By on December 30, 2014

2015 Ram ProMaster City 01

Right now, one can pick up a new Ram ProMaster City for catering tacos and installing cable down Flower Shop Lane. If that’s not enough, however, Ram might soon have a few more tricks up its sleeve.

According to Edmunds, Ram commercial truck operations chief Joe Benson says consumer demand could increase the current ProMaster City portfolio beyond the two-passenger commercial panel van and five-passenger people carrier. Possibilities include diesel power, shorter wheelbases, seven-passenger models, a taller panel van, and a pickup variant with drop-down sides for easy cargo-box access.

Regarding the overall picture for Flower Shop Lane, Benson believes combined U.S. sales could climb to 100,000 by 2016, compared to the predicted 50,000 units sold in 2014. The increased demand is likely to come from Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari owners looking to replace their aging units with those from not only Ram, but Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan.

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85 Comments on “Benson: Ram ProMaster City Portfolio Could Expand Via Demand...”


  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Uh… sure. All they have to do is convince tens of thousands of small businesses to trust a Fiat product over a Ford or Nissan.

    Joe must be bi-polar and they caught him on an upswing.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      This fiat van and the larger promaster are ubiquitous in Europe. They can’t be that bad.

      The pickup version sounds interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “ubiquitous in Europe. They can’t be that bad.”

        :-D

      • 0 avatar

        Ubiquitous and over domineering here too. The Strada pu alone dominates 50% of the commercial vehicle Market. If you add Fiorino, Doblò and Ducato, not to mention the Iveco vans and light trucks, Fiat has close to 70% of the Market. Don’t know about you, but I think a business is a business whether here, New York or Timbukthu, trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of any asset. They make the calculations and due to their presence on the road, it can’t be denied Fiat makes some very good commercial vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Today’s Fiat is not the ’70s Fiat you remember so well. Or do you forget that even Nissan had a quality question when they first arrived in the States?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        What do you mean “had” a quality question? Judging by some of the things seen/read/heard, I’d say there’s still a question…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I mean what I said. As a current owner of a Fiat, I’d say the old reputation is out the window. The thing’s a blast to drive and seems surprisingly well built for its price.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            You’ve had your Fiat for, what, 30 minutes?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yep, warranty should be up in about 5 minutes

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I completely agree that the old biases from the 70’s are gone. People seem to want to stick to those no matter what is true now.

          • 0 avatar

            Pete since 1983 there has been a Fiat or other between dad, mom, brothers, sister and I. Never ever left us on the side of the road. That distinction in my family belongs to Fords,a Renault, a VW, a Peugeot and, gasp, a legitimate Japan built diesel powered Nissan. As much as it is fun to disseminate old ideas and poke fun, i have put hundreds of thousands of miles into Fiat cars, mostly trouble free. I reommend them always. In fact, my bother has a 1997 Palio Weekend used aa dd today, because his American Fusion loves the shop too much, which has seen undeniable abuse, like being abandoned for 6 or 8 months, but keeps on going.
            Bah, it definitely aint the 70s no more amigo.

          • 0 avatar

            Pete, Lie2me, s!nce 1983 there has been a Fiat or other between dad, mom, brothers, s!ster and I. Never ever left us on the s! de of the road. That d!st!nct!on in my family belongs to Fords, a Renault, a VW, a Peugeot and, gasp, a legitimate, Japan-bu!lt, d!esel-powered Nissan. As much as !t is fun to d!ssem!nate old !deas and poke fun, i have put hundreds of thousands of m!les into Fiat cars, mostly trouble free.

            I recommend them always. In fact, my bother has a 1997 Palio Weekend used as a dd today, because h!s American Fusion loves the shop too much. The l!ttle stat!on wagon has seen unden!able abuse, l!ke be!ng abandoned for 6 or 8 months, but keeps on go!ng.

            Bah, !t def!n!tely a!nt the 70s no more amigos.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Sorry Vulpine, I wasn’t clear. I’d say there’s still a question about Nissan quality…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’ve had the Fiat long enough to know the initial reliability is far better than suggested by old prejudices and that the only reason the Fiats aren’t selling better ARE those old prejudices.

        • 0 avatar

          Seems like you dont read some of my stuff. Out the window geozinger gone

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        their cvt transmissions still have quality issues

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      It’s a “Ram”, not a Fiat. You might as well call the NV200 a Renault.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      If you’ve got current product that is superior to your brand’s reputation, commercial buyers are quicker to pick up on that improvement than consumers. Ram has been on a tear since Fiat.

