LOS ANGELES - Chrysler confirms it will offer a variant of the Fiat Ducato van in the U.S. under its newly formed Ram Commercial subdivision.
Badged the Ram ProMaster, vehicle arrives at dealerships in third-quarter 2013 as a ’14 model. It will be “significantly redesigned” from the original Ducato, one of Fiat’s strongest-performing commercial vehicles in Europe.
Chrysler joins Ford and Nissan in the race to dethrone, or at least take market share from, Daimler, which sits atop the commercial-van sector in the U.S. with its Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinter models. Incidentally, the last large commercial van to be sold under a Chrysler nameplate was a version of the Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter made by Daimler and sold by Dodge.
A revamped European Ford Transit goes on sale in the U.S. and Europe next year. Nissan introduced its NV commercial van in the North American market in 2011.
“We feel that from a product-feature and launch timing standpoint, the all-new Ram ProMaster van is going to be a homerun with commercial customers,” Ram President and CEO Fred Diaz says. “Our relationship with Fiat, one of the world’s foremost commercial-truck makers, has given us access to great products and technology that will resonate with our U.S. and Canadian Ram Truck customers.”
Diaz announced the formation of Ram Commercial in September. Targeting fleet and other business customers, it will be based at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, MI, headquarters and integrates a network of Ram BusinessLink dealers.
Those dealers not only will sell the ProMaster but also the C/V small van and the 1500, 2500, 3500 and 4500 pickups to commercial customers.
“We’re getting really, really serious about the commercial side of business. This is to challenge the rest of the industry,” Diaz said in launching Ram Commercial.