California Autos Examiner

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Could Ram become a brand for Chrysler?

Fiat Doblò cargo (courtesy of fiat)

The name Ram could be attached to a lot more than a pickup if a new strategy under consideration by Chrysler management (reported by Automotive News) is adopted.

Check out all the latest cargo haulers that could be coming our way or already here in this photo gallery.

Under the Ram umbrella could fall products such as the Fiat Doblò, Ducato and Iveco Daily.

All manufacturers would love to see their commercial European and American counterparts unite. Ford is bringing over its Turkish built Transit Connect for 2010 and will eventually merge the larger Transit and Econoline platforms.

Chrysler has been an innovator in this European wave by bringing over the Mercedes Sprinter as the Dodge Sprinter to great initial reception by the market. Since that time, Sprinter sales have slowed (off 64 percent through July) but that could be a function of the economy rather than the concept.

Of course, building Ram into a commercial brand could cause issues for the Ram pickup and its perception by personal use buyers. However, it would not seem that difficult to simply tack on a name at the end, like Ford's King Ranch F-Series pickup to denote a luxury model from a more pedestrian, commercial vehicle.

For more info: Information for this report comes from Automotive News and previous reports by this author.
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1 comment:

FIAT 2 America said...

I’ve spent some time in Europe, and know, have owned, and rented FIAT and Alfa Romeo cars. The technology and quality is very good, the style is fantastic, and If you thought having more small cars in America will be a boring hell, then you’ve never driven a FIAT.
Forget what your college roomate told you in 1974, most of the problems arose from US safety and emissions regs, dealer issues in the US, and Russian steel which the company unfortunately obtained in a barter deal for a factory there. I myself had a 1978 FIAT 131 Mirafiori that was the most enjoyable economy car you could imagine… still on the road 30 years later, too.
And current FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne is a genius, if you read what The Economist had to say about what’s he’s done at the company, you’d understand just how well run FIAT is… the only currently profitable European automaker.
I rented a new 4 door FIAT Panda in Greece… it got 40-50mpg on gas, and was a very sporty drive for an econobox. FIAT also makes what we would call a midsize, the Croma… which is like a Taurus, and they produce all matter of trucks right-up-to big rigs. FIAT owns New Holland tractors and IVECO heavy trucks... and of course Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati.

And their Ferrari Formula One team possess the most advanced racing car in the world... and they invented the now widespread “single rail” diesel technology, and their smallest cars get 70+ mpg on diesel… who needs hybrids?
Any portrayal of FIAT as a producer of antiquidated, poor quality little cars is nonsense from the uninformed. IMO, they are going to surprise a lot of people- these guys know what they're doing...