Yesterday, Ram revealed the new Ram ProMaster – a working van, for the working man. Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram and Chrysler de Mexico, took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show to share what the new van would offer. If you’re interested in details and want to see photos this post isn’t it.
You can however find a great deal of information and a full photo gallery at Chrysler’s Media Page. () That’s where I snagged the photo above before a 4-shot Americano and I made it all kinds of badass working-man awesome.
Work van? Sure, I knew one.
I have zero knowledge what distinguishes a good work van from a bad work van, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been personal with one.
I spent my high school summers crawling around in basements and attics installing heating and cooling units. While I don’t remember what model of van we drove, I do recall having to crawl through and reach into piles of merciless sharp objects. You’d think I wrestled baby tigers for a living. What I wouldn’t have given for a van with more space. Then again my horder of a boss wouldn’t let a 3×5 piece of scrap metal go, so I’m sure more cabin space would just mean more stuff.
The Europeanization of the American Work Van
The graphic to the right is my perspective on how vans have been engineered in recent years/months.
Like I said earlier, I don’t recall the exact model van we operated out of; I do remember it being American. And even at 5’7” I couldn’t stand up in the damn thing.
This new bevy of Euro-styled work vans appear more efficient and more functional.
This means you can:
…carry more stuff, more intelligently. No more reaching into piles of finger-slicing sheet metal to find tools.
… stand up, if you’re not of NBA stature. Less time hunched over means less strain on your back and neck.
…more easily convert your van to a roadside Santa Monica apartment.
But why bring over the euro van now? I have a few theories.
First and foremost, fuel economy. For any business that operates a fleet of vehicles, fuel is not only one of the highest operational costs, but also one of the least stable. A $.50 rise in gas prices can mean the difference between profits and making payroll.
These new vans are also more aerodynamic (as you can see from my engineering schematic) which means they create less drag, which requires less energy to move and therefore burn less gas.
They are also lighter than their antique brick-shaped predecessors. This weight savings results in better fuel efficiency which is good for business.
Selling feminine-looking vans to a bunch of macho, butt-scratching, blue collar buyers ain’t gonna be easy. But unlike a pair of skinny jeans, which offer zero usefulness, these vans offer tons of practicality and efficiency. It also helps when one of your competitors, Ford Motor Company, decides to up the estrogen on their van design too.
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No Friday post would be complete without something fun. While looking at the Chrysler Media page last night I noticed they’d posted footage of the ProMaster.
Confession: I’ve had my MacBook for a few months now and it wasn’t until last night I discovered iMovie.
After a bit of Google-ing ‘How to use iMovie’, I managed to hobble together what could easily win an academy award for World’s Worst Homemade Automotive Ad Ever Put On the Internet.
Keep in mind – I made this in one evening having never used this program. Give me six months and I’ll be producing videos that’ll rival some of America’s greatest Twitter-sourced ad spots.
On that note – have a great weekend.