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Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup

Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup

That means the pickup’s debut is getting closer

Jeep is scheduled to end production of the outgoing Wrangler JK on April 7, 2018. Both the JK and the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL have been built simultaneously since November, but on separate assembly lines on separate sides of the Jeep campus. However, the JK’s end marks the beginning of the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler.

Moreover, that means the Scrambler’s official debut is quickly approaching. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is likely the next-best opportunity. The show is slated for February 8 and 9, so we don’t have long to wait.

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2019 Jeep Scrambler Spotted On The Road

2019 Jeep Scrambler Spotted On The Road

Camo can’t cover Jeep’s new pickup

It’s no secret Jeep is developing a pickup version of its next-generation Wrangler SUV. We’ve seen countless test mules and pre-production examples driving around, but this might be out best look yet. A YouTuber caught this one on video from mere feet as the pair was stuck in rain-soaked traffic.

The camouflage is almost not needed at this point, since Jeep has already released photos of the two- and four-door Wranglers. The only parts in question are behind the B-pillar. It’s unknown how Jeep has designed the transition between cab and bed, what the rear fenders will look like, or how the rear bumper lines up with the bodywork. On that note, this video shows the Scrambler’s rear bumper hanging well below the cargo bed. It actually looks like a Ram 1500’s bumper, but with D-ring shackles like on the Hummer H2. Jeep will have to rework this transition for the production version.

The Scrambler will share most its parts with the Wrangler Unlimited, including its four removable doors, powertrain options, solid axles, and overall design ahead of the cargo bed. The 2.0-liter turbo-four isn’t expected in the Scrambler, leaving the 3.6-liter V-6 and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 as the two choices. Jeep would be wise to offer the six-speed manual transmission with both engines, too. We know the eight-speed automatic will be offered, as well.

Differences from the Wrangler will include a unique hard top that is hopefully removable, a lengthened frame and wheelbase, and the obvious addition of the bed. We expect to see the Wrangler’s trim levels carry over to the Scrambler, too, including the Rubicon, but new trim lines might debut.

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2018 Jeep Scrambler

2018 Jeep Scrambler

Our Predictions for the Wrangler-based pickup

The Jeep Wrangler Pickup has been confirmed for some time now, but Jeep has been quiet on the details. Between spy shots and insider information, we know the pickup will use the upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL’s frame, front styling, cab, interior, and powertrains. The mystery still remains as to what the cargo bed looks like and the materials its constructional from. What’s more, Jeep has yet to define the exact target audience for the Wrangler pickup, otherwise known as the JT. Will it offer class-leading payload and towing or will it be more focused on off-road performance? While we can’t say for sure, we’ve got some strong indications of Jeep’s intentions with its 2019-model-year pickup.

The Wrangler Pickup will ride on a lengthened version of the Wrangler Unlimited JL’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. Still, expect the JT to come standard with 4WD and Jeep’s Trail Rated rating.

Update 08/22/2017: A report from JeepScramblerForum.com shows confirmation the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be called the Jeep Scrambler, a name already associated with Jeep pickups of the 1980s. What’s more, CAD drawings show the extended frame and upgraded Dana axles. Also confirmed is the pickup’s use of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.

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Jeep Brand Worth More Than FCA, Report Suggests

Jeep Brand Worth More Than FCA, Report Suggests

Morgan Stanley analyst says Jeep strong enough to stand alone

There’s no question the Jeep Brand is doing extremely well. But, according to Adam Jonas, a Wall Street analyst with Morgan Stanley, Jeep is more valuable than the rest of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Jonas conducted a sum-of-the-parts analysis that concluded Jeep’s value is 120 percent of FCA’s $23.6-billion market capitalization. That’s a huge deal for a sub-brand of a global automaker. What’s more, Jonas estimates Jeep could account for nearly half of FCA’s total vehicle sales by 2018.

