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FCA registers Ram 1500 Express

Name game: Ram parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles appears to have paved the way for a Ram 1500 variant called Express in Australia.

Ram 1500 trademark application pops up in Australia as FCA mulls RHD

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Ram logo17 Jan 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

IF FIAT Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) business case for a right-hand-drive version of its new fifth-generation Ram 1500 pick-up comes up trumps, a newly minted name is ready and waiting in Australia: Ram 1500 Express.

FCA’s head office in Detroit has successfully lodged a trademark application for the name in Australia with the registration due to be advertised this week and finalised in July.

As GoAuto has reported, Ram head of brand Mike Manley has confirmed that FCA is still looking at the Australian business case for RHD production of the 1500 which was revealed in its left-hand-drive form at the Detroit motor show this week.

Curiously, “Express” was not among the Ram 1500 variant names announced at the show, with Tradesman, Rebel, Laramie, Bighorn and Limited among the names confirmed.

Express was included in the superseded Ram range in North America where it was applied to a variant with body coloured bumpers and grille in place of the traditional chrome or basic matte black.

The new 1500 gets an all-new platform that is said to be lighter and stronger than before, but carries over its two petrol engines – a 3.6-litre V6 and 5.7-litre V8. A new diesel is in the pipeline for launch in 2019, opening up an opportunity for Australian sales.

The Australian Ram 1500 Express trademark application – for “pick-ups motor vehicles including utilities” – is one of several lodged recently by FCA.

Others include Upland, Desert Rated and Hellcat.

Upland is applied to a Renegade variant sold in Europe, and perhaps has been reserved in case FCA Australia wants to launch the vehicle here.

Desert Rated appears to be new, and might be an alternative to Jeep’s well-known Track Rated definition for its beefed up off-road variants of models such as Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

And as muscle car aficionados know well, Hellcat applies to Chrysler’s extreme machines, such the Hellcat V8 in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk sold in Australia, as well as the 527kW Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat sold in North America.

We would like to think that the mind-blowing Challenger Hellcat is about to wend its way to Australia, but the trademark registration might merely be FCA’s way of protecting the engine name from poaching.

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