Chrysler unveils Ram ProMaster City, a small commercial van

Detroit Free Press (MI) |

June 26--Chrysler is planning to unveil its Ram ProMaster City, a small commercial van, at its Chelsea proving grounds today.

Chrysler is hosting reporters from the U.S. and Canada today at its Chelsea Proving Grounds to show off its 2015 model year cars and trucks for all of its brands.

The ProMaster City is part of a growing class of fuel-efficient delivery vans that have hit the U.S. market in recent years. The van will compete with the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200, which will also sell as the Chevrolet City Express. The ProMaster City will go on sale in late 2014.

"As businesses strive for lower costs, the demand for a smaller, more efficient van has increased and Ram Commercial is answering the bell with the all-new ProMaster City ," Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Ram brand said in a statement.

The ProMaster City is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 178 horsepower and 174 pound feet of torque.

-- Photo gallery: 2015 Ram Promaster City van -- Mobile users tap here

Built off of the same platform as the Fiat Doblo in Europe, the Ram ProMaster City is built and designed for commercial customers and will be offered in both a cargo version and a five-seat passenger version.



It can haul a maximum of 1,883 pounds and both sides of van are fitted with a sliding door to access the cargo. Also, the roof is reinforced to support load rails or roof racks, with a weight capacity of 154 pounds.

Chrysler said the van will get better fuel economy than any van in its class but did not release fuel economy figures or a sales price for the van today.

"Years ago, the selection of delivery and cargo vehicles was limited and those offerings didn't focus on cost of ownership," Bigland said. "Today all of that has changed with the recent introduction of the full-size Ram ProMaster, and the now the Ram ProMaster City."

Ram introduced its larger commercial van, the ProMaster, earlier this year. Together, the two commercial vans are part of a wave of new vans and trucks that Ram developing to expand its sales to commercial and fleet buyers.

Both of Ram's ProMaster vans are both built off platforms Fiat uses in Europe its vans. Fiat has sold more than 1.3 million Doblos in Europe.

Chrysler estimates that about 100,000 small commercial vans are sold annually in the U.S., but expects that number will increase in the coming years.

The ProMaster City van will be produced in Bursa, Turkey at Fiat's joint-venture TOFAS plant. The van will be upfitted into a cargo van at Chrysler's "transformation center" in Baltimore.

Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or bsnavely@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrentSnavely

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