2001 FIat Doblo
Not so long ago, transportation options for small businesses were fairly limited. If your daily routine involved any amount of schlepping, you were faced with the choice of buying a pickup, a commercial van, or something substantially larger.
But the past few years have given carpenters, florists, and other business owners many more options. The Ford Transit Connect is a great example of a vehicle that's small enough to maneuver through cramped city streets, but big enough to carry loads of toolboxes, conduit, and gardening equipment. Now, Chrysler promises to give vans like the Transit Connect a run for their money with a new offering: the Ram ProMaster City.
As you might guess from the name, the ProMaster City is a smaller version of the Ram ProMaster that debuted earlier this year. The ProMaster, however, is based on the Fiat Ducato, making it comparable in size to the Dodge Sprinter (now known as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter). While that's not outrageously big, it's still ungainly in many situations.
The Ram ProMaster City will be based on the Ducato's slimmer sibling, the Fiat Doblo. That means it'll be more akin to a conventional cargo van, but it should offer more styling features to make it stand out. (That's especially important for small companies that rely heavily on their vehicles as advertising tools.)
Though Chrysler hasn't released many details about the Ram ProMaster City, the company says that it "will compete with small commercial and passenger vans", meaning that it could be an attractive option for shuttle and livery services. The ProMaster City is scheduled to debut as a 2015 model, so expect to see it roll into showrooms in mid- to late-2014.