Of course, Jeep’s upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL and the Wrangler Pickup likely contribute to Jonas’ optimistic estimates, but even currently, Jeep has seen tremendous growth since 2009 when Fiat took control of Chrysler. CNBC reports Jeep sold 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, which is four times its sales volume in 2009. New models like the Renegade and Cherokee are undoubtedly contributing thanks to the boom in popularity for the crossover segment. However, Jeep’s success could mean big bucks for FCA and its shareholders if the brand is sold or spun off. FCA has already done this with Ferrari with great success. FCA’s market cap was listed between $15 and $16 billion before the Ferrari spin-off in late 2015, according to CNBC. Since then, FCA and Ferrari now have a combined market cap over $31 billion. When Jonas asked FCA boss Sergio Marchionne if he would consider spinning of the Jeep brand, Marchionne reportedly said, “yes.” However, no plans have been made public by FCA or its executives. What does this mean for Jeep? Keep reading for more.

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The 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017

The 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017

How American can a vehicle be?

Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.

Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on TopSpeed.com

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2019 Jeep Wrangler JT Pickup Rendered Using Inside Information

2019 Jeep Wrangler JT Pickup Rendered Using Inside Information

Fan Forum gives an accurate glimpse at Jeep’s upcoming pickup

Jeep’s upcoming Wrangler-based pickup is attracting plenty of attention. It combines the go-anywhere capability of the Wrangler with the utility of a mid-size pickup truck. It’s shaping up to be a favorite among Jeep’s loyal following. That’s clearly evident by JLWrangler Forum’s latest rendering of the pickup, codenamed JT. And like the renderings of the upcoming Wrangler JL, these latest artist impressions are based on insider information, spy shots, and even a leaked image from Jeep of the final product.

JLWrangler Forum created two versions of the Wrangler pickup – both a four-door JTU and two-door JT. While both versions look amazing, we have not seen a two-door version being tested in the wild or heard news regarding its availability. Modern two-door pickups are generally relegated to fleets, with only a tiny percentage finding homes with typical consumers. As such, it’s hard to imagine Jeep building a two-door JT. Still, anything is possible at this stage. Jeep is expected to launch the next-generation Wrangler JL in the coming months, before it goes on sale for 2018. The JT pickup is expected a year after that, hitting dealerships for 2019.

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Quick Drive: Jeep J-12 Concept

Quick Drive: Jeep J-12 Concept

The “Get off my lawn!” pickup Jeep needs to build

Jeep Beach 2017 in Daytona, Florida was packed with Wranglers all driving along the Atlantic’s edge. A handful of XJ Cherokees and ZJ Grand Cherokees could be found scattered about. Jeep’s marketing team even brought two of its newest concept vehicles to show, the WWII-style 75th Salute and the 392-powered Quicksand. But parked in between as this, the J-12 Concept from 2012. Built to recall the first-generation J-series Jeep pickups from 1962 through 1971, the J-12 appropriately looked four decades old. From behind the wheel, however, this one-off concept proved it was far more modern hardware.

The J-12 not only looks amazingly retro, but it does a fantastic job at teasing Jeep enthusiasts who desperately long for the return of Jeep pickups. As of late April 2017, Jeep has all but officially debuted the next-generation Wrangler and its pickup variant. Little is know about the upcoming pickup, but we seriously doubt it will come dripping with such Mopar history. On par with stories from the past is the interesting tale of the J-12 concept and how it came to be.

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What Should Jeep Name Its Wrangler Pickup?

What Should Jeep Name Its Wrangler Pickup?

Historic names are apparently under consideration

Development of Jeep’s upcoming Wrangler Pickup is well underway. We’ve spotted camouflaged test mules, heard rumors of turbocharged and turbodiesel powerplants, and even gotten bad news (more than once) regarding its production date getting shifted back. However, the Wrangler Pickup is happening! But what should Jeep name it?

Mike Manley, the head honcho at Jeep, has confirmed FCA is looking into historic Jeep names for the new vehicle. Manley recently told reporters at Detroit News that he, along with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ CEO Sergio Marchionne, were exploring the use of iconic names Jeep fans would instantly recognize.

Three names instantly come to mind: Comanche, Willys, and Gladiator.

Now, each provides something unique, including their own set of problems. Let’s explore this more in detail.

Continue reading for more on naming the Jeep Wrangler Pickup.

