FCA To Build New Mid-Size Ram Pickups Alongside Jeeps In Toledo

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has long been rumored to be considering a new mid-size pickup. Now we have word that plans are moving ahead, and that it’ll be a proper body-on-frame truck to be built alongside the forthcoming Jeep Wrangler-based pickup.

According to Autonews, FCA is planning to build the new truck at the sprawling Toledo complex where it makes the Wrangler – and, tellingly, once produced the Dodge Dakota.

It’s a segment that’s picking up steam again, populated by models like the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and the returning Ford Ranger. The Pentastar automaker last competed in the segment with the Dakota (pictured) – originally sold as a Dodge, then briefly as a Ram after the brand was spun-off into its own – until the model was discontinued in 2011 amid the bankruptcy that lead to Fiat taking over.

The news effectively ends the speculation that FCA could instead challenge the segment with a version of the car-based unibody ute sold as the Fiat Strada in some markets and as the Ram 700/750 in Mexico. Honda similarly took a more conventional truck-like approach with the launch of the second-generation Ridgeline two years ago, but stuck with crossover-like unibody construction.

The new mid-size Ram could revive the Dakota nameplate or go with another, possibly numeric designation to slot in under the Ram 1500 full-size light-duty truck. Whatever it’s called, we’re expecting it to launch in 2020 as a 2021 model – around the same time as the Wrangler-based pickup (anticipated to be called the Scrambler) arrives.

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  • kachuks

    Seeing pics of that last-gen Dakota give me an unsettled feeling in my stomach. They took a perfectly good midsize truck and ruined it.

  • charlotteharry57

    Not sure if the Colorado and Ranger are body-on-frame. If so, OK. But if not, then this is a poor decision. Seems to me that a midsize P/U should be unibody, for weight and fuel economy reasons.

    • NoMan2015

      They are.

    • MarkoS

      Colorado, Canyon, Ranger, Tacoma and Frontier are all BOF, The only unibody now offered is the Honda Ridgeline, VW is considering.

  • MarkoS

    This was my prediction and it makes since with the Jeep pick-up, although this will probably be slightly larger. Hopefully this will come with a 6 ft bed on the Crew Cab unlike the Ranger. Imagine this with the V6 diesel. I hope they go for a different look than the new 1500.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    A truck to slot underneath the RAM 1500…

    …been waiting for this.

  • Bash

    Just do it right FCA, Please.

  • Paul

    Nice to see everybody back in the game pretty much. I hope they get the details right.

  • diesel_vdub

    Of course the segment is heating up, have you seen the size of the behemoth full-size pickups and their price tags. They simply do not fit in urban or suburban areas and are frankly out of the price range of most “normal” people.

  • Stephen G

    Chasing an already crowded mid-size BOF market is guaranteeing mediocrity. A uni-body light truck (off the Durango) would be a bold move, however, the limited success that Honda has had with the Ridgeline in off putting. I can’t help but comment that I think aggressive pricing and incentives on large trucks is what killed the original Dakota, and ask what advantage would a new Dakota have over a RAM 1500 Tradesman? FCA if your looking to fill assembly line space just build more Wranglers.

  • Andrew Ngo

    Got its parts from recycle bins.

  • Hoozyadatty

    That’s a good first step. Next make an ultra lux SUV based upon the new RAM 1500 for Chrysler (a la Escalade or Navigator) as well as one based off the next gen Durango or Maserati Levante. These are what people want and these are what makes money. Huge savings since the architectures already exist. Start printing money guys!

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