Chrysler Adding Ram Commercial Truck Division as Pickups Debut

Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker controlled by Fiat SpA (F), said it is creating a new division within its Ram truck brand aimed at fleet buyers and small businesses as it introduces new heavy-duty pickups.

The Ram Commercial division will have its own dedicated staff in all areas of the company that develop vehicles including product planning and design, Fred Diaz, president of the Ram truck brand, told reporters during an embargoed briefing on Sept. 17 in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Chrysler is based.

“We’re going to fill the commercial end of the business with all the products that all commercial buyers and fleet buyers out there will be able to consider Ram for, from soup to nuts,” said Diaz, who declined to name specific future models. Fiat’s five-year plan for Chrysler includes bringing large- and small-commercial vans to the U.S. in 2012 under the Ram brand based on Fiat’s truck platforms.

Chrysler plans to unveil the 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups, along with the new Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis cab work trucks today at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. Diaz said the heavy-duty pickups will have best-in-class towing capabilities, which will be detailed along with pricing in January at the Detroit auto show.

Chrysler begins producing the new heavy-duty pickups in January, said Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram truck brand. The automaker sped up the line rate at its heavy-duty truck plant in Saltillo, Mexico, in the past month to meet demand, said Mike Cairns, head of Ram truck engineering. Jodi Tinson, a company spokeswoman, declined to say how many additional trucks will be built as a result of the line-speed boost.

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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