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Chrysler Sets Plan to Build
Diesel Light-Duty Trucks
August 9, 2007 12:10 p.m.

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC said Thursday that it will build a diesel-powered version its light duty pickup trucks after 2009 as auto makers look for ways to improve the fuel efficiency of large vehicles.

Previously, Chrysler, like other auto makers, put diesel engines only in heavy-duty versions of its pickup trucks.

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. also plan diesel-powered versions of their light duty pickup trucks in the coming years.

Frank Klegon, executive vice president of product development for Chrysler, said in prepared remarks that an all-new turbo diesel engine by Cummins Inc. will deliver a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency and cut carbon emissions by up to 20% compared with a gasoline engine.

Auto makers are under pressure as they face a likely increase in mileage standards under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy law.

Diesel engines typically are more efficient than gasoline engines, but are more expensive and emissions need to be treated to deal with particulate matter.

But Mr. Klegon said the new diesel engine will meet emission standards in all 50 states.

Mr. Klegon also said Chrysler will introduce a "significantly upgraded" version of its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. The Hemi was a key source of profitability earlier in the decade as buyers flocked to the high-powered engine as an expensive option on cars, trucks and SUVs.

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