The Sprinter is back in the Mercedes dealerships which pissed off many contractors because the cost of parts doubled over night. I think they are looking at bringing in the Fiat commercial vans they use overseas.
Fiat and its Turkish manufacturing partner, Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi, revealed an agreement today to supply Ram with 190,000 Doblo commercial vans over seven years, starting in 2013.
The companies said in a joint statement that they would invest $160 million in upgrades to Tofas’s plant in Bursa, Turkey and changes to the van itself to meet requirements for sale in the U.S. and Canada.
With the departure of the Daimler-sourced Sprinter, the new vehicle will be the only van in Ram’s lineup. However, Fiat has ambitions to bring a larger van to the Ram brand that would be underpinned the the Ducato. That full-size van could also arrive in 2013.
Fiat didn’t specify exactly what might power to the American-market Doblo (nor if the Doblo name would be maintained). The Doblo is offered in Europe with a direct-injected, 2.0-liter turbodiesel that makes 135 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque in its most potent form, along with a 1.4-liter gas mill with 95 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque.
The cost of the Sprinter drove away a good deal of Ram Van buyers who were looking for multi-passenger use. Ford had picked up a great share when the Ram Van left the scene. GM didn't gain much ground since the Savanna and Express are narrow and the cargo room limited.
The Ford Econoline is nearing it's EOL as well. Ford plans on bringing in a Transit multi-passenger and cargo van as the replacement.
At this point in time, the only real offering for 12-passenger vans are Ford and Nissan. Nissan just released the NV2500. Mileage isn't all that great though.
I don't think Chrysler is going to re-introduce the Ram Van, they made them for so many years and at a point the price wasn't reasonable. Dodge did make the best vans in my opinion, they are very durable and were one of the first to have a van that was of a unibody design, Ford to this date still uses the old body on chassis, GM however uses the unibody. For one thing Dodge ditched the "American" style van for this Euro crap! They probably won't go back to the Ram Van because between gas prices and everything like that it's not economical to buy one, even for companies it's just not kosher. Honestly I would love for Chrysler to bring back the American van. I actually take some offense to Chrysler who was an American company, how can a company call themselves American if they are going to ditch an American icon for some Euro Junk, which by the way is junk the sprinter vans have so many faults and they are less aerodynamic and are not as safe as the Ram Vans, not that the Ram Van was safe to begin with but think of a shoe box on it's side lol...
Anyway's yea in a nut shell Chrysler saw a drop in sales of the Vans and they decided to pull back. Only thing is the drop of sales happened when the Oil Prices started to sky rocket, many people were and still are dumping then gas guzzler for some ricer.
Shameful part is that the demand for Van's has increased dramatically since then, for many reasons. Many people are loosing their homes and are either going to live out of a vehicle or will need to move somewhere, if you have a large family or even a small one a van is very useful, it's practically a universal vehicle. Also with people out of work they are now starting their own services (business) and that would generally require a large vehicle. Also with the vacation market, a conversion van is much more comfortable then any SUV that I have seen, the van is larger and in most cases will get better gas mileage then a big SUV.
Van's other then to carry people and things can certainly tow a massive amount of weight, mine up to 7900 Lbs. Newer ones are beyond that!
GM is going to make some money off their vans because Ford is now going to the Euro style with that Transit thing a ma jig. Chevy is to American I think to go to Euro Style but I don't fallow Chevy's so I don't know.
But of all companies the Americans are going Euro and the Euros are going American! WTH