Chrysler Bringing Fiat Van to America
Fiat's Doblo small van will come to the United States as a Ram.
Maybe I'm nuts, but something tells me this will be a hard sell. The Doblo's main competition, the Transit Connect, has sold only moderately since being introduced here two years ago. The Transit Connect is a great little van, but ultimately it's a bit too small for commercial work, where most of the country's van market lies. Plumbers, electricians, florists and the like -- in other words, small businesspeople with simple cargo-carrying needs -- seem to be ending up either in a larger, full-size van or a cheaper, and usually used, minivan. The market just seems better suited to slightly larger vehicles. And to machines that, let's face it, don't look like goofy European transplants. (Realistically, Chrysler and Tofas may very well face-lift the Doblo into something a bit less obnoxious. But until it happens ...)
Not that we shouldn't applaud the try. Fiat wants to test the American commercial-vehicle waters, and that's a smart move. The company needs to expand its product lineup on our shores, and it already has a product for the small commercial-van category; it's not a huge market here, but then again it's not a huge investment for Fiat -- and who knows? If it works, perhaps it will really work. But what do you think? Is bringing the Doblo here a good idea?
[Source: Car and Driver]
I've seen lots of Ford Transit vans tip over on the highway because they are not very stable when the wind comes up.
Hey, Gump #1, got any proof of "lots of Ford Transit vans" tipping over? Or is this just more of the anti-American, hate-filled BS you and frostyross/carpuff (Gump #2) spew here almost daily?
How do you define "lots"? Give us a number.
And while you're at it, why don't you give us the links to an article or two that details all these tipping occurrences. With pictures if possible.
Prove your statement or retract it, Gump #1. I doubt you can prove it because there just aren't "lots" of Ford Transits on the road to begin with, and I sincerely doubt you've EVER seen one tip over because of crosswinds. Maybe a tornado, but not crosswinds.
By the way, the Ford Transit Connect has the same 3-star rollover rating from NHTSA as the Honda Element and Toyota 4Runner. Have you seen them tip over too?
Realistically, Chrysler and Tofas may very well face-lift the Doblo into something a bit less obnoxious. But until it happens ...
I own two Ford Transit-Connects and my employee's love them. They're easy to park, and almost drive like a car. One of my drivers has a prosthetic leg, and its much easier for him to get in and out compared to the full-size Econolines. The TC's haul a lot of cargo, and get great mileage.
Why? Ford seems to be selling the Transit Connect here without a diesel option.I agree. I have seen a surprising number of Transit Connects around here. They seem to be really taking off as a commercial alternate to the soon to be dead Ford Ranger.
A diesel engine in this van would be a plus, but a diesel is not strictly necessary for success in the United States.
As a final note, is it just me or is this thing a world of improvement visually over the Sprinter?
It looks kind of homely to me. If the Transit Connect isn't ugly enough for potential buyers this should fit the bill...
Thanks to Honda for bailing on the Element, this might be what finally replaces my 2005 Element. Honda can kiss my a**. I've got 105,000 very happy and stress-free miles on my Element,and I had hoped that Honda would eventually come up with a real facelift for the Element, but instead they pulled the plug. This from the company that started the whole boxxy- looking vehicle craze. Makes no sense to me. Buh-bye Honda.
I'm kinda liking the Transit Connect, but the Nissan NV looks too industrial for my tastes.
Yep, call the dealership, I'm interested in this one.
sure a neat looking little guy.
it caught my eye at first glance as a "transit", then sort of a "soul".
i rarely ever see a "transit" and i see a few "souls" around. mostly as a small family vehicle that every time i ask, they love them over the small station wagons!?
i am not sure what the market even is for this class of vehicle.
chrysler does have a fairly decent mini-van.
it would depend on price. if fiat/chrysler want to try and see if they will sell they may as well try it. the article claims it may be a "hard sell" and they may be correct.
if they are not going to lose a lot they may as well give it a chance, but who knows what will happen in two years!?
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