Chrysler Canada: “TR Ram Life Style Truck” - Dodge Nitro Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Chrysler Canada: “TR Ram Life Style Truck”

Chrysler to build ‘lifestyle’ truck in Windsor
By Tony Van Alphen

May 17, 2011

TORONTO — Chrysler Canada will start building a “lifestyle” pickup truck at its giant assembly plant in Windsor in the fall of 2013, industry insiders say.

AutomotiveCompass, a leading U.S. based industry research firm, and Chrysler suppliers revealed Tuesday the automaker has decided to proceed with production of a niche vehicle called the “TR Ram Life Style Truck,” in October of that year to help keep the plant humming on three shifts.

“It (the vehicle) is an insurance policy that the plant will continue on three shifts at full capacity,” said Doug Shepard, editor of the firm’s weekly report tracking current and future global auto production.

The addition of the vehicle would probably not lead to any significant increase in jobs but would help secure the future of the existing workforce of about 4,450.

Chrysler would not comment on any new models coming to Windsor.

Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, said he has not heard of any talk about producing a “lifestyle” pickup in Windsor.

But sources said last week Chrysler briefed major suppliers privately about the company’s future production plans including the new vehicle in the design dome at the company’s world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Insiders say Chrysler is projecting annual demand between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles for the pickup and the model will compete against Honda’s Ridgeline truck.

At the meeting, Chrysler management also told suppliers that the vehicle would come off the company’s minivan platform or underbody.

The Windsor plant, the biggest minivan operation in the world, currently assembles the Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Volkswagen Routan models. Plant output jumped last year by 62 per cent to 312,125 vehicles in a sharp rebound from the 2009 recession.

Chrysler is building the Routan under contract with Volkswagen until 2014 and its future in Windsor is uncertain.

Shepard said AutomotiveCompass had also received other Chrysler documents that disclose the identity of the vehicle, production location and timing for a launch.

Chrysler initially revealed in late 2009 its long term model plans for its entire lineup through 2015 at a media presentation in Auburn Hills. In that “launch cadence,” the company showed a vague image of a vehicle called “lifestyle truck” for 2013. It did not disclose any other details including a production site.



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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 08:00 AM
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I keep reading rumors that by 2014, the Chrysler and Dodge minivans will become separate and distinct vehicles. Supposedly, one remains as it is and one may go smaller, such as the Mazda 5 mini-minivan. Ford is going to bring one of these over from Europe. I wish they had the capacity to manufacture the Magnum, but it was canceled when the Challenger came out, because there was only capacity for three vehicles on that assembly line. Still, I love reading about this, and am excited about Chrysler's future.




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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhh3 View Post
I keep reading rumors that by 2014, the Chrysler and Dodge minivans will become separate and distinct vehicles. Supposedly, one remains as it is and one may go smaller, such as the Mazda 5 mini-minivan. Ford is going to bring one of these over from Europe. I wish they had the capacity to manufacture the Magnum, but it was canceled when the Challenger came out, because there was only capacity for three vehicles on that assembly line. Still, I love reading about this, and am excited about Chrysler's future.

Here you go dhh3. Something New!

Spotted! Fiat Doblo Van Caught on U.S. Roads

Donny Nordlicht on May 18 2011




One of our sharp-eyed readers managed to snap a few photos of something peculiar while on his way home from work — a European-market Fiat Doblo van wearing Michigan manufacturer plates.

Given the tie-up between Chrysler and Fiat, seeing the Doblo on U.S. roads isn’tthat strange; especially since there’s a chance this exact van may eventually be sold through Chrysler’s U.S. dealer network. Rumors have long swirled that the Doblo could join the Ram Trucks portfolio, providing the company with a light commercial van that can battle Ford’s Transit Connect here in North America.

European-spec Doblos are offered with the choice of five engines paired to either a five- or six-speed manual transmission. Diesel options range from a 90-hp, 1.3-liter, turbocharged inline-four cylinder to a 135-hp, 2.0-liter turbodieselI-4. The two gasoline-powered options use a 1.4-liter, naturally aspirated inline-four good for 95 hp (120 hp when powered by CNG). If the Doblo crosses the pond, a gas offering may be the only engine choice — but we think Fiat may have to upsize what’s found underhood in order to appease power-hungry American buyers.

