Don't Call Me Caravan!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
don t call me caravan

When Chrysler Group first announced that it would be spinning off its Ram truck brand in order to allow the Dodge brand to “come out of the shadow of the trucks,” there was at least some logic to be found in the decision. After all, there used to be more to Dodge than truck-inspired styling and marketing, and concentrating “Ram-ness” into the trucks made a certain amount of sense. But then, Chrysler Group announced that Ram would be moving into the commercial vehicle business with a pair of European-style deliver vans, raising the question of how these distinctly un-Ram-like vans would fit in with the brand’s bro-magnon image. But now the Ram brand has a new problem: before it even challenges its fans with front-drive Euro-vans, it’s dropping a windowless Ram Cargo Van based on the Dodge Caravan. Because what separates a spun-off brand from its previous brand like shared product? Whatever Kool Aid they’re drinking over at the Ram Brand, my tank is just about full of it.

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  • Obbop Obbop on Mar 08, 2011

    Might be just what I need when it's time to replace the Silverado. A van would be optimal for me as an alternate live-in-mobile.

  • INeon INeon on Mar 09, 2011

    Sounds like a terribly spartan place to be... Inside, Ram Cargo Van gets air conditioning with dual-zone temperature control, an instrument cluster with 120 mph speedometer and tachometer, outside temperature display, an overhead console, A-pillar passenger assist handle, 120-volt auxiliary power outlet, 12-volt front and rear DC power outlets, air filtering, audio jack input for mobile devices, AutoStick automatic transmission, cloth low-back bucket seats, “Ram” interior accents, door courtesy lamps, driver and passenger sun visors with mirrors, rearview auto-dim mirror, dual glove boxes, front courtesy / map lamps, headlamp shut-off delay, cargo compartment observation mirror, a liftgate floodlamp, lower instrument panel storage bin, dual sliding doors with alert warning, power locks, power front windows, rear dome lamp, speed control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, tip start and variable intermittent windshield wipers. It actually sounds totally comfortable, and with a modicum of toughness not offered by the Dodge, Chrysler or VW vans. I would drive the $hit out of a 300hp 25mpg cargo box on wheels. EDIT It also has a nice non-chromed grill. For those who wish for a less blinged-out trim-- this is it. I'd like to see one in black, with some optional black chrome wheels. Yes.

  • Lou_BC This offer reminds me of those plans where you get something free but if you fail to cancel prior to the expiry of the "Free" plan you end up on the hook for a lengthy contract. Tesla wants to attract people to their electrical company. It's smart. Make money selling the car, make money with subscription services on the car, and make money selling the fuel to power the car at home and at charging stations.
  • Kwik_Shift Fossil fuels making your electricity. Ironic.
  • SCE to AUX 1000 miles/month still works out to $30/month, similar to my cost in PA.The real effect of this gimmick is to show how cheap it is to operate an EV. But I guess even $30-ish/month for a year ends up saving maybe 1% off the effective price of the car.Other EV mfrs can't even build batteries yet, let alone think of clever ideas like this.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird In 1986 the Yugo was listed as $3990, which was the lowest priced car in America at the time. The base Hyundai Excel was listed at $1k more at $4995. I knew someone at the time who purchased a base Excel hatchback in red with a four speed. I think he added an aftermarket stereo. He was trading in a Renault Alliance that he purchased a few years earlier for about $5k.
  • SCE to AUX Good summary.I still think autonomous driving should be banned until some brave mfr claims Level 5 capability, and other distractions like games and videos should only be available for stationary vehicles.As for the A/C, I just turn a knob in my Hyundai EV.