Chrysler's Ram Truck division is getting back into the commercial van business.
Back in its Dodge brand days, as part of the DaimlerChrysler realm, the company's Sprinter van – shared with Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner – set the standard in full-size vans.
But Chrysler's access to the Sprinter disappeared as part of that corporate divorce and Mercedes-Benz is now the benefactor of the Sprinter market that the alliance helped develop.
Now Chrysler is set to fight back with the introduction of an all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster van, based on the European Fiat Ducato, which will go on sale beginning in the third quarter of 2013.
Fiat's Professional division is one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the world, with more than 110 years of experience. That background will help Ram enter new segments and expand its product line.
Now in its third generation, with more than four-million sold worldwide, the Ducato full-size van will be transformed for the North American market in its Ram ProMaster guise, to give it best-in-class attributes, the company says.
While the ProMaster van will be derived from the Ducato, Chrysler says it will be significantly redesigned with familiar Ram Truck styling cues and will offer features and powertrains preferred by North American commercial customers.
"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," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico.
The Ram Truck brand offers a broad range of vehicles specifically for the commercial market, including the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups; 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs, the minivan-based Ram Cargo Van and soon, the Ram ProMaster van.