Chrysler's Ram Trucks took the wraps off its new Laramie Longhorn luxury trim package for its 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup models at the State Fair of Texas this week. Fred Diaz, president & CEO of Ram Truck believes the high-end package will make up 6% to 10% of Ram pickup sales next year. (See a photo gallery of the 2011 Ram Longhorn)
“The luxury truck market is strong,” he told reporters in an online press conference, pointing out that Ram's high-end Laramie offering already represents 25% of the division's current pickup sales. “That’s a strong indication that truck buyers are looking for premium trucks.”
Ram Laramie Longhorn edition models, which will be available in the first quarter next year, are crafted with a distinctive Western-style, which includes all-leather interiors, wood grain trim, and the latest electronic upgrades, including back-up camera systems, remote start, onboard navigation, plus power adjustable pedals with memory and front heated seats with 10-way driver’s adjustment.
Ram Laramie Longhorn will be available in 1500 (half-ton), 2500 HD (3/4 ton) and 3500 HD single and dual rear wheel (1 ton), crew cab and mega cab, plus four-wheel and two-wheel drive, along with short- and long-wheelbase models.
Diaz stressed to fleet owner that many of the Longhorn’s features – especially onboard navigation and back-up camera systems – are available on the company’s beefier chassis cab models for work fleets.
He added that Ram also plans to add to its commercial vehicle presence next year with the introduction of a "new crew" of commercial-grade work trucks – the 2011 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs – with an all-new crew cab option.
Diaz also noted that the Longhorn’s exterior and interior “refinements” don’t come at the expense of overall vehicle capability.
“Adding refinement at the expense of capability would be a huge mistake with full-size trucks,” Diaz pointed out. “We have consistently added interior and ride quality enhancements to the Ram line, while maintaining excellent capability.”
He added that Ram is “definitely looking” at Longhorn-grade enhancements “for our commercial customers” as well.“Creating the ‘Ram Brand’ has given us the ability to focus more on the commercial truck business,” Diaz said. “The Ram Laramie Longhorn edition is going to be the vehicle with the fulltime job – towing the horse trailer, taking the crew to the game, picking up supplies. It’s ready to go from the dirt to downtown.”