A Ram version of the Fiat Ducato van will, as predicted by Allpar, be coming in 2013 — though it will be made in the Saltillo, Mexico plant rather than at Warren. The expansion of Saltillo, expected to cost around $500 million, would allow the van to be made in Fiat form for South America (distribution outside North America was not mentioned by Chrysler spokesmen).
Sergio Marchionne announced the investment at the Detroit Auto Show, according to an article in Automotive News.
The van is a front wheel drive model around the same size as the Ford Econoline. The Fiat Doblo, which is around the size of the Ford Transit Connect, is also due to be imported. Allpar sources had already reported glimpsing a Ram-faced Ducato, though Ram CEO Fred Diaz wrote that designers would not change very much (probably not going as far as in our speculative rendering), because the van’s Fiat styling was very aerodynamic.
The van will likely compete with the Sprinter in some applications, though the Nissan commercial van is a closer match to the Freightliner/Mercedes, especially for upfitters. Estimates of production remain small, with prior reports claiming just 30,000 per year. (See our article on Fiat’s commercial vans for details on Ducato, Doblo, and Daily.)