Washington, DC – Every once in a while, The Lemon catches wind of an example of live auto news intersecting with the world of global politics. And while such examples are most likely to revolve around exciting imports, global marketing strategies and trade matters, we do manage to strike gold every once in a while. And that’s exactly what happened with our nation’s commander-in-chief caught wind of the 2019 RAM Heavy-Duty, during the recent government shut-down.
From January 14th to the 27th, Detroit hosted the North American International Auto Show – one of the tentpole automotive trade shows in the world. Following Fiat-Chrysler’s unveiling of their 2019 RAM Heavy Duty pickup truck, the show provided a perfect opportunity for showcasing it to the industry, automotive press and public.
It was then that the White House released a statement, mandating that the RAM HD only be sold stateside. According to that statement, the RAM HD “posed a serious threat to national security in the hands of Mexicans due to the likelihood of its effectiveness as a battering RAM.”
President Trump followed up that statement with a press conference where he stated, “I love the RAM. It’s a tremendous truck. Trust me, no-one knows how good of a truck it is better than me. Great American truck.”
But the statement drew heavy criticism from House and Senate Democrats who, despite contesting the claims, might have a hard time explaining a pre-order of twenty RAM HD’s for split delivery just below the southern borders of San Ysidro CA and Presidio TX, billable to Don Keye Enterprises, a private contracting company in New York where Chuck Schumer once served as a managing partner.
But does the RAM HD qualify as a “national threat”? Powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-six, the truck boasts an impressive 400hp and a staggering 1,000 lb-ft of torque. Factor in a towing capacity of over 35,000 LBS and a payload capacity of just under 8,000 LBS and one might think – yes – at aggressive speeds the truck could double as a competent tool for forced entry.
Of course, the vastly powerful RAM HD is an extension of the strategy laid out by former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne who recognized the vital role that hi-po’d offerings would play in distinguishing RAM, Dodge and Jeep models within an industry that grows progressively more focused on sustainability. Trump’s response?
“I spoke with Sergio Marchionne, just the other day. Tremendous guy. Terrific guy. Wouldn’t you say? He was a proud American. I spoke with him, and I have to say that I have a lot of respect for him.”
(Editorial Note: Sergio Marchionne, a native of Chiara Italy, passed away on July 25th of last year)
Whether or not the RAM HD could actually smash through the proposed wall might never be determined. And while it seems like a super cool way to spend a weekend, we’re just not sure that it’s a good idea to explore it, right now. Partially due to the sensitive nature of today’s political climate, and secondly because it’s just too nice of a truck to risk wrecking.