Guess Where This American Ram Van Will Be Built

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
guess where this american ram van will be built

Chrysler is dropping half a billion dollars into an expansion of one of its North American plants, Automotive News [sub] reports. This is where Chrysler will produce (to what degree remains open) its Fiat Ducato van, which will be sold as a Chrysler Ram Van.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler, told reporters in Detroit that this plant will be “the center for production of light-commercial vehicles in North America for us.” Red-white-and-blue blooded flag-wavers may object to the location of the plant. It is about 180 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas. In Saltillo, Mexico.

The Ducato sells quite well in Europe, and is especially loved in the camper conversion crowd. Two out of three camper vans in Europe are revamped Ducatos. Fiat sells around half a million commercial vehicles each year world-wide. Just about everywhere, except in America.

In the U.S. , Ford alone sells more than 100,000 units of its Econoline and Transit Connect vans. Chrysler has been van-less since Daimler kept the Sprinter after the divorce. Unless you count the commercialized Dodge Grand Caravan, that is. The Ram C/V sold a breathtaking 691 units in the U.S. in 2011.

Fiat had said they are looking into bringing the smaller Fiat Doblo and the larger Fiat Daily to the U.S. North America. Guess where those will go.

Come to think of it: Ram Van.

Has a nice ring to it. Could be popular amongst the camper conversion crowd.

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4 of 63 comments
  • Stuki Stuki on Jan 14, 2012

    Love it! Vans, once the most American of all modes of transport, is currently one area where Europe is quite obviously the promised land. Going from an Econoline to a Sprinter, is like getting your first color TV after having been watching black and white forever. For a camper, I'd still rather build on a class 4 or above chassis cab, as the vans are pretty narrowly optimized for what vans mostly do in Europe; pick up and deliver in cramped surroundings, where a low floor and wide doors everywhere matters more than absolutely maximizing floor space for RV use. For the latter, a box truck with a rear door is simply an easier buildout. And the effort to shrink these vans' exterior dimensions as much as possible, have rendered parts much harder to get to than in the typical Hino, making any mod a much bigger undertaking than simply hanging a generator or gray water tank off an exposed frame or somesuch. The vans do drive much nicer (and faster) though, as long as weight is kept down.

  • Rental Man Rental Man on Jan 14, 2012

    When Nissan went all out with their NV2500/3500 Van I was surprised as in other markets they just rebadge the Renault Master Van and the smaller Renaults as Nissans. If Mercedes Sprinter is now being followed by the Transit and Ducato they went classic and up stream. Crystal ball....

  • Alluster Alluster on Jan 14, 2012

    I wonder if chrysler is able to make this van in Mexico now that they are not owned by the Govt. anymore? Cause I'm pretty sure the govt twisted GM's arm to mve production of the Sonic to US in exchange for the bailout money. Also, the production of trucks and cadillac SRX back to the US. Its a shame that GM isn't allowed to freely choose where their products need to built depending on what makes the best business sense, which is to utilize lower labor costs in other countries. The bailout has been a double edged sword for GM IMO. The sooner they get out of govt ownership the better for them.

  • John Horner John Horner on Jan 15, 2012

    Great, the US has needed modern world class vans for many decades now. The Detroit 3 got away with phoning it in with their horrible pickup truck based vans for way too long. Uncomfortable, inefficient, and in some version hazardous vehicles have ruled this segment in the US for too long. Bravo Fiatsler!