When Ram discontinued the Dakota pickup truck after the 2011 model year, and the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado followed suit the following year, all seemed lost for the American midsize pickup. Well, the GM twins have returned to enjoy great success, but Ram has seemed hesitant to dive into the midsize pickup segment, until now.
According to a new report from USA Today, who spoke with Mike Manley (the head of Jeep and Ram), the automaker is again thinking about diving into the midsize pickup pool. According to Manley, “In terms of midsize pickup for Ram, I very much believe that that’s an opportunity for the brand,” which is in contrast to FCA’s earlier feelings about this segment. Then again, who wouldn’t change their stance after the surprise success of the Colorado and Canyon, and the sudden resurgence of the Toyota Tacoma (7 percent YTD sales increase) and Nissan Frontier (29.3 percent YTD sales increase)?
While Manley stopped short of announcing the eventual release of a new midsize pickup, he did toss enough writing on the wall to piece together that the brand is seriously considering developing one. What’s more, this is the perfect time for FCA to release a new midsize pickup, as it is hard at work developing the next-gen Ram pickup, which is scheduled for a January 2018 release. Developing the two pickups side by side could help save FCA considerable money.
While the rebirth of the Dakota sounds great, keep in mind that talk is cheap as Ram spoke in 2012 about developing a Honda Ridgeline-like pickup, but that ultimately fell through. We’ll continue keeping an eye on this topic and bring you updates as they become available, so stay tuned.