The Chrysler Group is leveraging its link with Fiat to add a new small commercial van to its Ram lineup of trucks. Already having announced the Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster as a replacement for the Ram Van—which hasn’t been around for years anyway—Fiat announced today that a new small van derived from the European-market Fiat Doblo van will be sold in the U.S. and Canada as the Ram ProMaster City.
The Ram ProMaster City is aimed directly at the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200 (along with the NV200 models rebadged and sold by General Motors) which cater to local delivery and tradesmen. It’s not a surprise as expanding the Ram line to this market has been part of the Chrysler/Fiat business plan, which also sends vehicles the other way across the ocean, including selling the Dodge Journey in Italy as the Fiat Freemont.
Ram didn’t provide a release date—our best guess is that the ProMaster City is a year out—or specify any particular technical details, other than to suggest that Ram also plans to compete in the small passenger van market with the ProMaster Ram as well. In its home market, the Doblo is offered in several different configurations, including a people hauler and a high roof version.
For those still wary of Fiat quality, particularly as a commercial vehicle, Fiat notes that the Fiat Doblo is a two-time International Van of the Year winner and there have been more than 1.3 million sold.
Based on the Fiat Ducato/Ram ProMaster program, it’s fair to expect the Ram ProMaster City to arrive largely in European configuration, although the ProMaster City will have “Ram Truck styling cues”—most likely in the form of a Ram family grille, though no pictures have been released. In Europe, Fiat Doblo is offered with three diesel engines and two gas engines, the larger of the latter a 1.6-liter rated at 95 horsepower. Ram isn’t saying what will go under the Ram ProMaster City’s hood, other than to say that it will “offer features and powertrains preferred by North American commercial customers.”
Stay posted. We’ll tell you more when we know more.