By on February 11, 2013

A Turkish affiliate of Fiat had disclosed plans to import the Doblo as a Ram van, to compete with the Ford Transit Connect. Automotive News Europe reported that exports would begin in 2014 with expected volumes of around 20,000 units per year.

The Doblo van will be built by Tofas, a Turkish JV between Fiat and Koc Holdings. Tofas will also build two new compacts, which replace the Fiat Linea, though the Doblo will be important for Tofas as it seeks to diversify its exports beyond the slumping European market. The Transit Connect is also built in Turkey, though Ford is transferring production to Spain in the near future.

Since 2008, there has been significant growth in the commercial van sector, with European-derived product replacing the rear-drive, V8 vans previously offered by Detroit. But while Chrysler and Ford have been matching one another tit for tat with European commercial vans, GM has so far persisted in retaining the Savanna and Express full-size vans.

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29 Comments on “Ram To Get Turkish-Built Fiat Doblo...”


  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I am elated that I will have a new vehicle to point to and tell the kids, “Look! A Turkmobile!” I’m also very interested to see how the styling is received here in Middle America. Assuming the actual import will be a panel version?

  • avatar
    brettc

    Wow, they should get an award for the weirdest looking vans in North America. This one is weirder than the one from the other day. But I guess this one doesn’t look like it’s melting. It just looks like a weird cartoon front-end.

    Looks like Vauxhall has a van range in Britain, so it is strange that GM continues to sell their old-timey vans here. But maybe they’re selling well enough to not bother bringing over their “Euro vans” (haha!). Or else maybe GM is just lazy.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The Vauxhall/Opel vans are either rebadged Renaults (Movano/Vivaro) or rebadged Fiats (the Combi is the Fiat Doblo!), so it likely doesn’t make commercial sense to bring them over here.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      Can we get some sales figures on the old GM American vans? It will be interesting to see how they compete with the new transit

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        For the 2012 Calender year the Econoline outsold the GM twins and Sprinter combined, haven’t seen numbers for the NV but I’m pretty sure you could throw those in too based on the lead they had over the GM and Sprinter totals. I agree it will be interesting to see how well the Transit goes over. Very risky if you ask me, I’d keep the Econoline name even on the all new van.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/01/december-2012-usa-commercial-van-sales-figures.html

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    I feel like some full size hamsters should be dancing around the vehicle. Is it just me or does this car look like a grown up Kia Soul?

  • avatar
    modelt1918

    Is the truck really big? Or are the tires just really small?

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    ” GM has so far persisted in retaining the Savanna and Express full-size vans.”

    This is because of to hang on to what they’ve got, and not expand, because they want to be the only one selling full-size vans, because GM sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Nissan’s NV vans are also full size BOF RWD V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Ford and Nissan are all still selling full-sized vans. They’re just selling commercial minivans, too.

      I almost replaced my Ranger with a Transit Connect. The Transit Connect is a really nice basic vehicle that does exactly what it needs to do — nothing more, nothing less. But it’s also customizeable. Alas, I really needed a family minivan with a trailer hitch, but I won’t hesitate to buy a Transit Connect the instant I need one.

      If the Doblo and the NV200 are anything like the Transit Connect, they’ll serve a very real need.

      And, if you actually do need a full sized van, Ford, Nissan, and GM be happy to sell you one of those, too.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        To those willing to admit it, vans are far better utility vehicles than pickups. They’re vehicles that you can pack full to an existing roof, then lock up.

        It’s completely valid to cross shop a Transit Connect in place of a compact pickup because that’s essentially the role it fills now.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    I like to imagine Turks identify with their van makers the same way Australians are polarized between Ford and Holden…

  • avatar
    roadtirer

    Derek:

    I travel about once month to see clients in Missouri and Kansas for my company’s business. So I am familiar with I70. When I take a break I stop in Wentzville,MO. I see workers (either construction or assembly) from the GM plant that produces the vans and will also be producing the next gen mid size pickup at ether the Exxon gas station or the Schuck’s grocery store on the Wentzville parkway and I ask them about what is going on at the plant and only one worker told me that the first priority for the plant is the Mid size pickups for Q1 2014 launch, then later on in either Q4 2014 or Q1 2015 the replacement for the Chevy Express will start.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    With three little kids at home, I am in and will probably stay in the prime mini-van demographic for the next 15 years. I currently own one of the ugliest minivans on the road, a 2004 Ford Freestar, (that I actually really like)and even though I may have to eat my hat one day for saying this, there is no way I would even look at something this ugly.

    I hope this is something they are considering for the fleet and commercial markets. If Chrysler were to replace their current minivans with these I would be shocked. Having rented the current generatin vans on more than a few occasions I have to say that they are really nice vehicles thatI actually aspire to own.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    GUTS!
    GORY!
    RAM DOBLO!

    [See what I did there?
    Seriously, this thing better get butched up in hurry.]

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I’m assuming that Fiat will pull the same trick Ford has done to avoid the chicken tax by having it imported with a couple of cheapo seats bolted in the back.
    Why do such retarded laws exist which are so easy to circumvent?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Why do such retarded laws exist which are so easy to circumvent?”

      The US doesn’t have much motivation to unilaterally drop it. We don’t stand much to gain by getting rid of it unless we get something else that we want in return, so the status quo remains.

      If the US ends up signing an FTA with the EU, then I suspect that the EU would be exempted from the chicken tax as just one component of a larger FTA package. But it’s such a negligible part of the market that it won’t matter very much for Ford, Fiat or anyone else.

      And yes, an FTA may be coming. Pay attention to the State of the Union tomorrow, as the president is supposed to be pushing for it: http://businessandleadership.com/exporting/item/39562-president-obama-to-announce/

  • avatar
    Commando

    Those moans you hear, once again, are coming from the service department of your local Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealer. First was the German crap they had to learn to deal with, then the Italian fluster cluck engineering, and now some Turkish taffy.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    FWIW I know GM offer the HHR as a panel van and IIRC correctly you could get it sans back seats with a throw up cargo area. I know it isn’t a Euro to US but it was a “small” cargo van offering of – errrr – sorts.

    [INSERT JUSTIFIED SNICKERS HERE]

    Oh – and that Fiat van is 20 gallons of ugly in a 10 gallon jug.

  • avatar

    the doblo is one of those cars that cause rejection at the first moment. However, those who see it for what it is end up loving it. It should appeal to pros, families who want something different than cuv or minivan and active people. I for one aspire to own one.


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