      Possibly Fords and Chevys, and probably Nissans, are still of ultimately “higher quality”, but all brands are now so good that ‘some’ other facets of a product matter as well. When the Spinter first debuted in the US, it seems everyone who bought one loved it, despite nearly all of them having horror stories about poor quality and expensive repairs. The Van fit the way lots of businesses operated better than anything else, so they sucked it up. By introducing models that have proven to work in seemingly-similar-to-US situations abroad, Ram may tap into similarly undeserved markets.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike999

      With the Nissan NV200 out now, and a later version with more range planned, if you’re in business to Make Money Nissan is the clear winner.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Future pedio Ice Cream truck

  • avatar

    “Future pedio Ice Cream truck”

    Italian Ices of course

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “a pickup variant with drop-down s1des for easy cargo-box access.”

    Asia has only had that for 40+ years. About effing time it made it states1de. Although I doubt it will happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      It happened once–until the Chicken Tax and Ralph Nader shut them down. With the slight design change of today’s models, I don’t think Nader will be able to claim them “Unsafe at Any Speed” any more.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        you can build it in any nafta country or asean country chicken tax free, i suspect thats the reason for the increase in capacity by ford in thailand.i suspect that after the introduction of the f-150 and the new 10 speed transmission, well be getting a four door aluminum ford ranger

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          If the new Ford Ranger is as big as the Colorado, it’s not going to have much impact on the US market except maybe to prove the modern Road Whales are just too big.
          I guess the interesting thing here is that full-sized pickup trucks seem to be involved in the majority of fatal accidents now and that more single-vehicle accidents are fatal in full-sized trucks than any other type of car.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Meanwhile, the Feds are up in arms about racist finance managers charging Customer A 2.5 points rate markup and Customer B 1 point rate markup.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    A seven passenger, diesel, ProMaster City will cost how much less than a Pentastar Caravan? Good luck with that here FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Remember that the Caravan is going away, and the next generation is only going to be a Town and Country – unless they make a cheaper lower-end model with that name (but the Town and Country has always been the up-market model). IF they decide to make a full passenger version of this van, it probably won’t be an upscale model.

      The “wagon” version of the Transit Connect has to take the place of a minivan that Ford doesn’t have in their lineup … Chrysler already has the minivan and it’s the commercial versions that are going away and being replaced by this model.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The problem still remains. If FCA gets rid of the Caravan, the T&C will have to have a more basic version. I get it costs very little to have a passenger version as well, but they will be lot poison.

        Ford has a problem selling the excellent Transit Connect Wagon as a passenger vehicle because of what else they have on the lot. I really like the TCW, and was thinking about buying one. However, when you option one up to acceptable levels, the Escape, Edge, Explorer, and Flex are all within it’s price range. On leases, sometimes all of them are cheaper. Part of the problem is that the options on the TCW are all a la carte. If they had packages like the other vehicles, maybe it would be cheaper. The C-Max is a better, cheaper, American made car that can’t seem to move units on Ford lots either. Why would their be any hope for the TCW?

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          @bball

          Precisely.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          How about a Ram Caravan? That could have a commercial/stripped version with some credibility

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Transit Connect’s mission in the Ford lineup is to be a van. The other uses are incidental; Ford would not benefit from pricing it so that it cannibalizes the other vehicles that are intended to haul people.

          Marchionne’s strategy is to turn Dodge into a youthful performance brand (think Scion meets Pontiac.) A minivan obviously isn’t suitable for that.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I completely agree. My point is that if RAM is selling a passenger version of this in the same store that sells a Cherokee, Journey, Town & Country, etc, why would someone choose the Promaster City Wagon? I diesel version will cost over $30K. The CDJR sales person will walk you over to a Cherokee instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @bball40: The problem with your argument is the total cubic volume the Promaster City Wagon would offer by comparison. While the Cherokee is a quite comfortable SUV, it still lacks in overall capacity, especially for people carrying. Clearly the Promaster City Wagon is an effective replacement for the Dodge Caravan and probably notably more efficient, too.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          There’s nothing that prevents FCA from reviving the “Voyager” name plate as an entry level minivan. That was the name they used in Europe, at least that way they’d still have a viable entry for the low cost & Canadian markets. FWIW, this ProMaster City falls in line with the rest of the Ram lineup…

          Agreed about the Transit Connect. I’d briefly considered one as a personal vehicle (substitute for minivan or SUV), but at the time they were really new and there wasn’t a lot of room on pricing. I could do much better with an Edge or a Flex…

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          I’ll try again… There’s no reason why FCA couldn’t revive the old Voyager nameplate, used successfully in Europe after the death of Plymouth. They’d have an entry-level minivan and a price leader for the Canadian market, too.

