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The Fiat and Chrysler product osmosis continues. Chrysler first revealed its plan for a Fiat collaborated small commercial van for the North American market back in November 2009. Finally, here it is. Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi, Fiat’s Turkish joint venture, announced that it will supply Ram with 190,000 units of the Fiat Doblo small panel van over the course of seven years.
Launched in Europe early 2010, the Doblo is already proving to be very popular amongst businesses. But in North America, expect the upcoming Ram van to compete against the segment leader Ford Transit Connect. In the past year, Transit Connect sold 20,496 units in the United states, a 31 percent increase.
In addition, as the Ram Sprinter was discontinued in 2009, expect Fiat to fill in the gap by providing a larger commercial van for the North American market.
There has been no word yet regarding pricing.
GALLERY: Fiat Doblo
Today, the Ford Transit Connect is targeted at taxi and delivery business where fuel efficiency is a top priority. Initially, the small van was rated for 21 mpg on the city and 26 mpg in the highway. For 2012 Transit Connectgets a 1 mpg bump in each category, for a ratings of 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. This is good news considering the the competition in this class with the new Nissan NV200 and the rumoured Fiat Doblo (which would be sold under the Ram brand). No other improvements are expected until the all-new Transit Connect arrives on the market sometime in 2014.
[Source: Ford Inside News]