Fiat has not officially said that we will see the Doblo on our shores, but if Chrysler’s five-year plan from November 2009 is any indication, the Doblo would fill the logical spot of a small commercial van produced by and imported from the Fiat Group and slated to be released in 2012. If the Doblo does indeed come to the states, it would slot in beneath the recently introduced Ram C/V Cargo Van (based off the Dodge Grand Caravan) in Ram’s commercial lineup.







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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:15 PM
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If this slots in below the "Caravan" Ram Van, it must be the size of the Transit Connect. Bravo!




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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Small pickup truck may be in WAP's future

Report says it would compete with Honda Ridgeline

By Dave Hall, The Windsor Star
May 18, 2011






According to some reports, this truck could be built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in the next few years.
Photograph by: Web Grab, allpar.com

WINDSOR, Ont. -- Chrysler Canada officials have declined to confirm reports from auto industry insiders that the company is planning to build a new smaller pickup at Windsor Assembly Plant on the same platform which now produces minivans.

Chrysler spokeswoman Lou-Ann Gosselin said she couldn’t confirm or deny the rumours.

“As as matter of company policy, we don’t discuss future products,” said Gosselin.

Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, said he hasn’t heard anything about a new vehicle being added to the product mix at the assembly plant but said it would be a welcome addition.

“Obviously any new product would help solidify the plant’s third shift but I’ve not been able to confirm any of the reports,” said Laporte, whose local represents about 4,400 workers at the plant.

“If there is any truth to it, I’m excited but so far it’s just rumours,” said Laporte.

“My only concern is whether or not it’s the right time to add another pickup, even a small one, to the marketplace with gasoline prices being as high as they are,” said Laporte.

Doug Shepard, editor of Automotive Compass’s weekly report tracking current and future global auto productions, told the Toronto Star Tuesday that “it (the vehicle) is an insurance policy that the plant will continue on three shifts at full capacity.

Shepard went on to say that Chrysler documents “definitely point to Windsor as the plant location.”

But later Wednesday, a spokesman for the industry research firm, said “that comment got out into the public domain when it shouldn’t have and we have no further comment.”

Laporte said there was no discussion about new products during the last round of collective bargaining because “we were fighting to help the company survive and we weren’t looking that far ahead.”

In January, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne virtually guaranteed the future of the minivan plant by saying it would eventually get a new, more versatile platform, allowing it to produce a variety of vehicles including a hybrid minivan, a smaller people carrier and possibly a full-sized sedan.

“We’ve learned a lot in making this minivan over the last 20-plus years,” said Marchionne. “We need to upgrade this and make it a much more versatile platform that will allow us to make more than just minivans.”

If the rumoured new product is introduced by the automaker, it’s expected to compete in the same segment as the Honda Ridgeline.

The assembly plant currently builds more than 300,000 units of the Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and the Volkswagen Routan each year.

If another product is added, it’s not likely to have much impact on workforce levels since the plant is already operating on three shifts but it’s expected to solidify the future of the plant’s 4,400 workers.

Laporte said the agreement between Chrysler and Volkswagen expires with the 2013 model year and that production could end as soon as July of next year.

“If production of the Volkswagen ends, we would obviously like to see something take its place,” said Laporte.”We’re not building a whole lot of them but replacing it would help keep the third shift intact.”

Laporte said the plant assembles about 250 Routans a week which could easily be supplanted by another low-volume product.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:47 PM
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This looks too much like a Durango with the rear roof chopped off. The Durango is built on the Jeep GC/Mercedes GL platform so I'd be curious what they would come up with building something off of the minivan platform. The Pacifica comes to mind as it was based on the minivan platform. I like the concept (I hate the Ridgeline) but Ford has canceled the Explorer Sportrac.




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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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2006 Dodge Rampage concept






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