Can Fiat Make Trucks? Italy Isn’t Exactly Known For Pickups…

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When people think of fine Italian products, the list looks like this:

  • Leather
  • Espresso
  • Magnificent sports cars
  • Men’s suits
  • An assortment of wines and cheeses
Is this the next Fiat Ram?

Is this the next Fiat Ram? Image from

Please note that “truck” and/or “pickup” don’t appear on that list. Considering that Fiat is going to be a major stakeholder in Chrysler when the company emerges from bankruptcy, it’s time to consider Italy’s contribution to the truck world and what we can expect from a Dodge Ram crafted by Italian engineers.

1. Fiat quality is only OK. Everyone’s heard that FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tony, a joke that was common back when Fiat sold low-quality cars in the USA in the 70’s. According to one Consumer Reports author, the old Fiats “rotted away,” and “fell apart as you drove down the freeway”. The fact is Fiat’s quality and reliability is average at best, so there’s no reason to expect any quality or reliability improvements for the Ram.

The Iveco Daily 4x4 pickup, sold in the UK.

The Iveco Daily 4×4 pickup, sold in the UK.

2. Fiat has commercial truck credibility. Fiat owns IVECO, a company that builds a solid range of commercial trucks, everything from big rigs to military trucks to U-Haul sized vans. While success in the commercial trucking business doesn’t necessarily translate to success in the consumer truck market, you have to acknowledge that Fiat has some engineers with a good understanding of heavy-duty truck construction and design. That’s a net positive for the Ram.

3. Fiat knows performance. Ferrari. Maserati. Few brands pack the sports and performance punch that Fiat has. To put it bluntly, Fiat knows how to make a F*%$# Fast Car. The question is, will any of this knowledge translate to the Ram? Considering that a Ferrari has about as much in common with a truck as Paris Hilton does with the phrase “classy lady,” we’re thinking that this isn’t going to help make the Ram better. Still, we can’t wait to see what an Fiat SRT Ram might look like.

4. Fiat is a smart international automaker. If Fiat can add anything to Chrysler, it’s the fact that they’re a smart international company. They know how to manage multiple international divisions (Fiat is wildly successful in Brazil, go figure) and they understand that every country is different. That’s good news for Chrysler – at least we hope so.

It says here that we’re wishing the best of luck to Chrysler and their employees during bankruptcy proceedings, and hopefully the new company that emerges will be strong enough to pay back all those loans from the federal government. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. art64 says:

    The start of a cab-over pick up truck. Yes, just like the 18-wheelers.

  2. Mickey says:

    That’s a great looking Dodge/Fiat Dakota……..

  3. Jeremy The Detailer says:

    Don’t spill your Expresso on your Armani. while diving your Fiat Ram. Dodge, Italian for Avoid, oh wait, also English for avoid.

    I think there is a very large market for Fiat trucks, In San Francisco. FABULOUS!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Jeremy, for someone who’s into detail you should know that espresso is spelled with a small e since its not a proper name and there’s no x in it anywhere. I wouldn’t want you detailing anything.

      FIAT has been making trucks for over a hundred years and there are 70 year old + examples of them still roaming the African continent.

  4. LOL – I think Fiat will be good for Chrysler, but I don’t think they’ll be good for the Ram.

  5. Mickey says:

    You Ram a Fiat? Or is it you Fiat a Ram…..Anyways only time will tell with this.

  6. TXTee says:

    Agree with Jeremy on the SF truck comment….only reason I don’t take the Tundra to the city is lack of parking.

  7. sonny H says:

    The New Chrysler truck is named Dodge Rahm. According to the owner’s Emanuel, it is from 100% recycled Perrier plastic bottles. It is especially dandy for organ donors.
    Daimler was a seasoned manufacturer. If they left chrysler with better quality and manufacturing processes, I do not see Fiat making improvements.

  8. sonny H – Good point – sorry I didn’t respond sooner.

  9. jjsjjsva says:

    Fiat sells many of their cars and trucks countries where poeple still live in mud huts, so building luxury qualiy cars would make no sense. It’s relaibility that matters to them ans they have improved in thata area big time.

    You want quality build like a $80K M-B, Jaguar, or Land Rover, then be prepared to adpot your mechanic.

    Someone need to bring back the small trucks like in the 70’s and 80’s. I still drive my 1986 (25 years old)Toyota with 378,000 miles and get offers from stangers wanting to buy it because it’s a small truck.

  10. Major Hassle says:

    Back in 1983 I owned part of an Iveco truck franchise in Kansas City…. almost starved to death… sales sucked… if it didn’t say Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge or mom’s apple pie, it wouldn’t sell… fuel mileage was awsome… but the frame rails were narrow compared to American tough stuff… so body builders hated the unit… parts prices were sky high… a turn signal switch stalk was $90 back then which was 6x’s higher than domestic stuff… now the duetsch air cooled engine was awsome… but it wouldn’t win any races… but that straight six diesel could run forever… the body and cab, it had a lot to be desired… but once again, parts and service really sucked… it would take forever for parts to come in… then warranty on the dealer end… as a dealer, good luck in collecting claims from the manufacturer… they were slower than walmart when it came to paying their vendors/dealers… Renault made a better truck… even the old Brazilian made cab over Mercedes were better trucks, even with the wood floor that they had…

  11. Jason (Admin) says:

    Major Hassle – Thanks for the comment – didn’t know that Iveco sold vehicles in the USA.

  12. Robb says:

    So two years in–anyone willing to eat crow yet?

    Every publication that has looked at the most recent model has sung the praises of Ram as more capable, and higher quality then any of the competition. And they show no signs of slowing down–the 1500 will be the first light duty truck in the US to be available with a diesel later this year.

    • Robb – Here’s the thing: Fiat’s influence on the Ram hasn’t even begun as far as consumers are concerned. The latest generation Ram came out in 2009, which means development took place between 2005-2007, which means Fiat can’t take credit for any of the innovations on the truck.

      Now when the next-gen Ram hits the streets, that’s a different story. Currently being developed, *THAT* truck will have Fiat’s name all over it.

      As for being “willing to eat crow,” I don’t see anything in the original post that we need to apologize for.

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