Fiat’s Seriously Global Products
From the point of view of specs alone, the Ram ProMaster is a fairly impressive cargo vehicle. That is, it is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths. There are both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. It provides best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 lb. and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 lb. It is available with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 and a 3.0-liter diesel I4.
But one of the most impressive aspects of this boxy vehicle, which started its existence in Europe as the Fiat Ducato, is this:
Yes, the boxy shape facilitates putting a pallet into the truck straight off the rails of the forklift.
Should you think that it is all rectangles, here is the front view:
While it isn’t going to win any coefficient of drag contests, it isn’t entirely like a cargo container.
Here’s an interesting thing about the Ram ProMaster. It is quite an international vehicle. As mentioned, it originally hails from Italy. It is now being produced in a $1.085-billion plant that Chrysler Group opened in July in Saltillo, Mexico. And if Chrysler Group is still considered an “American” company (Fiat currently owns 58.5% of Chrysler, and it would like to get the rest), then the ProMaster has a lot of stamps on its passport.
Speaking of Chrysler and Mexico, last week CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that the company is spending $164-million at its Saltillo North Engine Plant, where it currently builds the HEMI. The investment will be used to add a new production line to produce the company’s Tigershark engines, 2.0- and 2.4-liter models.
The 2.4-liter Tigershark features MultiAir 2, an electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system that uses a column of oil rather than a mechanical linkage to adjust the intake valves. The consequence is up to a 10% increase in power and 15% in torque. The MultiAir 2 system debuted on the TwinAir engine. . .from Fiat.
And it is worth noting that both Tigershark engines are available in the Dodge Dart, which is produced at the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois, a car that is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Think this isn’t a global industry? Think again.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
The Mazda CX-5 first appeared on the scene in 2012, and for 2017, the vehicle has undergone some major transformations, to enhance what was already a notable small crossover.
GM gives its mid-size pickup customers what they’ve been clamoring for, a clean and quiet, high-torque, fuel-efficient diesel.