Some critics chastised Chrysler Group for separating the Ram brand from Dodge. American pickup buyers are devoted to their brands -- Chevy, Ford and Dodge -- and anybody who messes with that is asking for trouble, the critics reasoned.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne responded that the separation gives Dodge room to breathe as a youth- and family-oriented brand.
Ram will attack the commercial-van market by rebadging two Fiat vans. Ram will keep the distinctive ram's horns logo that identified Dodges in recent years. Ram also will keep the cross-hair grille.
Dakota: The Dakota pickup goes away next year. Last November, Chrysler product planning chief Joseph Veltri said Ram is considering a Fiat-based unibody pickup for 2011 that would be smaller and more fuel-efficient than the Dakota. A 2012 model year designation is expected.
Compact van: In 2012, Ram plans to rebadge a version of the fwd Fiat Doblo van to rival the Ford Transit Connect. It will be imported from Turkey, mostly likely as a 2013 model.
Full-sized van: The van will either be a version of the body-on-frame Iveco Daily or unibody Fiat Ducato. The truck will be assembled in North America. Sales begin here in 2012.
Ram 1500: The 1500 is scheduled for re-engineering in 2012, probably as a 2013 model, when Chrysler will replace the current 3.7-liter V-6 with the new Pentastar V-6. Chrysler continues to study a Cummins diesel engine for its light-duty 1500 pickup.
Ram 2500, 3500 Heavy Duty: The redesigned 2500 and 3500 arrived as 2010 models. A reskin is possible in 2012.
Chassis Cab 3500, 4500 and 5500: The Ram brand started shipping its redesigned 2011 Chassis Cab trucks to dealerships in late May.