Chrysler LLC plans to release a hybrid-electric powered Dodge Ram pickup in 2010, the automaker's product development chief said on Monday. ( Autoweek )
Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president of product development, told the SAE 2008 World Congress in Detroit that the hybrid version of its high-volume hauler is part of the automaker's plans to reshape its product portfolio in the coming years.
Less than a year since being acquired from Daimler AG by Cerberus Capital Management LP, Chrysler is under pressure to revive its vehicle portfolio amid a major downturn in North American sales.
Klegon--today and in recent public remarks - says help is on the way as the automaker beefs up features in many of its vehicles.
Klegon also mentioned company plans to expand use of UConnect, a system similar to Ford's SYNC system. Chrysler's UConnect wirelessly connects to a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and allows the user to dial hands-free using voice activated software.
Another key initiative: The automaker's 2009 minivans will have blind-spot detection systems and a system which alerts a driver to oncoming traffic when backing out of a spot in a parking lot.