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Jeep Gives Bad News on Wrangler Pickup Debut

Jeep Gives Bad News on Wrangler Pickup Debut

Looks like we’ll be waiting even longer…

It seems we’ve got a longer wait before Jeep introduces the upcoming Wrangler Pickup. The news comes directly from Jeep boss Mike Manley during the media launch event for the new 2017 Jeep Compass. Manley told the Detroit News the Wrangler-based truck wouldn’t enter production until late 2019.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Jeep has pushed back the yet-unnamed pickup. Originally the Wrangler Pickup was scheduled to debut along side the Wrangler SUV in late 2017. The truck was then pushed further back to sometime in mid-2018. While Manley’s explanation for the hold-up makes sense, it is still cause for trepidation from Jeep loyalists.

So what’s going on? Manley says production of the Wrangler Pickup will wait until the Wrangler SUV is in full-scale production. “The key thing for me is to make sure the new Wrangler is fully up and running,” Manley told the Detroit News. He also confirmed the new 2018 Wrangler would launch during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Part of the issue is Fiat Chrysler’s current game of musical chairs it’s playing with assembly plants. Much of FCA’s products are undergoing a relocation of production, including the Wrangler. The current Wrangler JK is assembled at the Supplier Park portion of Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio complex. The upcoming Wrangler JL will be assembled nearby at the Toledo Complex’s North Plant. Both versions of the Wrangler will be in production for a short time, allowing Jeep to normalize Wrangler JL production. At that time, the current-generation Wrangler JK will cease production, opening up the Supplier Park for the production of the Wrangler Pickup. All told, FCA is spending upwards of $700 million to renovate Jeep’s Toledo Assembly Complex.

While Jeep could still make the 2019 model-year goal for the Wrangler Pickup, it’s far more likely the long-awaited model will debut as a 2020 model.

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AEV Stopping Production of Wrangler JK Brute Double Cab

AEV Stopping Production of Wrangler JK Brute Double Cab

Aftermarket Jeep tuner preps for the Wrangler JK’s last days

American Expedition Vehicles is a well-known aftermarket parts and tuning company that specializes in Jeep Wrangler TJ and JK off-road parts designed to improve capability while looking like OEM equipment. Perhaps AEV’s most well-known product is the Brute Double Cab. Built using a donor Wrangler Unlimited, the Brute is the only Wrangler pickup available on the market. But with Jeep’s next-generation Wrangler JL coming to market in the next year, AEV is preparing to end Brute production.

AEV offers Brute conversions on brand new Wrangler Unlimited they procure from the Jeep assembly plant. Customers then buy the freshly modified Jeeps right from AEV’s Michigan headquarters, or through the ever-growing network of Jeep dealerships partnered with AEV.

Customers can also custom-order their Brute. Options include larger wheels and tires, suspension lifts, bumpers, and even Hemi V-8 engine swaps. Of course, the Brute’s main attribute is its injection-molded, composite cargo bed. The Wrangler’s frame is actually lengthened by several inches, giving enough room for the cargo bed and the ability to store a full-size spare tire between the frame rails.

Sadly the Brute’s days are numbered. Jeep is mere months away from debuting the next-generation Wrangler, dubbed the JL. As most Jeep enthusiasts know, the Wrangler JL will be offered in a pickup version, dubbed the JT. With Jeep soon making its own Wrangler pickup, AEV will end production of the Wrangler JK Brute. AEV’s order books are closing March 31, so those wanting a piece of Jeep history better act fast.

The Brute Double Cab starts at $41,665, not including the donor Jeep, which can range from $30,000 to $50,000. Pricing can well exceed the $100,000 mark with all the available add-ons selected. Items include upgraded axles, off-road lights, recovery winches, various tire options, and interior leather upgrades. AEV will even swap in the mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with the Wrangler’s six-speed manual transmission.

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Jeep Confirms Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer & Pickup Truck

Jeep Confirms Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer & Pickup Truck

And they’ll be body-on-frame!

FCA Boss Sergio Marchionne has officially confirmed the long-rumored Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and Wrangler Pickup at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The news serves as confirmation that Jeep will indeed seek to compete against big-name luxury brands like Range Rover, while expanding its Wrangler lineup to appeal to SUV and truck-leaning market trends. What’s more, news reports from the auto show floor say Marchionne confirmed both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will ride on ladder-frame chassis.

This news is the cherry on top of FCA’s recent shake-up regarding its North American assembly plants and its committed investment into U.S. manufacturing and job creation.

Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan. Currently the Ram 1500 pickup is assembled here, but will move to the near-by Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, which is now free after FCA ended production of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans. FCA also announced Warren will also build the Ram Heavy Duty pickups, which are moving from Saltillo, Mexico. FCA did not mention whether the decision to relocate the Ram HD’s assembly to Michigan has anything to do with president-elect Donald Trump’s negative stance on the NAFTA trade deal.

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler will continue rolling off the same Toledo Assembly line in Ohio. The Wrangler Pickup will join the Wrangler here, as well. FCA says all of these moves will be completed by 2020.

This game of musical chairs isn’t coming cheap. FCA has committed to invest nearly $1 billion to revamp both the Warren Truck Assembly Plant and the Toledo Assembly Complex. Another $700 million will be invested retooling the Sterling Heights plant and another $350 million will be invested to retool the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which is moving from the Toledo plant to free space for the Wrangler Pickup.

FCA’s monetary investments will also create jobs – at least 4,000 new jobs, in fact.

Neither FCA nor Jeep made any indication as to what model year the Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and Wrangler Pickup would fall under. The next-generation Wrangler SUV is expected for the 2018 model year.

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Next-Gen Jeep Wrangler Rendered by Fan Forum Site

Next-Gen Jeep Wrangler Rendered by Fan Forum Site

Are these our best look at the Wrangler JL & pickup?

Jeep fans have been drooling over what they think the next-generation Wrangler and Wrangler pickup will look like. Debates have raged on whether it will have a soft top or some new form of removable hardtop. Forum fights have broken out over what engines are purportedly powering the Jeep. But who is right? Well, JL Wrangler Forums spent a copious amount of time diligently researching what the next-generation Wrangler will entail.

The fan forum site rendered several versions of the Wrangler Unlimited and the Wrangler Pickup using information gathered from spy shots, insider information, leaked images of scale models, and U.S. Patent information gathered over months of monitoring the Jeep. JL Wrangler Forums even listed its sources for each unique, projected aspect of the rendering.

The forum lines up fairly evenly with predictions we’ve made here at TopSpeed, including the permanent hardtop with removable sections, slanted windshield and improved aerodynamics, and more powerful and efficient powertrains.

The next Wrangler is expected to debut within the next few months as a 2018 model. Jeep will offer both two-door and four-door versions of the Wrangler with the new chassis code of JL. The pickup version will likely debut the following year, though Jeep could introduce it for 2018. According to JL Wrangler Forum, the pickup’s chassis code will be JT.

The Wrangler’s engine lineup is suspected to include an updated Pentastar V-6, a turbocharged four-cylinder known as the Hurricane, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. FCA will include its eight-speed automatic transmission as an option over a suspected six-speed manual transmission.

We’ve supplied all the renderings below the jump, so keep reading for the full run-down.

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The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The nitty-gritty on the 70-plus vehicles at TAWA’s Truck Rodeo

By now you’ve probably read how the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned the Truck of Texas and that the 2017 Nissan Armada won the SUV of Texas. But the Super Duty and Armada were far from the only winners at this year’s Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

More than 70 journalists and social media influencers descended upon the 1,623-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas to test approximately 71 pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles in TAWA’s annual event.

A total of 17 categories grouped the vehicles with their competition, ranging from compact crossovers and full-size SUVs to Off-Road pickups. Other categories included best connectivity, best technology, and best powertrain.

Keep reading for the full results.

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Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Caught Testing For The First Time

Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Caught Testing For The First Time

It exists! Jeep is testing the Wrangler pickup at last!

After years – no, decades – of waiting, it seems Jeep is finally going to build a pickup version of the Wrangler. Rumors have held true and speculation regarding Jeep CEO Mike Manley’s many hints are seemingly coming to fruition. It’s been 30 years since Jeep last made a pickup version of its Wrangler, then called the CJ, but it seems the wait is coming to an end.

These detailed spy shots show a four-door Wrangler with a pickup bed. The camouflage is extremely thick, but the squared-off doors, flat windshield, seven-slot grille, and removable hard top are all clearly discernable. It seems this test mule is borrowing a Ram 1500 cargo bed, but expect a more unique, Jeep-only bed for production.

