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Chrysler to use Fiat vans to re-enter commercial van market

by Bill Cawthon on

As predicted at, Chrysler will use two Fiat vans, the Ducato and Doblo, to reenter the commercial van segment next year. Previous speculation had focused on the Iveco Daily, but the spinoff of Iveco into the newly independent Fiat Industrial S.p.A. left the two vans from Fiat Professional as the most likely candidates.

According to Fred Diaz, CEO of the Ram brand, the Ducato and Doblo will be introduced next year as 2013 models and will wear the Ram truck badge. It’s not certain at this time whether the vans will keep their Italian model names.

The Ducato will fill the gap left when Daimler AG pulled the Sprinter van from the Dodge lineup and the Doblo will compete against the Ford Transit Connect in the small van market. The Ducato is offered in a variety of configurations including a chassis-cab for recreational vehicle conversions. The Doblo is produced as a commercial van, passenger van and as a pickup called the Doblo Cargo.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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