Ford's Transit Connect will soon have company in the small van segment.The Ford Transit Connect has had the small (mini?) van market all to itself recently, but Chrysler's Ram brand aims to change that by importing a vehicle based on the European-market Fiat Doblo.
Fiat and its Turkish manufacturing partner, Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi, revealed an agreement today to supply Ram with 190,000 Doblo commercial vans over seven years, starting in 2013.
The companies said in a joint statement that they would invest $160 million in upgrades to Tofas's plant in Bursa, Turkey and changes to the van itself to meet requirements for sale in the U.S. and Canada.
With the departure of the Daimler-sourced Sprinter, the new vehicle will be the only van in Ram's lineup. However, Fiat has ambitions to bring a larger van to the Ram brand that would be underpinned the the Ducato. That full-size van could also arrive in 2013.
Fiat didn't specify exactly what might power to the American-market Doblo (nor if the Doblo name would be maintained). The Doblo is offered in Europe with a direct-injected, 2.0-liter turbodiesel that makes 135 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque in its most potent form, along with a 1.4-liter gas mill with 95 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque.
1.'Ram to sell...' view