          I’d looked at a Transit Connect when replacing the last car, but I could have done much better if I went with an Edge or a Flex. No advantage, there.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Exactly. The Flex is sooooooooooo much nicer than these mini-minivans too. It’s bigger, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem in America.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Calling one of these a Voyager doesn’t make it the same as the original Voyager even if it fits the same niche.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        I dont see a Quest for an NV minivan. There could be govt interference later. These mini cargos lack bulkheads. If there’s a spike in injuries legislation will change their design compactness.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    A pickup variant? Hey, that sounds like a good idea…

    Maybe that’s why there’s no plans to introduce the Strada here in the US…

  • avatar
    detlump

    With all these import vans, I am concerned about rust. I see a lot of rusty Sprinters in Michigan, and they aren’t that old. No one anywhere uses salt like we do at least in some places in the US. For fleet buyers, if these vans start rusting out in several years, they won’t be happy. For one, appearance of the vehicles is noticed by a lot of customers. They don’t want a rusty POS sitting in front of their business or home. At least I notice how the service vehicle looks. If it is well kept I get a good first impression at least.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Sprinters be fallin apart in Metro Detroit. Ford will curb stomp the Sprinter with the Transit though.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      im in cleveland we salt like you, half of the owners of sprinters i know went out and bought the first ford transit they can find, the others are looking at trading in too..between the rust and the $10,000 transmission and the increased maintinance and the $4 diesel they are money pits

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I just moved to the Chicago area. Seems that there are lots of cars rusting out prematurely, and I’ve ye to see a correlation with a specific make other than it seems more common in American makes.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        On another forum, it was noted that the Sprinter appears to be manufactured from compressed rust. Here (Toronto area) they are by far the rustiest late model vehicles (and yes, they are rustier than Mazda cars).

        Between the big Transit and the big ProMaster, Sprinter is going to lose sales now that there are other choices in the market.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Speaking of rust, I think these people who believe the new aluminum Fords won’t rust have a big surprise coming. I saw a full-sized SUV the other day with an aluminum tailgate whose paint was blistered just like conventional rust and white powder showing where the paint had flaked off. You Are Not Immune!

      • 0 avatar

        And in sunny South Carolina Sprints belonging to businesses on the beach quickly tan.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Ummm… not a good idea to force the RAM corporate face onto this Fiat product! That is one ugly trucklet.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    More configurations might be cool, but I have a feeling it would have to come with price raises across the board.

    I like this van, but then I like most utilitarian vehicles.

    From what I’ve heard, it does well on highway MPG, close to 30.

    Sure would be cool if there was a manual transmission option with some tall gears as well, but if anything it’d probably be geared low.

    I liked the Nissan Urvan I drove when overseas, but it was geared so low it burned fuel like crazy and had a stupidly small gas tank.

    Depending on how these hold up, might actually consider one as a Prius replacement in a few years. A 7 passenger if they can somehow use the stow and go seating from the Chrysler/Dodge vans and keep a durable and no-nonsense interior.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    Typed a comment and lost it.

    This blog software is garbage, how hard would it really be to have a script to create and link to a discussion thread on a stable forum platform for each article and lock users from creating new threads?

    But about the van – I think it’s pretty cool, I appreciate utilitarian vehicles and might consider buying one instead of an SUV or minivan in a few years if they prove to be fairly reliable (doubtful about the 9-speed trans)

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    How about an affordable pop-up camper? There hasn’t been one on the US market in a very long time.

  • avatar
    kinsha

    Looks like a Honda Element

  • avatar
    lightbulb

    This might go well for FCA. In the Boston area I am starting to see more FIAT Promasters on the road, I mean Ram Promasters at least compared to the Ford Transit. I maybe have seen two Transits on the road but at least two dozen Promasters. The Sprinters are still the kings of the road here for the Euro vans, but then they have been in the market for a longer time.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Never in my life have I needed, nor will I ever need a vehicle like this. I will also say that style is not an important element on a vehicle like this. Purpose over form. But wow, that front end……

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      the front end is made of modular plastic so that way you can just pop out cheap plastic panels instead of replacing the whole front end

    • 0 avatar

      That front end, yes I agree. But Mike gave you part of the reason why, and the Fiat looks a little better. Anyways, know plenty of people who have had this car and simply put, it’s a hit. So much so, that most I know go on to their second or third before trying other vehicles. At least here in Brazil, easy as it comes when selling used. Different market different folks, but in cargo or passenger versions, this car has it. At least here. I for one, would buy one, easy, though I’m still holding out for the 500L.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    This stupid thing keeps deleting my posts.

    Anyways – I like it, more sensible vehicles like this would be great.

    Can’t argue that it’s ugly, though the full-size promaster van makes this look like a supermodel.a

  • avatar
    madman2k

    yay, I can’t edit my post to remove an errant letter.

    There was better blog software out there more than 10 years ago, what the hell happened?

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Base price for the commersh panel version of the ProMaster City is higher than all three of its competitors. And it’s a Fiat.

    Good start.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Somebody spent a fair amount of time designing a front that looks ugly and wimpy for a truck. Did the guy who does the Ram front ends retire?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “and a pickup variant with drop-down sides for easy cargo-box access.”

    This should make a few of our commenters froth at the mouth.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    There are still Astros and safaris that need to be replaced???

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