The Ram 1500 pickup truck looks set to be heading to European shores by 2019, in time for the next model update (fifth generation). In an exclusive interview with Domenico Gostoli, Fiat Professional’s head of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) he expressed how there is a huge demand for American pickups in Europe (we hear you, Dom!).
This would be the first time that a full-size American pickup would be sold through a manufacturer dealer network in Europe. The differences in size, unit cost, running costs and emission legislation represent the biggest barriers but Mr Gostoli is confident that with FCA’s (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) global reach, it wouldn’t be too difficult to bring the product to market.
“Of course, this is no easy task”, remarked Mr Gostoli. “We have to make sure that the Ram 1500 complies with the Euro-6 emission regulations, Euro NCAP and also that it can appeal to the market with competitive running costs.”
Although the truck is thought to be badged as a Ram, it will be sold through the Fiat Professional dealer network which is made up of a mixture of Fiat car and Iveco truck franchises.
“We will ensure that the vehicle will receive the same aftersales support as Fiat Professional vehicles. This includes making sure that the dealers are well-stocked with spare parts and that the technicians are trained and equipped to carry out services and maintenance.”
The engine line-up hasn’t yet been confirmed, but the Ram 1500 made its European debut at the IAA Show fitted with a 5.7-litre V8 HEMI modified to run off liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
However, another possible option would be the VM Motori’s 3-litre turbo-diesel which also features in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Maserati Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante. This would make more sense for UK operators, where the supply of LPG isn’t as widely available.
With an unladen weight of around 2.3 tonnes, there will still be a payload of up to around 1.2 tonnes if the Ram 1500 is to be homologated to 3.5t GVW so it can be driven on a conventional European car driving licence.