Patrick Rall's picture

Ram brand to get new vans with Fiat help

The Dodge Ram Van was a major player in the full size van market until Daimler replaced it with the Mercedes-sourced Dodge Sprinter but based on some news from around the rumor mill, the Ram Truck brand could reintroduce a line of Ram Vans with help from parent company Fiat.
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According to Automotive News, the Ram Truck brand plans to introduce a pair of vans for commercial use; one based on the Fiat Doblo and the other based either on the Fiat Ducato or Iveco Daily. The Fiat Doblo-based Ram van would compete with the Ford Transit Connect in the compact commercial van segment while the larger vehicle, based on either the Fiat Ducato or Iveco Daily would fill the large commercial van slot formerly occupied by the Dodge Sprinter before the Ram Truck brand split away from the Dodge cars, vans and SUVs.

The current Fiat Doblo offered in Europe bears a similar form overseas to the Ford Transit Connect in the US so that smaller option could be a simple matter of rebadging the Doblo, thinking up a jazzy new name and adding the familiar Ram brand “crosshairs” for the US market. The Doblo comes packed with a variety of small, fuel efficient engines in Europe but with some of those offering less than 100 horsepower; they would be a tough sell in the US. However, the Fiat compact van does offer a couple torque little diesel options that could find a good home in the US market as well as an all electric version that could bring a whole new dimension to the Ram brand.

The larger Ram van based on either the Fiat Ducato or Iveco Daily could come in a large variety of forms, as those two European models are offered in many different shapes from panel vans to flatbeds. We will most likely bear some resemblance to the now-dead Dodge Sprinter in size and like the Sprinter, the new large Ram van could offer fuel efficient diesel technology.

Both of these new Ram brand vans based on current Fiat models could hit the market for the 2014 model year – the same year that many expect the Ram Truck brand to roll out their newest look of their popular pickup truck. These new vans would join the Ram alongside the Ram C/V, which is a panel van based on the current Dodge Grand Caravan.

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