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.)
Some time ago, Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, said that the only way to reboot Alfa Romeo would be by amortizing engineering costs with Dodge. That’s gone down the memory hole, now. It had to. The Alfisti will have fitsies if they overtly share with Chrysler. The D-RWD platform is now Giorgio, an Italian name for something developed largely in Auburn [...]
This year’s winners of the prestigious Ward’s Top Ten were (in alphabetical order) the BMW 5-series electric motor, the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat V8, the Ford Fiesta three-cylinder, one-liter turbo, Hyundai Tuscon fuel cell vehicle, Mini Cooper 1.5 turbo three cylinder, the Ram 3-liter VM diesel, Subaru WRX four-cylinder turbo, VW Golf 1.8 liter [...]
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
We may have the first clear 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan spy shots, adding to a small “phone pic” shot posted some time ago. The vehicle, parked with the Chrysler Technical Center in sight, has camouflage and padding, but you can clearly see the openings for the side and front door handles. The photo gives some idea of the relatively length [...]
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has long expressed his desire to slash the number of Fiat and Chrysler platforms, emulating Volkswagen’s “back to the future” move of putting just about everything onto a single platform. Mr. Marchionne has allowed major exceptions; the combination of an over-ambitious plan and a grip on reality delayed the Jeep Renegade and some other cars, because the [...]