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Auto blogMon, 13 Jan 2014 18:30:00 EST
Throughout the last half of the 20th Century and extending into the 21st, our country has had an on-again, off-again love affair with redneck culture. Urban Cowboy begot The Dukes of Hazzard which bled into the Ernest movies, which, in turn, paved the way for the long locks of Joe Dirt and Kid Rock. These days Duck Dynasty is the ignoble standard bearer for the hillbilly way of life - a group that would undoubtedly feel right at home in the latest offering from Ram, the 2014 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition.
Custom designed for the hunters, fishers and other outdoors-folks that make up the Ram customer base (according to the company's press release) the latest instantiation of the Mossy Oak boasts a liberal daubing of camouflage. The camo rides on top of your choice of Black, Black Gold Pearl, Prairie Pearl and with either a Canyon Brown or Frost Beige interior. All of the Mossy Oak Edition trucks are 4X4s with a Crew Cab body, perfect for hauling your hunting buddies out into the wild places of the world.
Fashionable redneck culture doesn't come cheap apparently; the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition starts at $39,985 with a $1,195 destination fee.
Chrysler has some good news and some bad news. First, profits were up 16 percent over the second quarter of 2012, bringing the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer $507 million on the back of strong demand for trucks and SUVs (a recurring theme this quarter, particularly in the US). Q2 revenue was up as well, from $16.8 billion in 2012 to $18 billion in 2013. The bad news is that the Pentastar's overall earnings forecast for net income in 2013 has been trimmed from $2.2 billion to between $1.7 and $2.2 billion, according to Automotive News.
In addition to the adjusted net income forecast, Chrysler tweaked its operating profit from $3.8 billion to between $3.3 and $3.8 billion. This has gone largely unexplained by Chrysler, perhaps hoping the news of a three-percent increase in its transaction prices for Q2 will allow it to sweep this adjustment under the rug.
The star of the show for Chrysler has been its US sales, which saw a 10-percent jump, both bettering the industry average of eight percent and improving over the same stretch of 2012. As with the increase in transaction prices, Chrysler has the new Ram pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee to thank. Perhaps most worrying from this report, though, is that every brand in the automaker's stable saw an increase in sales... except for the Chrysler brand itself.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is issuing a recall of 30,197 pickup trucks in the United States, all from the 2013 model year. The affected vehicles are the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500, all of which were built between September 9, 2012 and March 5, 2013.
The problem affects models equipped with "optional premium taillamps," and according to NHTSA, the turn signal indicator "may not flash at a double rate to give a notification to the driver of a turn signal malfunction." The report states that if a driver is unaware of a problem with the turn signals and continues to use them as normal, other vehicles on the road may not be alerted that the vehicle is turning, which increases the risk of a crash.
Other recall woes have affected the Ram line recently. In April, we reported that Ram 1500 models were being recalled due to an improper adjustment of the parking brake cable, and several thousand Heavy Duty models were being called in for engine covers that do not have as much heat resistance as they're supposed to.