some people moving from Wrangler to Gladiator. In terms of where volumes can go, I have no doubt that, given the reception we’ve seen on Gladiator, that the production we have this year will be quickly taken up by our dealers, and hopefully, we’ll see the take it up equally fast when it arrives.”

During the call, an analyst asked Manley if FCA will revive the Dakota midsize pickup. Manley responded by saying the Gladiator will go straight into that segment -- noting it's more of a lifestyle pickup.

As for a midsize pickup designed for work-related purposes, Manley said:

"Where we sit today, the only vehicle missing in our portfolio is a metric-ton pickup, which is a midsize pickup in the U.S. I am working hard with the team to solve that. I haven’t solved that yet. But if that gets solved, it will give us the opportunity to bring a midsize truck in the marketplace." 

Meanwhile, Manley predicted a tough six months for FCA’s slumping Maserati brand.

"Maserati will be down year-over-year in the first half as we apply the same discipline to destock our global dealer network and work to improve the sales performance, which frankly is unacceptable," he said. 

FCA is counting on Harald Wester to turn Maserati around. He was named the marque’s chief in October.

Shares down

Meanwhile, FCA shares closed down about 12.2 percent to $15.23 in New York because the company issued weaker-than-expected guidance for profits and industrial free cash flow for 2019, raising doubts about the automaker's longer-term financial targets. 

The world's seventh-largest carmaker said in the report that it expected 2019 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes -- excluding the Magneti Marelli parts unit it has agreed to sell -- of more than $7.6 billion, below analysts' average forecast of about $8.3 billion.

FCA also said it expects industrial free cash flow in 2019 of more than $1.7 billion, which is lower than the $5 billion reached at the end of last year, due to higher capital expenditures along with cash payments for fines and other costs related to its U.S. settlement for diesel emissions infringements.

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Fiat Chrysler paid $77 million in U.S. fuel economy penalties in 2018

David Shepardson, Reuters  /  February 7, 2019

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV told Reuters on Thursday it paid $77 million in U.S. civil penalties late last year for failing to meet 2016 model year fuel economy requirements, the first significant sign the industry is facing hurdles meeting rising emissions rules.

The Italian-American automaker has been lobbying the Trump administration to revise fuel economy requirements and last year regulators proposed freezing requirements at 2020 model-year levels through 2026.

Shane Karr, head of external affairs for Fiat Chrysler in North America, said in a statement the fuel economy program should be reformed rather than “requiring companies to make large compliance payments because assumptions made in 2011 turned out to be wrong.”

Karr added that the automaker is “committed to improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet and expanding our U.S. manufacturing footprint.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a report dated Dec. 21 that the industry faced $77 million in fines in 2016 and that one unnamed manufacturer “is expected to pay significant civil penalties.” The agency did not immediately comment on Thursday.

The civil penalty payment is much higher than in prior model years. The industry paid $2.3 million in civil penalties in 2014 and $40 million in 2011.

Under federal rules, automakers can accrue credits for overcomplying in some years. In 2012, the Obama administration finalized rules requiring automakers to nearly double the fleet-wide fuel efficiency of vehicles to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, but the Trump administration has proposed rolling back those requirements starting in the 2021 model year.

NHTSA also noted that the number of automakers’ fleets with credit shortfalls had risen to 26 in 2016, up from 18 in 2011, and the number of surpluses fell from 26 in 2011 to 15.

Steve Bartoli, a Fiat Chrysler vice president who oversees fuel economy issues, said in September at a public hearing on the fuel rules that starting in 2016 the auto industry had been unable to meet current requirements without using credits earned from prior model years. Bartoli called the gap “a wake-up call that assumptions made seven years ago about the U.S. auto market need to be revisited.”

The NHTSA report also said automakers collectively face projected shortfalls of about $1.2 billion for both the 2017 and 2018 model years, but it was unclear how much in credits can be used to offset the deficits.

Fiat Chrysler said the payment was anticipated and the costs were included in the company’s fourth-quarter financial results released on Thursday.

The company has previously purchased emissions credits from Tesla, Toyota and Honda.

Fiat Chrysler paid penalties for its domestically produced car fleet that did not meet efficiency requirements. It noted rules governing domestically produced cars restrict the use of credits.

The company explained the shortfall in part by noting that starting in the 2011 model year some front-wheel-drive utility vehicles previously classified as trucks were moved to the car fleet, which have much tougher fuel-efficiency requirements.

Fiat Chrysler noted those vehicles are taller and require more energy than sedans. In 2016, the company produced four such vehicles: the two-row Dodge Journey, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

By contrast, Fiat Chrysler said its average light-truck fuel economy in 2016 was higher than Toyota, Ford and General Motors, while its car numbers were significantly lower.

The Trump administration said last year the fuel economy freeze would save the automakers more than $300 billion in regulatory costs.

Trump’s proposed freeze would result in 500,000 barrels per day more oil consumption by the year 2030. California says the proposal “would worsen air quality for the most vulnerable (and) waste billions of gallons of gasoline.”

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On 2/5/2019 at 10:17 PM, Bullheaded said:

They can claim 900 and 1000 ft-lbs all they want, but they sure don't feel that strong to me.

They torque limit them in the lower gears to save the transmission. You dont get the full 900 until like 3rd or 4th gear

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On 1/30/2019 at 9:48 AM, HeavyGunner said:

How are they getting around a cdl when they say the make tow weight is over 35k pounds?

