Marcus De Guzman / FCA | June 05, 2018 09:45
Marchionne confirms plans to build a new midsize pickup truck for Ram
Dodge's spin-off brand, Ram, appears to want a slice of the growing mid-size pickup segment. Currently the light-commercial vehicle brand only has the full-size 1500 as well as the bigger 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks. But with the refreshed Chevy Colorado and US-spec Ford Ranger raking in sales in the US, Ram is looking to build their own contender in the lucrative segment.
In the recently concluded Fiat-Chrysler Capital Markets Association presentation, Sergio Marchionne, Chairman & CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), confirmed that they are in the process of building a new midsize pickup. No other details were mentioned other than it will go up against the similarly-sized competitors. In addition, it will be built in Mexico and will arrive in the US soon.
With nothing much to go on, it leaves plenty to the imagination as to what will the company come up with. There's the Fiat Fullback (also called the Ram 1200) which is essentially a rebadged Mitsubishi Strada. That would be a likely candidate but that model is made at Mitsubishi's Laem Chabang facility in Thailand. Plus, the Fullback is only sold in select European and Middle Eastern countries.
With that in mind, could we see the revival of the Dodge Dakota name? For those who are not in the know, the Dakota served as the smaller alternative to the then Dodge Ram range of pickup trucks. It was slightly larger than the old Ford Ranger and Chevy S-10 trucks but was a size smaller than the Ram itself. The last Dakota rolled off the factory floor in 2011 amidst falling demand for small and midsize pickups.
But with the resurgence of such pickup trucks, FCA plans to bank on that boom by making an all-new model that can go toe-to-toe with the Ranger, Colorado, and the like. While it's only destined for the US market, we won't be surprised if Ram offers it to other markets including the Philippines which now exempts pickups from the new excise tax.
In any case, the upcoming midsize pickup truck could just be the edge Ram needs to grab a bigger share of the market. Here's to hoping Ram will offer it here too.
Source: Road & Track