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AN: Ram: ProMaster prices, contest

Discussion in 'Vans' started by Allpar News System, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    I'd need to compare the specs between the Express/Savanna and the ProMaster first - but I believe that the ProMaster is more capable than the GM full-size vans.

    The local catering company that services my employer went from Econolines to Sprinters to Transit Connects (with custom marketing wraps) to the most recent - Ram Cargo Vans with a simple logo on the door.

    Sometimes buying a just low price doesn't really fill a need or solve a problem.
     
  2. fenderbass

    fenderbass Well-Known Member

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    Gmc 3500 can tow a little over 9500lbs. Some sites are claing a little over 5000lbs for the Promaster. Payload is a different story with promaster over 5000lbs and gmc at under 3500lbs.

    Capability is based on application. I'm curious to see the gvwr and gcwr numbers.
     
  3. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    My thoughts on the vehicle purchases are not really for specific-application purchases, they're for general-purpose purchases. My work doesn't distinguish between an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a painter, an IT guy, an artwork delivery worker, a sheetmetal worker, or any other large number of job types. As an infrastructure specialist hauling around boxes of cable, three ladders, Ethernet equipment and structural racks, a cart, and a bunch of miscellaneous tools and supplies, I drive the same kind of van that I drove as a computer repair technician, a job that I could have done out of the back of a Geo Metro, and the same kind of van that the locksmiths and everyone else drives.

    The only distinction at my work is pickup versus van. Some employees get pickups because they need to carry either dirty things (grounds) or things too large to fit into vans, so they get pickups equipped with ladder racks or side rails for whatever it is they need. And inspectors, they get trucks for some reason.

    We've been working extensively with the local phone company on an installation job, and they show up in Express/Savannah, Econonline, Astro, and late model short-bed Chevy C/K with shells on the beds. They buy whatever the purchasers feel like buying or whatever's cheaper, even when it's actually not suited to the job at hand. The guys with the pickups with the short beds are seemingly unhappy because they can't carry their ladders inside the shells, so unless they specifically know that they need the tall ladder, it gets left at the shop so that it doesn't decay baking in the Sun on top of the truck.

    In the two examples that I have experience with, neither has really gone out of their way to purchase appropriate vehicles for their workers. We buy the same type of full-sized van whether the back will remain completely empty or not, and the other fleet buys whatever is cheapest, regardless of if it's big enough or not. If this same mentality applies to large fleets that could make use of this new van, if the van is too expensive, the fleet buyers simply won't buy it.

    If it wasn't for the 8' ladder that I carry, that is almost 10' long when folded up and laying on its side, I could do my job out of something the size and fuel economy of a Transit Connect or a Caravan C/V. It would probably double the fuel economy. If it wasn't for the fact that my '01 Ram Van 3500 has only 63,000 miles on it and is thus fairly low annual usage then the fuel economy issues would be very much a problem.
     
  4. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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  5. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Certainly true. But those are established brands.
    Other than this board, most will eye Ducato with suspicion and skepticism. FWD is not the norm in commercial trucks here, unless Fiat has time ( and I don't think they do) to establish the worth of these trucks, they will need a hook.
    Lower price or higher warrantees or both, could be that hook.
    Fiat has to prove itself in this market.
     
  6. tryphon

    tryphon Well-Known Member

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  7. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    I'm puzzled by the use of a 4 cylinder. It's going to have to be stellar to attract US commercial buyers. I'll have to see some data, but the 3.0 VM seemed like the correct choice for service techs already trained on the VM.
    The decision may have come down to VM production capabilities and changes needed to make the VM work in the Ducato, but I'm skeptical of a 4 cylinder work engine, as are a great many commercial buyers. They are going to be hesitant to buy a near $40,000 truck that is underpowered and untested in our market.
    You won't see initial big sales numbers, companies that are interested will likely buy one and wait to see what the year brings in reliability, cost to operate and practical application, first.
    It's been a tough uphill battle to win over fleet buyers to something proven, like Charger, getting them to part with scare dollars on a new product, will be even harder.
    There is a reason that the private fleet vehicle population in general, is aging, in part, the costs are getting higher and the amount of income is diminishing.
     
