The Dodge Sprinter commercial van was perhaps one of the most successful vehicles Chrysler got from its partnership with Daimler. But the break up years ago has left that void open. That will soon change thanks to Chrysler's new relationship with Fiat, which plans to sell a version of its Ducato commercial van here in North American under the Ram name.
According to the Automotive News, the Chrysler Group will soon sell a commercial van in North America based on the Fiat Ducato. It will be sold as a Ram. The Ducato shares its front-drive platform with the Peugeot Boxer, currently sold in Europe.
"It's designed perfectly to try and deal with the market segment here in the United States, so we think it will grow," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the Chrysler Group.
Marchionne was on hand at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show where he said his company would expand its plant in Saltillo, Mexico to build the Ram-branded Ducato in time for a 2013 sale date. No other details have been provided, but we expect the Ducato to be offered in a number of configurations. The automaker will likely make minor cosmetic changes to give the Ram are more distinctive look for the North American market.
Once it arrives, it will do battle with a number of established commercial van offerings such as the Ford Econoline and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Chrysler currently sells a commercial version of the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The Chrysler Group has already announced plans to bring over the Fiat Doblo, which is similar in size to the Ford Transit. Like the Ducato, the Doblo will be sold here as a Ram. No official word on when the Doblo will reach our shores.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)