Ram coming in with the Ducato for North America

It was a matter of time before Chrysler re-entered the commercial van market in North America and now we know what’s coming. Starting in 2013 Chrysler’s Ram division will produce a version of Fiat’s Ducato Van to square off with Ford and GM’s commercial vans. This could be a real player in that segment but time will tell.

From Auto News.com:

Chrysler Group plans to add a large expansion to its current facilities in Saltillo, Mexico, to assemble a Ram-branded version of the Fiat Ducato commercial van for North America.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group, said this week at the Detroit auto show that the expansion of the Saltillo plant would make it “the center for production of light-commercial vehicles in North America for us.”

A Chrysler spokesman would not confirm the size of the investment, but company sources said it was expected to be about $500 million. Chrysler already operates a truck assembly plant, a stamping plant and two engine plants in Saltillo, about 180 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas.

Marchionne said the front-wheel-drive full-sized commercial van shares a platform with the Peugeot Boxer in Europe.

Read the full article.

  

20 Cars to Look for in 2012

With the New Year brings new sheet metal and Bullz-Eye has identified 20 Cars to Look for in 2012!

Dodge Dart
Following the daft Dodge Caliber, Dodge is looking to redeem itself in the small car segment with the Dart. The Dart also marks the first fruit of Chrysler’s merger with Fiat, because underneath the Dodge skin lies Italian bones. And not just any bones either, but the platform of the Alfa Romeo Guilietta. The Dart will be powered by a host of new engines and transmission choices, also supplied by Fiat. No hatchback version will be offered, unfortunately, but the Dart is shaping up to be a serious contender in the small car marketplace.

Check out the rest of the 20!

  

2012 Dodge Durango Review on Bullz-Eye.com

If you’re looking for a large vehicle with three rows but you prefer a true SUV over a large crossover, the Dodge Durango should be on your list of options. But you also ought to drive one if you’re looking at the crossovers, as the Durango offers all of the luxuries you’ll find in the crossovers, but with the practical advantages of a truck like towing capacity. This time we tested the 2012 Citadel AWD version, which is the top of the line Durango with all the amenities you would expect from a luxury vehicle.

Exterior
We were very impressed last year when Dodge reintroduced the Durango for the 2011 model year. The designers hit a home run with an exterior design that was more refined, but retained the muscular feel of its predecessor. The big Dodge crosshair grille still stands out and the look of the vehicle matches the power one wants from a large SUV. One quick look tells you that you’d be just as comfortable pulling up with the Durango at a nice restaurant as you would be taking it off-road or to a construction site. But look more closely and you’ll see a nice attention to detail that we’re learning to expect from the new Dodge since the restructuring that put Dodge and the rest of Chrysler under the control of CEO Sergio Marchionne. The 2012 exterior is essentially the same as there’s no need to make changes to this new and winning design.

Read the full review.

  

2013 Dodge Dart coming to a dealer near you!

As Chrysler starts to really get back in the mix with strong sales they now are jumping back in time with an all new 2013 Dodge Dart. This is a great idea and will spark the interest of those who remember or read about past Dart’s. The new model will be based off of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta which is sold in Europe. There are only a few pics available now but if the Dodge dart resembles the Alfa Romeo Giulietta this could be a home run for Chrysler!

From CNN.com:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Chrysler Group is tapping its history, resurrecting the Dodge Dart name for a new small car being unveiled at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

The Dodge Dart name was last used on a small car sold in the mid-1970s.

The car will be based on engineering shared with Italy’s Fiat, Chrysler’s parent company.

For now, Chrysler has released only two images of the car. One shows a close-up of the front corner. The other shows the rear of the car with taillights similar to those on the 2011 Dodge Charger.

The car will be built in Chrysler’s Belvidere, Ill., factory. Fuel economy and pricing information for the car are not yet available. It will go on sale in the first half of next year.

Read the full article.

  

Dodge Caliber Axed

Justice has been served for one of the worst cars to ever come out of Detroit. Allpar.com reports that the Dodge Caliber will stop production on November 23rd, 2011.

The Caliber was built as a replacement of the Neon. It was supposed to capture the hearts of people that wanted an SUV without the price. Kind of like people that want good Italian food without spending a lot of cash so they go to Olive Garden. In other words, people with no taste or common sense.

The Caliber will be remembered by having almost no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It was a car so bad, Dodge must have built it to be some cruel joke on the automotive marketplace. Among the Caliber’s many faults was noncompetitive and wheezy powertrains, ridiculous faux SUV styling, and an interior so dull and low quality it wasn’t even fit for a Power Wheels.

Dodge should bury the last Caliber (and its somehow worse Jeep platform mate) in a cement tomb five miles underground, and guard it with ancient Mayan warriors and radioactive King Cobras. Treat it like the last remaining smallpox strains, both bring just as much harm onto humanity.

Source: Allpar

  

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