In what can only be described as an industry turnabout, mid-size pickup trucks have gained popularity again. General Motors got the ball rolling in Detroit in 2014 when they released the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins to combat the aging Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. The General was then met with some segment competition in 2019 by way of the Ford Ranger, which was already available in many global markets. Despite the success of these products, Ram has been lagging behind its hometown rivals in launching a mid-size offering of their own. Recently, some inaccurate reports suggested that Stellantis decided to forgo the midsize truck market. But sources inside Stellantis have confirmed to the reputable Automotive News that a Ram Dakota truck program is still in development.
According to the report from Automotive News, Stellantis has not decided to axe the Ram Dakota program, despite FCA’s initial concern related to funding the program. While the source wasn’t willing to share too many details with the publication, this confirmation should make more than a few Ram truck buyers happy.
As full-size pickup trucks continue to grow in size, and price, mid-size trucks have become a desirable product for many buyers. In fact, MC&T reported that Ram’s own dealer network has been putting pressure on the automaker to roll out a mid-size offering to meet customer demand.
Stellantis technically does offer a mid-sizer by way of the Jeep Gladiator, but that truck is a more niche product than the Colorado or Ranger (the Gladiator is the only pickup you can buy with removable doors, you see). Furthermore, the Gladiator’s $33,565 base price is significantly higher than the Ford or Chevrolet offerings. And that’s to say nothing of its live front axle, which may help with things like towing and payload, but compromises daily ride quality compared to a more commonplace independent front suspension setup found in the GM and Ford midsize trucks.
It is also possible that the Ram Dakota will be designed to slot in below the current crop of mid-size trucks on the market. We already know that Ford is developing the Maverick pickup, which is based on the same C2 Platform as the Bronco Sport.
Perhaps Ram will capitalize on their tardiness to the party by offering something equally as small, such as the new Ram 700 that was recently unveiled in Mexico, which is otherwise known as the Fiat Strada in other markets. For now though, we’re just glad to know that Stellantis is supporting Ram in their efforts. Perhaps this marriage won’t be as detrimental as some initially thought.