  8. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    Sprinter was unproven in this market at first, too.

    And yes, I get that being the biggest seller in the European market doesn't mean much to a lot of people here.

    And yes, there are great hills of "we've always bought this" and "unwilling to try something new" to conquer.

    Worth noting that for this market, there's only one version of the diesel offered - the largest "180 MultiJet" Iveco F1C - making 175HP @ 3500RPM and 400ft-lbs of torque at 1400RPM.
     
  9. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    Many companies take lowest bidder.
     
  10. tryphon

    tryphon Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember seeing a positive post from you ever... ;) Anyway, I am sure the Ram folks did lots of market surveys and asked many potential customers about their preferences. I'd like to think that it will be a commercial success in the USA, as it is in the rest of the world.
     
  11. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    It's not the unwillingness to try something new, it's the unwillingness to try something that costs you more money than you are spending now.
    A mistake might mean you have to lay off some workers to recover. There are always a small percentage willing to try something, to be first. However in this economy, they will be prudent and try it slowly.
    I'd be very surprised to see a company jump right in and buy 50, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Chrysler try something with FedEx or UPS, as long as there was a maintenance or buy-back clause and a very cheap initial price.
    Nothing sells better than word of mouth, and seeing the product on the road.
    Much of what will make or break this truck, should be happening behind closed doors, in negotiations with fleets and RV manufacturers.
     
  12. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Yeah, it pains me too.
    Seriously, I posted a positive thread just last week ("Kudos to Jeep").
    If they start respecting their brand heritage and loyal customers, I'd post a lot more positive items, but I'm not a marketeer and I won't lie. ;)
    Also,...it doesn't seem to me that they did ANY market surveys, they simply slapped a Rams head on the Ducato and said, "here it is".
    There is more than a little arrogance in the treatment of the US market, by Marchionne.
    The slow start of 500 and Dart, the treatment of NASCAR fans, the KL fiasco. It seems the more we say, "hey, you aren't getting us", the more determined he is to ignore us. He has a financial goal in mind, the customers be damned, and my initial admiration has worn off.
    Believe I'd love to be a fan boy, but his lack of understanding and treatment of his base customer, puzzles me.

    My post regarding engine selection and pricing is based upon over 40 years of buying fleet and commercial vehicles. They are going to have to win me over with this thing.
     
  13. tryphon

    tryphon Well-Known Member

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    I thought they changed the engine, they modified the suspension and beefed up the structure.... THEN they added the RAM badges.
     
  14. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    The engines were Americanized for emissions primarily.
    I'm not sure what they have done to the structure.
    Maybe beefed up to hold the badge?
     
  15. tryphon

    tryphon Well-Known Member

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    The Chrysler gas engine is only available in the US version...
    The chassis was beefed up and made more rigid (it is in the press release)
    The suspension was retuned to cope with the road conditions encountered in the US. I am sure there were more, smaller changes made to the Ducato.
    It seems to me a considerable set of modifications, not just the slapping on of a RAM badge.
     
  16. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Sigh....it was in jest ...
     
  17. tryphon

    tryphon Well-Known Member

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    I must have missed the smiley.... You said the engines were only modified for emissions.... quite the joke, although I missed the humor....especially since there is a brand new Pentastar engine offered in the RAM and not available on the Ducato. Great looking van! Go RAM!
     
  18. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    No. I said they were structurally modified to support the Ram Head.
    ;)
     
  19. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    I get buying on lowest bid price. And I get buying "what you know or have already invested in."

    But I also get "let's at least take a look at this and see if it fits our needs any better for usability and at what ROI, since our Econolines are being dropped soon and they haven't built a new B-van in about a decade."
     
  20. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    I don't disagree, which is why I wrote:
    "A mistake might mean you have to lay off some workers to recover. There are always a small percentage willing to try something, to be first. However in this economy, they will be prudent and try it slowly."
    Another slow start should be expected and hopefully anticipated, by both management and those tracking the sales numbers.
     

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