AUBURN HILLS, MI – The future of Ram’s small commercial van, built alongside the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, is uncertain as Chrysler prepares to change its minivan approach.
Whether Ram continues in the CV segment remains to be seen as well.
Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says a new minivan is coming for the ’15 model year for either the Dodge or Chrysler brand, and another “people carrier” will supplant the minivan for the marque that’s left out.
According to a new product plan released last month, Dodge receives one new vehicle in 2015 and Chrysler is due for three. One Ram vehicle will receive a refresh that year, though it is most likely a midcycle revision of the Ram 1500 pickup introduced in 2012.
“We’re exploring it and looking into it,” Ram President and CEO Fred Diaz tells WardsAuto at a backgrounder for the Ram ProMaster large van that was unveiled at the Chicago auto show last week. “I don’t know if we’ll continue producing it.”
Diaz says the C/V does well in fleet sales, but it may take up space at showrooms that is needed for the ProMaster.
“We haven’t decided what will happen,” Diaz says, noting the auto maker hasn’t decided whether to bring in an existing Fiat product to replace the small CV.
Rumors that the Fiat Doblo small van could come to the U.S. as a modified Ram have cooled, with the updated product plan showing a new Chrysler-based vehicle for the Ram brand in 2014. That suggests a pickup slotting below the 1500, a vehicle Diaz has made known he would like to add to Chrysler’s lineup and was under consideration in a previous product plan released in 2009.
WardsAuto data shows Chrysler delivered 7,075 of the Ram C/V vans in 2012, making it the auto maker’s lowest-volume vehicle excluding discontinued models. By comparison, Ford’s Transit Connect sold 35,216 units last year.