Hot News: Chrysler Plans to Sell Fiat Panel Van with Ram-Branded


The recent rash of model-sharing between Fiat and Chrysler post-Italian takeover will soon extend from consumer to commercial markets: Ward’s Auto is reporting that Fiat and Chrysler will soon produce two Euro-style panel vans under the Ram brand.

We already know that Ram will produce the upcoming C/V based on the Dodge Grand Caravan. But spurred by the launch of the then-Dodge Sprinter in 2003 and the subsequent popularity of the Ford Transit Connect, commercial van buyers are starting to move away from high-floor, low-roof vans toward low load floors, higher ceilings and even diesel power. After Chrysler’s split with Daimler, the Sprinter eventually migrated out of Dodge showrooms and into Freightliner and Mercedes dealerships.

Not to fear, Fiat already has panel vans across the Atlantic that have garnered critical and buyer acclaim. Ward’s is reporting that Fiat and Ram will probably produce two models: one small and one large.

The small van would likely be based on the Fiat Doblo, a model we’ve already spied testing here in the States. A Doblo adaptation would likely be able to carry more cargo than the Ram C/V and do it more efficiently. Don’t expect the Euro-market Doblo’s base engine, however: at 95 hp, it is probably too anemic to satisfy power-hungry American buyers.

The large van would be based on either the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato or the brawnier, rear-wheel-drive Iveco Daily. At a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of 8,818 pounds, a Ducato wouldn’t compete with the much brawnier Sprinter (which has a GVWR of 24,317 lbs), but would rather be a serious alternative to the Ford E-Series van, which is both old-school (high floor, low roof) and aging. The Ducato is front-wheel drive, which allows the van to have a much lower load height.

Whether or not a Doblo van will cannibalize C/V sales remains to be seen. Ram still plans to start selling the C/V later this year. With the C/V, the commercial van market is heating up — Nissan has just launched its NV vans and Ford already has its Transit Connect on sale.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Share This :

Related Templates

No comments:

Post a Comment

 
Copyright © 2011. Auto Cars News 2012 - All Rights Reserved
Proudly powered by Blogger