Confirmed: Fiat Doblo Van Joining Ram's U.S. Lineup

It seems Ford's Transit Connect is no longer alone in its niche segment. Chrysler confirmed today that the Fiat Doblo -- a small commercial van that directly competes against the Transit Connect in Europe -- will be sold through the Ram Trucks brand by 2013.

The move is hardly surprising, considering many -- even within Chrysler itself -- have hinted that the Doblo would join the Ram portfolio in due time. Chrysler's product plan, revealed during a marathon press conference held in late 2009, suggests a Fiat-sourced small commercial van would be imported into our market by 2012.

That prognostication wasn't far off. Chrysler still intends on importing the Doblo into North America, much like Ford does with the Transit Connect. As a result, Fiat announced today it signed a letter of intent with its Turkish assembly partner -- TOFAS -- to prepare for the new export business. Fiat expects to send 190,000 Doblos our way over the next seven years. To accommodate the extra volume, Fiat and TOFAS are giving the Doblo's production line in Bursa, Turkey, a $160 million makeover.

What hasn't been announced are details pertaining to the Doblo itself. Like the Transit Connect, the vanlet is available overseas in several different forms and with several different powertrain options (including small-displacement diesels). We wouldn't be surprised if Chrysler borrows a page from Ford's book, and restricts just what configurations do cross the pond.

What would you like to see in a Ram Doblo? Is a diesel option a must-have feature? Would a passenger version be a worthy investment? Send us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Chrysler

Denise
Please realize that these vehicles can be used for something other that utility vans. This would be perfect for my work as an entertainer, and will be my daily driver as well.. Don't comprimise on the nice interior of the Fiat 500. I want something that works for me, but has the option of the bells and whistles up front to make driving it a real pleasure!
ben
Turbo diesel or turbo gal, CVT tranny, dual side sliding doors,wide swing double rear doors, AWD option, 72+" behind rear seats, sunroof cut out front and rear (or a flat roof to allow the choice), reinforced buil- in roof rack mounts, storage shelf over driver/passenger seating, no center console for more leg room, vinyl floors, power windows in side doors, flip up rear bench (transit style) or flip up jump seats (Elemt style, truck style), to package rated to #3500lbs, 16-17" wheels, large fuel tank for 400 mile range on fwy.
Robb
I hear they have a drop-side pickup version--I'd like one of those please! Don't need a full-sized truck--just something to putter around town with and make occasional trips out to the local nursery/hardware center. Diesel=YES. Dual Dry Clutch transmission=YES.
Brian D
Seems great vehicle for me. Like diesel option. Would hope to get my bicycle in back standing up as can do with Buick Rendezvous. Hope back seats can fold up and leave a low utility-type floor. Looked at GM Orlando but no good as can't remove third row of seats and 2nd and 3rd row don't fold flat low enough or right into floor. Utility vehicle like Doblo, similar to Element in some ways, seems very practical for many in North America.
mitch moore
On my website I feature a picture of the transit connect taxi used with permission of Ford Brand Licensing. If Fiat will bring a 1.5 Litre or smaller diesel automatic passenger version of the Doblo to the US, I'll take ten and replace the Ford Transit with the Fiat Doblo on my site. America's taxicab drivers are being ground into bankruptcy by the cost of fuel. The people who take your grandparents to their doctors appointments and carry groceries for the disabled buy the fuel for the vehicles they drive. The taxicab companies don't give a damn. They get their shift money regardless of the mpg. I operate the most fuel efficient fleet in Florida; a 2006 2.75litre sprinter and 7 2004-2006 scion xbs. Taxicab owner operators, with vehicles driven 300 miles per day, could recover the entire cost of a 50 mpg Doblo in fuel savings in 24 months. If anyone at Chrysler is awake and reads this, get in touch with me. I have been ready to buy a car every day for the past two years, but no American car company sells a product on which I can make a profit. The transit has serious design flaws. If you want to build a taxicab and sell it on 3000 geotargeted livery microsites worldwide, give me a call. I will pay cash for a demo model.
John
Absolutely diesel with a manual transmission, at least as a base model. I need one of these.
jr23
diesel stick shift great for small business if not priced too high ford should have diesel stick option we need 45 mpg vehicles that still have space inside
chaetophile
Diesel yes, absolutely. The gasoline option should be a hybrid, as this is an excellent use for the technology. The problem I am having with this proposal is the fact that it will be imported...the people of the United States need JOBS. For Chrysler to import a vehicle that could be built here is a rude slap to the taxpayers that bailed them out.
WayneD
Now that Honda has discontinued the Element there are few options for this kind of in between utility vehicle for "civilians." I've ridden in a few Doblo's in Brazil that were done nicely. A US version Doblo in passenger trim, maybe with AWD optional would be nice. Diesel or gas, just make sure the engine isn't too small and a manual transmission option would be welcome.
Albert Vass
I agree. Definitely diesel engine as all teh utility vehicles should bee, manual transmission or automatic but at least 6 six speed, don't make the mistkae what Ford is doing, one engine and one 4 speed crappy transmission. Maybe one day VW will wake up and realize that they suppose to bring the utility vehicles over here.
rblackwell
I'll take a low-roof, diesel-powered, SRT-tuned, stick-shifted, panel-van version of the Ram Doblo, thanks very much! Maybe I could become Jimmy John's fastest delivery driver ...

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