Quality, quality, quality—you can’t build a great truck like the new 2013 Ram 1500 without living strictly by a mantra like this. Such was the lesson we learned last Friday during the Engineering A Giant Live Chat with Ram Quality Executive Elizabeth Krear. For the complete transcript of the chat with Elizabeth, please see below.
Hello and welcome to our Engineering A Giant live chat session. This session will focus on the quality features of the new 2013 Ram 1500, but we welcome all questions and will do our best to answer as many inquiries as possible. The chat moves quickly so we appreciate your patience as we attempt to answer as many questions as possible in the time we have with our Ram Engineer.
Comment From Andy – When do you expect the EPA MPG ratings to be released for the 2013 RAM?
Thank you, Andy! Stay tuned and this should be released towards the end of the month.
Comment From Jess – What is your favorite change to the new truck in regards to quality?
Thank you, Jess! My personal favorite change are the many interior refinements. In particular, I like the Uconnect 8.4″ touch screen and the 7″ multi-view display in the instrument cluster that allows you to customize the information you want to see about the truck.
Comment From Ryan – What testing was performed on the new air suspension? Is the life-span of the new air suspension considered equal to a traditional suspension?
Thank you, Ryan! We test the air suspension to the same rigorous standards that we test all our truck suspensions. Overall, we have put more than 7.5 million test miles on the trucks.
Comment From Thom – What areas did you focus on when improving quality in the 2013 1500?
Thank you, Thom! We focused on improving fuel economy without sacrificing capability, further interior refinements with new technology and improving our Best In-Class ride quality even further.
Comment From Tim – Where do you find this 95 percentile? Pretty sure I could be a door slam tester too!
Thank you, Tim! As you saw in the video, the 95th percentile is the customer who is more abusive than 95 percent of all other customers. We look at the duty cycle of our customers for the extreme use. We put instruments that gather data in customer test fleet trucks to monitor usage. By the way, when testing we slammed the door 84,000 times.
Comment From Alex – Do HD trucks have a different testing process then the 1500?
Thank you, Alex. Yes, the testing is a bit different because the duty cycle and capability of the HD and Chassis Cab trucks are different.
Comment From Mark – Are there any major areas of interior refinements, especially the seats in general?
Thank you, Mark! We have upgraded the seat fabrics, and on the 40/20/40 split bench seat we’ve improved the center armrest/console section and added three cup holders to that location. This allowed us to eliminate the cup holders on the lower portion of the instrument panel and replaced it with a storage drawer.
Comment From Bobby – What kind of weather climates did you test the new 2013?
Thank you, Bobby! We test our trucks in all weather climates including Northern Minnesota, the deserts of Arizona, the high altitude of Colorado, humidity of Florida to name a few. We also have environmental test labs at our headquarters in which we can test extreme climates at any time of the year.
Comment From Marshall – Did you do anything to test the bed of the truck?
Thank you, Marshall! Yes, all of our structural testing starts with our computer modeling and is then backed up with our component-level testing and full vehicle durability, again to the 95th percentile customer.
Comment From Louis Evans – How does your team work with the other design and engineering teams to improve quality while still advancing aesthetics and capability?
Thank you, Louis! We work together with all the design and engineering teams from the inception of the program, beginning with setting customer targets. And working together to meet those targets throughout the development, validation and launch cycle. It is a fine balance, but we never sacrifice quality!
Comment From Jeff – Hey. Just wanted to say, I drive the 2011 version, and it is a GEM. It’s my first truck, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It’s beautiful, comfortable, functional. You guys did an awesome job. The 2013 looks even better. But I have a lot of miles left on my current ride. Thanks for making such a fine truck – you should be really proud.
Thank you, Jeff! We’re working hard to make the new one even better!
Comment From Gary – While building the truck did you test the new 1500 against Chevy and Ford?
Thank you, Gary! We test against competitor trucks. Personally, I am happy with the results.
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