After careful consideration, Chrysler has selected the Fiat Ducato as its Sprinter replacement, confirming earlier reports. Despite being slightly smaller than the Sprinter, the incoming Fiat is set to join the newly-split Ram brand as Chrysler’s full-size commercial van by 2012.
In addition to the Ducato, Chrysler will also be adding a light van to the Ram lineup. The light-duty Fiat Doblo will be in direct competition with the Ford Transit Connect, which has proven to be a refreshing insertion into an otherwise mundane U.S. van market since its summer release. Chrysler looks to cash in on van segment growth and has set high expectations: a 50-percent-increase in annual sales by 2014.
Powertrain selections for the Ducato and Doblo have yet to be announced; however, an all-electric Doblo is expected to compete with the Transit Connect EV. To help Chrysler push further into the commercial van market, dealers will have extended service hours and additional, van-specific service equipment.