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Next ProMaster(?) and new Fiat van

by Bill Cawthon on

Allpar-NewProMaster-Web
While the new Ram ProMaster is still getting established in the North American market, a new Ducato, the basis for the ProMaster, is getting established in Europe.

Launched at the Balocco Test Centre in Vercelli, Italy, on May 12, the sixth generation of the Ducato is the latest in a line that stretches back over 33 years and 2.6 million sales.

Fiat calls the new exterior style ‘car design’ and it’s likely to be more satisfying to the conservative tastes that mark buyers of commercial vehicles. The new LED headlight design is a major factor in the refinement of the front-end styling.

As was true of the previous model, the new Ducato is offered in a wide range of configurations including commercial vans, passenger vans and chassis-cabs. Vans can be ordered in four different lengths and three different heights while chassis-cabs are available in six lengths.

No telling when the new version might hit the U.S. market but Allpar did a bit of imagineering to present what the next-generation ProMaster might look like.

Fiat-NewScudo-Web

Even though the newest version of the Fiat Scudo commercial van was launched just last year, Fiat S.p.A. has already announced plans for its successor. On Tuesday, a company press release said it had signed an agreement with Renault to build a replacement.

The current Scudo, which slots between the Doblo and Ducato in the Fiat Professional line, is built under a joint-venture agreement between Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroën. In addition to being offered as the Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert, the van is sold as the Citroën Dispatch and the Toyota ProAce. The vans are built at the Fiat-PSA-Peugeot joint-venture Sevel Nord plant in France.

The companies announced last year that the joint-venture agreement would not be renewed when it expires in 2017, so new arrangements had to be made.

The new van will most likely be built on a variation of the platform used for the Renault Trafic but Fiat says it will be the one to develop the new vehicle.

While the Trafic was never sold as a commercial van in the U.S., we did get some first-generation chassis-cabs that were delivered as completely knocked-down kits to Winnebago. The RV manufacturer converted them into the Winnebago LeSharo and the Itasca Phasar sold from 1983 to 1992.

The current Trafic is also sold as the Nissan Primastar and the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro. Current scuttlebut says it’s likely the GM will stay on board for the new van and Nissan is pretty much a given.

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 just-auto.com, 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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