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Zeroing in on the new pickup

by David Zatz on

A replacement for the Ram 1200 and Fiat Fullback is coming to Saltillo, Mexico — but who’s engineering it?

Sergio Marchionne told reporters last month that it would be mostly Ram, but since then many have said he meant it would mostly be sold as a Ram. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be engineered by people in Auburn Hills.

Rob Heglboom and Ram 1200
Despite the “car-like” styling, there is a real pickup under the sheet metal — a descendant of the Dodge Ram 50.

The truck is being built mostly for places other than North America — Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and such.  That would seem to call for the Fiat contingent, from both Italy and Brazil (as well as the FCA India engineers). On the other hand, the Ram people made some real improvements to the ProMaster, increasing its capacity and suspension durability; and the Ram 1200 (Mitsubishi L200) is well within the skill-set of Ram engineers.

What we actually expect is that a team of Fiat and Ram people will get together and work on this new project — possibly keeping many of the dimensions of the L200, if they’re satisfied with it. Indeed, they may well have been working on this even before Mitsubishi fell into the Nissan-Renault group.

Regardless, it’s almost certainly going to be tested in Chelsea, at the Chrysler Proving Grounds — and, hopefully, expand both the reach and the reputation of Ram across the globe. Perhaps, one may hope, even within the United States and Canada.

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