Turns Out the Ram Dakota is a Real Possibility
It’s no longer a question of “will-they-won’t-they,” Ram Trucks officially confirmed that it is indeed looking to enter the midsize pickup market. Recent pickups like the Ford Ranger and the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) newly-introduced 2020 Jeep Gladiator have reinvigorated the mid-size pickup segment. It appears that Ram is looking to bring back the old Dodge Dakota moniker but this time under the Ram Trucks brand. Ram separated from the Dodge brand back in 2009 to become its own entity. Here’s what we know so far after some speculation that’s heating up.
Unlike other automakers, FCA provides a five-year plan for all of its brands. The plan includes model information and rough timing estimates. FCA last released a five-year plan back in June of 2018 and in it the automaker outlined what it plans to do for the Ram brand over the next five years in terms of models, image, and technology. On page 23 of the plan, readers can find a midsize pickup under a tarp that’s slated to arrive sometime during 2022. Of course, no one’s saying that the brand cannot veer from this plan as it’s not set in stone. The five-year plans that FCA offers are more of a good guideline that details where the automaker wants to take its brands in the near future. Judging by recent comments from top FCA executives it’s safe to think that the mid-size pickup is in the works. In fact, CEO Mike Manley discussed that the company was committed to finding a solution to its mid-size hole in the Ram lineup when speaking to the Detroit Free Press via conference call.
Experts find that the all-new Jeep Gladiator is difficult to be seen as a direct competitor for the rest of the mid-size pickup class since it’s an off-road pickup, but they still expect Ram Trucks to borrow some technology and components from it. Using the Gladiator platform may be in the works as the rear suspension is actually based on the 2019 Ram 1500 setup. What a new mid-size pickup from Ram would need is an entirely new body and an interior that separates itself from the bunch. A new powertrain could also be a possibility and Ram could maybe even borrow the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that powers the Wrangler.
There’s also the question of “Where would Ram assemble the new Dakota?” Experts wonder if the Toledo, Ohio plant that’s currently responsible for assembling the Gladiator and Wrangler has room to accommodate the upcoming Dakota, but that doesn’t seem to be a concern for the automaker. During a conference call in May 2019, Manley discussed that the most difficult part of this mid-size plan is finding the right platform for the pickup. “Being able to find a cost-effective platform in a region where we can build it with low cost and it still being applicable in the market is what they’re struggling with at the moment,” said Manley.
Want to see what features buyers may find in the upcoming Dakota? Check out the revamped 2019 Ram 1500 inventory at University Dodge. You’ll be surprised at how much technology and luxury accents can add to a pickup. Schedule your test drive today! Follow University Dodge on social media to stay up to date with the latest Ram Dakota news.