I see these trucks pulling multi car trailers all the time. I live near Manheim auto auction near Hatfield, PA. They have their DOT #s etc. They'll have a few cars and pickups loaded up on their trailer and cruise in or out! 

My 97 ram 2500 12v Cummins is rated for 14,000 lbs on a gooseneck, but I've never towed one. Most I've towed is 10k on the hitch a few times. The 12v gets me there with about 180 hp...

I plow snow with mine, it's not uncommon for me to weigh over 10k with my salt and my V plow. I wouldn't want a 400hp motor with that much weight, it'd give me too much momentum to crash into something and break my plow...  The 12v is enough, and it lets every one in the neighborhood know they can get to church in the morning! There's nothing quiet about the 12v!

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11 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

Trump’s proposed freeze would result in 500,000 barrels per day more oil consumption by the year 2030. California says the proposal “would worsen air quality for the most vulnerable (and) waste billions of gallons of gasoline.

For the most vulnerable? What about the not so vulnerable? Air quality doesn't discriminate. Either it's bad for everyone or it's not. Read as leftist speak trying to control the middle class.

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1 hour ago, kscarbel2 said:

If the roof of every house utilized disguised advanced solar panels, and you had a storage cell, you could unplug from the grid tomorrow and start enjoying the green savings. But the wealthy aristocracy wouldn't like that.....so you don't have access to that option.

The Wealthy Aristocracy don't put all their money under their mattress. It's "invested." Their house is worth a few million dollars. But to be worth that, they had to pay a contractor a few million to build it. That few million is back in the economy. Likewise with their cars. That means their money is flowing through "our" pockets. There's nothing wrong with being rich. It's because of them that medical technology that was expensive a decade ago is now affordable to us poor folks today. People having money is good. If you want to see what happens when you go after rich people look at Venzuela, Cuba, or any other communist/socialist country where "everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others."

& You could easily go off the grid. My father in-laws dad bought a 287 acre property in West Virginia decades ago. No electricity, no utilities. An outhouse, a hand pump well, and 287 acres of woods for heat. But humans by nature are communal beings. We're not really meant to isolate ourselves.

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Ram intros 'new generation' of chassis cab work trucks

Trailer-Body Builders  /  February 11, 2019

Ram Trucks says its newly introduced 2019 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs will usher in a “new generation of work trucks” with “never-before-offered comfort and technology.”

The cab-and-chassis trucks, designed for “unforgiving” duty cycles, efficiency and upfitter friendliness, boast a segment-leading towing capacity up to 35,220 pounds, the highest Gross Combined Weight Rating of 43,000 lbs and payload up to 12,510 lbs.

The new line of halo-capability trucks also offers an optional comfort level with the new Limited model, exclusive in-cab features, and all the latest driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), and AEB with trailer brakes on all trim levels.

“Ram Chassis Cab operators work their trucks at maximum capability in the harshest drive cycles every day,” said Reid Bigland, head of Ram Brand for FCA. “By offering 35,220 pounds of towing capacity, 12,510 pounds of payload and a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 43,000 pounds, our 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs take segment leadership in areas most important to customers and upfitters alike.

“With the Chassis Cab Limited, we’ve also created something the segment has never seen, surrounding owners in premium materials and technology with the highest quality interiors, active safety systems, and of course, our award-winning Uconnect technology.”

The standard Ram Chassis Cab engine is a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with up to 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The 3500 employs exclusive Fuel Saver Technology (FST) cylinder deactivation for increasing fuel economy. When paired with the optional Aisin AS66RC six-speed automatic transmission with Power Take-Off (PTO), FST functions under light load while in stationary PTO mode to reduce fuel consumption.

In the Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab, the 6.4-liter HEMI V8, paired with the AS66RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with optional PTO capability delivers 370 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.

A revised Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six turbo diesel is optional on all three models. Paired with the Aisin AS69RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with optional PTO capability, the Cummins engine delivers 360 horsepower and the highest available torque in Class 4 and 5 at 800 lb-ft.

Changes to the Cummins engine include a cylinder block made from compacted graphite iron that is stronger and better able to dampen vibrations. A new cast-iron cylinder head builds on the new block with changes that include new exhaust valves and springs, and new rocker arms driven by a hollow camshaft, contributing to the weight savings.

The Chassis Cab trucks come in four industry-standard frame lengths measured in inches from the cab to the rear axle (CA): CA 60, CA 84, CA 108 and CA 120. Frame rail width also follows industry guidelines at 34-inch spacing. All 2019 frames are built with up to 97% high-strength steel and eight separate cross members.

With upfits in mind, Ram Chassis Cab rear frame sections feature a C-channel design with flat mounting surface—zero component interference above the rails, making upfit and accessory design/installation easy, cost-effective and reliable. Additionally, pre-drilled holes are designed throughout the structure to route upfit lines or mount hardware related to the upfit.

Light-weighting efforts include an aluminum hood, which contributes to an overall weight reduction of 120 pounds. The cab back panel area is clear for ease of upfit. Ram Engineering provides instructions to create a pass-through cab for emergency vehicles. The 2019 Ram Chassis Cab lineup uses tuned powertrain mounts and C-pillar body hydromounts to reduce NVH and improve ride quality. Within the mounts, the viscosity of the fluid and the rubber itself have been tuned to Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and payload capabilities, enhancing isolation regardless of load or tow capacity.

A best-in-class Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features more than 70 inputs and outputs, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position.

Ram expects its 2019 Chassis Cabs, built at the Saltillo truck assembly plant in Coahuila, Mexico, to be available in the second quarter of 2019.

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