Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by Fast Eddie, May 6, 2020.
I really hope they do a good job the Dakota is one of my favorite Dodge products ever.
Hmm, that's a bit prevaricate.... While we know that "nothing is official, until it's official," when the CEO states in 2011 that the vehicle will be seen in 2013, that is a bit more than just "speculation."
Jeep to dust off Grand Wagoneer name for 7-seat SUV (at https://www.autonews.com/article/20110110/OEM04/110119929/jeep-to-dust-off-grand-wagoneer-name-for-7-seat-suv )
Ram is going to follow what Ford did with the Ranger. Ram will turn to a Fiat "truck" and create the Dakota from that standpoint. It will fail, IMO. The Ranger is a failure, IMO. I wish Ram had the money to do their very own, all new, midsize platform truck, versus re-engineering an existing truck to fit the NA market. Then, give that American engineered platform to Fiat and let them fit that into outside markets, instead of the other way around. Fiat is trash. Ram and Jeep are holding up the entire company, why are they getting the leftovers? Ram/Jeep should be leading the way, sort of speak, not Fiat. That's how I see it.
Let's start with the facts. First, FIAT doesn't have a midsize truck platform, and neither does Peugeot. (Strada is a compact vehicle, Fullback is a Mitsubishi L200, Peugeot Landtrek is a Chinese-JV truck only sold in LATAM and Sub-Saharan Africa). So If they don't have a platform, where's it going to come from?
Second, The market for pickups is tiny outside of North America. Any pickup development will be done in the USA for the USA, and that means Ram.
Third, Ram has the money to do whatever the brand managers think should be done. FCA doesn't cross-subsidise its regions: profits made by FCA US are re-invested by FCA US. If you don't see a Dakota, it's not because evil FIAT stopped them doing it, it's because they themselves figured there's no money in it.
Personally, I don't see where the advantage is. Nobody's clamouring for smaller pickups, so much as cheaper pickups. But pickups are mostly bought for their towing capacity, and to get decent towing from a mid-sized truck, it will have to cost nearly as much as a full-size, which would offer a bigger load bed too. I think RAM made their decision on this long ago, when they decided to keep DS in production alongside DT: there's your budget option to a new 1500 full-size.
In the US, the midsize truck market is growing at MUCH FASTER than the rate of the full size truck market. So it's not just about price.
Over the last five years (2015-2019) the full size USA pickup truck market grew at an average rate of 4% per year.
Over the same time period, the midsize pickup truck market grew at an average rate of 21%. That's HUGE!
As much “value” as full-size pickups offer, they have become way too big IMO.
Perhaps there’s opportunity for a “downsized” full-size pickup, much like GM downsized its full-size cars in the late 1970s with great success. Such truck would have to offer all the pulling power of a full-size pickup, though, without the oversized dimensions.
The oversized dimensions come in part as a response to the linking of size with more lenient emissions regulations. Won’t see a reversal until this link is abolished.
I don’t agree that people don’t want compact trucks. There’s a hell of a demand for them in the used market, largely because nobody is currently offering a competitive package. These people need something small ‘cause they don’t have 3 car garages and 20’ wide driveways. They also don’t need huge towing ability, cause they dont have the toys to pull. Just trips to the dump or to pick up the occasional big package (furniture).
I agree: there’s nothing inherently bad about compact pickups. The difficulty they face is more relative to the value full-size pickups offer. When you compared how little more you pay upfront and the small difference in MPG, full-size pickups get you a lot more capability, comfort and “macho” image. That is, provided you are okay with driving and parking a freight train.
Mpg is an area where we could see some real differentiation. A compact pickup is far easier to drive via BEV power train, and in an urban/suburban environment, it’s far less likely to run into problems with range. Since high towing capacity isn’t high priority on these vehicles, you can get by with a relatively low amp drive, making the package more affordable over all. And since these are primarily work machines rather than playthings/commuter vehicles, Ram could leave out a fancy infotainment system minimizing cost. Ditching the ICE means less extraneous weight from sound deadening materials, which simplifies construction and further reduces weight.
personally, I don’t see the need for image enhancement, but others feel differently I guess. To me it’s all about utility.
That's basically my feeling. In parts of the States where space isn't at a premium, and fuel is cheap, why not have a big truck. I don't think it's a coincidence that Texas accounts for around 30% of the US pickup market.
The use of MPG also stops people seeing the real scale of fuel savings from a smaller truck. When you're talking about pickups with consumption from late teens to early 20s, "1 MPG" is a much bigger unit of consumption than if you're talking about cars with values in the mid-30s. Truck MPG is effectively twice as valuable as car MPG, but unless "gallons per 100 miles" ever catches on as EPA recommends, the illusion that 1 MPG represents the same amount of fuel makes fuel savings at the "thirsty" end of the MPG range look smaller than they really are.
MPG is very sticky as a concept: here in Ireland, we're fully Metric: fuel is sold in litres, all distances and speeds signposted in kilometres, and yet people still talk about "mpg" (in bigger gallons than yours, though) when discussing fuel consumption - it's over forty years since you could buy fuel by the gallon, . It's only very recently I've heard younger drivers use the "litres per 100km" measure.
99-2004 Dakota was the perfect size.
and looked great too!
As freshforged wrote the size increase in pickups in U.S.A. is linked to emissions rules that are favourable to bigger footprints.
Mid - full size prices are also close because capabilities didn't increment as much as the size.
The advertising "war" is done on towing because the needed increase of axles (and frame) capabilities is limited being only 10% of towed weigth going on the vehicle.
Just check the gross axle weigth rating and vehicle weigth rating evolution to see what I mean.
Payload are relatively low in full size pickups, but since for most are used as "passengers cars" ...
I would prefer a mid-size Ram Dakota then a 1500 only because that would meet all of my needs, I used to own a GMC Sierra, gave to my daughter and son-in-law because they needed it more. I was able to fit it in my oversized 2 car garage alongside my CRV but was a tight fit, I would prefer something that would be an easier fit and easier to fit in a crowded parking lot. I would only use it to take my trash out (I have a long driveway), occasional large purchase or maybe a small trailer. In fact for my needs, I could be perfectly happy with a Honda Ridgeline.
Wasn’t there speculation that a new Dakota could be based on the Gladiator and made in the same plant? Or is that not really feasible?
Other folks have said/(hoped) that it will based on Gladotor platform. I say no way,it would way to expensive.
If there is a Dakota coming I think it'll be a modified 1500 platform.
As I recall, the whole discussion of bringing back Dakota started from FCA’s need to utilize the capacity in the JT plant. So whatever Dakota is based on, it will need to roll alongside Gladiator.
To be truthful it was just "DAKOTA" that was trademarked, not ram dakota (and so was "PORTAL")
The last year Dakota was a Ram. Sort of, the last year It was a Dodge, a Ram, or especially the last year just a Dakota with the brand deemphasized in marketing materials.