While the vision of former Daimler CEO Jürgen Schrempp, in conjunction with the American brand Chrysler To create a “Welt AG” under Swabian leadership has failed miserably, the Fiat-Chrysler alliance has developed into a real success story. In particular, the Jeep brand, which is still booming, has saved the Italians time and again.
The inventory of the acquired US group also includes the manufacturer Ram Trucks, named after a battering ram, which has so far only sold its products on the North American market. The US boys used the commercial vehicle IAA in Hanover to announce their debut on the international stage. The Chrysler offshoot, whose powerful pickups were still under the Dodge label until Fiat entered the market in 2009, was separated from the Dodge passenger cars as an independent commercial vehicle brand under the Italian umbrella and has developed splendidly since then.
Increases in sales were not solely due to the half-powerful US flatbed trucks, which with their large-volume V8 Hemi engines already have cult status. Rather, the number of registrations increased significantly because the Italian parent company sold various Fiat commercial vehicles in the United States under the Ram label with the distinctive ram's head, thereby significantly expanding the model range. The Ducato is offered in the USA as the Ram ProMaster and the Doblo Cargo as the Ram ProMaster City.
Bob Hegbloom, head of Ram Truck International at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) - the official name of the company following 100's 2014-owned Fiat takeover in January - sees "the time has come for an expansion of the business to new markets and the wich - the most perfect trade fair in the world of commercial vehicles as a perfect introduction to it ". The fans of the V8 pickup should not be too happy. An immediate presence on the German and European market is not thought for the time being.
Economically, the introduction of a new independent brand would make no sense, as long as it consists of a single niche model. The remaining Ram products are finally established in Germany as Fiat models. Hegbloom thinks more of the Asian area. "The Middle East, India, and especially China," the American calls the countries where he sees great potential. These countries are still white spots on the map for the commercial vehicle division Fiat Professional. With Ram Trucks Fiat could open up new markets.
Oh yes, the first exhibition vehicle in Hanover is - of course - a Ram 1500 Quad Cab Sport, which combines a 385 hp 5,7-liter V8 engine under the gigantic hood with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The petrol engine of the ram, which is painted in bright white, has been modified for operation with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and thus offers somewhat cheaper consumption and a longer range than the petrol version, because the system works with both LPG and petrol. In this country, fans of this battering ram still have to get the martial-looking pickup on the somewhat more cumbersome route via the Hamburg importer AIC. (Michael Lennartz)