Ram’s product planners figured there was no market for a midsized pickup. Then the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon came in and proved otherwise. (GM didn’t slash and burn during the 2000s, so they have more engineers to create niche vehicles.)
The attraction, in the face of similarly priced full-size trucks, is fitting into garages and parking spaces; easier loading; more nimble cornering; and better fuel economy. Colorado and Canyon have done remarkably well in the face of the “default” Toyota Tacoma, and a Ram Dakota or Dodge Dakota, on the tail of the Ram 1500’s success, could do well, using the same formula. As for building them — well, there’s that specialty plant again.
A lighter-duty pickup was in the pipeline since at least 2007, around the same size as the 1987 Dodge Dakota. There were even rumors there would be a minivan based pickup, spurring the photo above, but it came to naught.
All Mopar Car and Truck News