Chrysler Group's Ram truck brand gets a significant boost from its Fiat partner as it moves beyond the core pickup truck business into commercial vans. The Ram CV cargo van -- a panel van that doesn’t have rear windows – is the first entry.
The Ram CV is a variant of the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan that was reworked for cargo use and rebadged as a Ram. In the past, these vehicles were offered as Dodge Caravans.
After this, Fiat will be sending additional commercial vans for Ram. Actually, Ram has plans to create its own variant of the Fiat Doblo, a Ford Transit Connect-sized small commercial van. It is also working on a larger commercial van that’s based on either the Fiat Ducato or Iveco Daily.
These Ram vans will most likely appear for the 2014 model year. Production of the Ram Dakota will end this month but sources reveal that replacement plans have been scrapped.
Under the company’s 2009 five-year plan, the Ram 1500 is set to undergo a major change. It’s believed to arrive in the form of a new powertrain that includes Chrysler's Pentastar V-6 engine and a new ZF-designed eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 1500 isn’t expected to get the eight-speed until the 2014 model year. Chrysler will begin production of the transmissions in Indiana in 2013.