Chrysler is adding a diesel engine to its light-duty Ram pickup truck lineup. The company is promising the best fuel economy of any full-size pickup in the U.S.
Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram brand, said Friday the 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel Ram 1500 would get better mileage than the 25 mpg that the current gas-powered V-6 gets on the highway. The six-cylinder Ram is tops in the industry now for highway mileage. The company will release exact mileage figures at a later date.
Chrysler says the new turbocharged diesel makes 240 horsepower and has 420 foot-pounds of torque, giving people the power of a gas-powered V-8 and the fuel economy of a smaller gas engine. Chrysler says the 2014 Ram will be the only light-duty diesel pickup on the market.
It’s the same diesel engine now sold in the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, which gets 30 mpg on the highway. The diesel will cost $2,850 more than a Ram with Chrysler’s Hemi V-8 engine and eight-speed transmission. Hegbloom says the diesel will pay for itself in gas savings in less than three years.
Dana OKs boost to stock buyback
Auto parts maker Dana Holding Corp. said Friday that its board approved the expansion of its common stock buyback program to up to $1 billion.
The new program represents an increase of about $900 million of stock bought back under the Maumee, Ohio, company’s previous authorization.
Dana said it plans to buy back its shares either on the open market or through privately negotiated deals over the next two years. The company said that the expanded program reflects its confidence in long-term business prospects and its commitment to boosting value for its shareholders.
Dana also said it refinanced its current U.S. revolving credit facility, establishing a new five-year, $500 million revolving credit facility. The move will lower its on-going costs and increase financial flexibility.
Consumer sentiment stays near 6-year high
A measure of U.S. consumer confidence stayed near a six-year high in June as higher home prices boosted household wealth. The survey shows Americans remain upbeat about the economy, despite wild gyrations in the stock market.
The University of Michigan said Friday that its final reading of consumer sentiment in June was 84.1. That’s an improvement from a preliminary reading of 82.7 issued on June 14. And it is just slightly below May’s final reading of 84.5, which was the highest since July 2007.
Rising household wealth was the main reason consumers stayed optimistic. Households with income above $75,000, those more likely to own homes and stocks, reported the biggest gain.
Ford recall to address locks on three SUVs
Ford is recalling just over 13,000 Explorer, Taurus and Lincoln MKS cars and SUVs because the child safety locks may not work on the rear doors. The recall affects 2013 model cars sold mainly in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Ford says the safety locks can be turned off when the doors are opened or closed, allowing a door to be opened with the inside door handle and possibly hurting a child. The company says no injuries have been reported from the problem.
The recall covers cars and SUVs built from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12 of last year.