Antonio Filosa, COO of Stellantis South America, let slip that the Ram 1200 truck is on the way, while the Brazilian outlet contextualized things further, saying that the Ram 1200 will be built at the Pernambuco plant for the Brazilian market (a facility otherwise known as the Jeep Automotive Pole), alongside the compact Jeep Commander SUV. it’s expected that the Ram 1200 will utilize an elongated version of the Stellantis Small Wide 4×4 Platform. Internally, it’s been known as Project 291, says Brazilian outlet Autos Segredos.
What Is The Ram 1200?
To clarify, this is not the same Ram 1200 that once debuted in the Middle East in 2016 (pictured: just below), as a rebadged Mitsubishi L200 (aka Fiat Fullback). Other small Ram trucks sold outside of the United States include the Ram 700 (Mexico) and the Ram 1000 (Latin America). They’re also sold in other markets as the Fiat Strada and Fiat Toro, respectively.
There remains conflicting information as to what will propel the Ram 1200. The Brazilians are saying that the truck will be powered with either the choice of a 2.0L “Tigershark” engine, with a 2.2L MultiJet II turbodiesel as the other option. However, Mopar Insiders believes that the Ram 1200 will enter the arena with a pair of “FireFly” engines; which means either a 1.3L turbo or a 1.5L turbo. Electrification could be in play as well, but that remains a bit too premium for entry markets.
With all of this global product in the mix for context, Americans are probably wondering “WTF” does this have to do with them. So here we go…
Federalizing the powertrains, re-engineering a platform for the United States and Canada, mandatory crash testing, figuring out manufacturing and logistics out of said plant, as well as juggling currency exchange rates and profit margins, etc. is not exactly what one would call “cheap,” and we probably missed a few other factors to go with all of that. In short, Stellantis may as well have to engineer an entirely new small truck platform for the USA and Canada, or simply just take the plunge and import any one of its qualified candidates as a small truck offering for the North American markets. That wasn’t exactly communicated during the company’s recent Capital Markets Day. What has been communicated is electrification, and last summer during Stellantis EV Day it appeared that a more midsize Ram EV was subtly teased, although it could have also been an early design sketch of the upcoming Revolution electric truck.
Plans Remain For A Smaller USA-Spec Ram Pickup Truck
Considering how lean the company is operating in order to make concessions for electric vehicles (to the expense of the Jeep Trackhawk, the Dodge Hellcats, and scrapped Jeep Gladiator 392 plans, to name a few things), a lower-margin ICE vehicle program may be a lot of grit in the Stellantis business machine as it churns toward a large (expensive) EV portfolio.
Nevertheless, we continue to hear from Ram executives and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares on how powerful the Ram brand is, and how much opportunity there is globally. American Ram dealers continue to demand smaller truck products for their showrooms, whether it’s called Dakota or not. And others insist that a smaller Ram truck program is definitely happening. How small? How medium? Of all the automakers that’s hardest for us to tap into, it’s been Stellantis. Pardon our speculation as we connect the dots.