It’s clear this test mule is in the early stages of development. Inside the bed appear to be weights, tied down with ratchet straps. This indicates engineers are testing chassis, suspension, and powertrain tuning. Prevalent rumors suggest the Wrangler will have three choices in engines: a turbocharged four-cylinder making roughly 300 horsepower, a revised version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. The ZF eight-speed automatic will be optional each of the engines, with unknown manual transmission likely coming as standard.

The Wrangler pickup will be based on the conventional Wrangler, codenamed the JL. Expect the pickup version to come with an extended frame and wheelbase. We’d bet the Wrangler’s multi-link rear suspension with coil springs is present. After all, Ram has done will with a similar suspension setup. More to the fact, no leaf springs can be seen in these spy shots, despite the massive rear fender opening.

The Wrangler pickup will likely debut after the standard two-door and four-door Wrangler SUV. How much later is still unknown. We’d bed the Wrangler SUV will arrive for the 2018 model year, with the pickup following in 2019.

There’s tons more to discern from these spy shots, so keep reading for more information.

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FCA Holds Dealer Meeting, More Rams & Jeeps Coming

FCA Holds Dealer Meeting, More Rams & Jeeps Coming

Members of FCA’s national dealership network informed about future plans

Fiat Chrysler’s latest dealer’s meeting, held in Las Vegas on April 1, gave FCA-branded dealerships an early look at the automaker’s future plans. Dealership brass heard from Reid Bigland, FCA’s head of North American sales, on the company’s plans to expand the Ram and Jeep lines with more vehicles.

On the Ram front, confirmation was given that Ram is planning a midsize pickup entry that slots under the Ram 1500. The plans with Jeep are more extensive, including the addition of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs, along with a Wrangler-based pickup.

As we reported earlier, Ram’s midsize pickup could be a joint effort with Fiat, whose Toro pickup sells in markets around the globe. The appointment of Bob Hegbloom to Ram International further signals the possibility. Hegbloom previously led the Ram brand in North America. Jeep head Mike Manley was then tapped to fill Hegbloom’s position, leaving Manley to fill both roles simultaneously.

The dealer meeting wasn’t all about trucks and SUVs. FCA announced would in fact not kill off the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans – a report that contradicts previous statements. However, FCA is looking for a partner to build the two sedans. This helps answer the important concerns about federal CAFÉ standards regarding corporate fuel economy averages. While unconfirmed, it the Ram and Jeep projects likely ride on whether FCA can find a partner to build the Dart and 200. Otherwise, FCA could hinder itself from meeting the impending federal standards.

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FCA Executive Sees Case for Two Midsize Pickups

FCA Executive Sees Case for Two Midsize Pickups

Ram/Jeep Chief Mike Manley comments on future trucks

Rumblings of Ram re-entering the midsize truck category have been amplified by comments made by Ram brand chief Mike Manley to journalists at the New York Auto Show. Manley’s comments also included talks about the recently confirmed Jeep midsize pickup, though no hard details were uncovered.

“I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the midsize segment here – significant growth last year,” Manley said to The Detroit News on Wednesday at the NY Auto show. “I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there.”

That certainly affords a glance into what FCA has planned for both Ram and Jeep in the coming years, though Manley refused to say anything official. “I wouldn’t even confirm if we’ll have two offerings, let alone confirm a time frame.” Currently FCA does not offer a midsize truck in North America. Now, thanks largely to the growing revival of the midsize truck segment, the automaker may in fact bring two all-new trucks to market. The two trucks would square off against the Chevrolet and GMC twin, the Colorado and Canyon, the Nissan Frontier, the Honda Ridgeline, and the long-time sales champion, the Toyota Tacoma.

This topic doesn’t just concern North America. FCA has recently shuffled executives around, staking the deck to make Ram a better international brand. This points to the potential of Ram offering a multi-market, internationally sold pickup.

Speaking to the matter, Manley said, “We don’t necessarily today have the right portfolio within Ram to cater to all of those markets, but we do have a strong brand. Ram brand is known very well in Africa and the Middle East, and also Latin America.” In fact, Manley mentioned Bob Hegbloom, former head of Ram North America, now head of Ram International, would be headed to Brazil after the NY Auto Show to consult with members of Fiat regarding cross-brand sharing. “There’s potential, Manley said, for Ram to use a Fiat platform for a Ram pickup.”

While Manley wouldn’t speak further on Ram’s future products, he undoubtedly gave the industry and interested consumers something to talk about.

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