Fiat Ducato Commercial Van Coming Here Under Ram Badge

After its split from Daimler, Chrysler stopped selling the successful and popular Sprinter commercial van. Fiat, however, is coming to the rescue with the Ducato, its own commercial van currently on sale in Europe.

According to Automotive News, the Chrysler Group will  soon sell a commercial van in North America based on the Fiat Ducato under the Ram brand. The Ducato shares its front-drive platform with  the Peugeot Boxer, both of which are currently sold in Europe.

“It’s designed perfectly to try and deal with the market segment here  in the United States, so we think it will grow,” said Sergio  Marchionne, CEO of the Chrysler Group.

Marchionne was on hand at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show where he said  his company would expand its plant in Saltillo, Mexico to build the  Ram-branded Ducato in time for a 2013 sale date. No other details have  been provided, but we expect the Ducato to be offered in a number of  configurations. The automaker will likely make minor cosmetic changes to  give the Ram a more distinctive look for the North American market.

Once it arrives, it will do battle with a number of established  commercial van offerings such as the upcoming Ford Transit and the Sprinter, which is now sold under the Mercedes-Benz banner. Chrysler currently sells a commercial version of the Dodge Grand Caravan called the Ram C/V, though it is smaller than the Ducato.

The Chrysler Group has already announced plans to bring over the Fiat Doblo, which is similar in size to the Ford Transit. Like the Ducato, the  Doblo will be sold here as a Ram. No official word on when the Doblo  will reach our shores.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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