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Is a small Ram pickup on the way?

by David Zatz on

While no details of the truck are known yet, a completely new one-metric-ton pickup appears to be set to start production within the next two years; it will most likely be built in Toluca, Mexico, where Fiat 500 and Journey are currently made, and exported to Europe, South America, and North America.

small Dodge Raider pickup

Observers believe this pickup will be smaller and lower capacity than Dakota, most likely coming closest in size to the old A-100 or Ram 50, rather than filling Dakota’s mid-size slot (later occupied by Chevy Colorado). The primary target markets are outside the United States, but it will fill an empty part of Chrysler’s product line in the US, too; should fuel prices suddenly rise, buyers will find an economical Ram. Perhaps more to the point, the new truck would fill out Ram’s product line so that Chrysler can serve as a “single point” for businesses and government agencies who wish to buy all their vehicles from one company. In addition to Dodge Charger for police cars and Chrysler 300 for car services and executive transport, the company will eventually have large and small vans, small and large pickups, small and large SUVs, and Dart SE for basic transportation.

Chrysler has not built a lighter pickup than Ram 1500 since dropping the Dakota; the new one (Ram 50, if you wish) would likely be closer to the old A-100 or Ram 50 slots.  Dakota did reliability hit 100,000 sales or more per year, every year, from 1992 to 2005.  Only with the 2006 redesign did sales fall below 100,000, then plummet downwards to nothing.

The name is up in the air, though the public has been told that “there will be no new Dakota.”    So far, the company has apparently not trademarked any appropriate names, though if it stuck with Ram [number], it would not have to.

Toluca is a logical plant for the new trucks, because Mexico sits within two major free trade zones (Latin American and North American), and has garnered a reputation for high quality and adaptability. It will also be empty of product: Fiat 500 is scheduled to move to Europe, while Journey is likely to move to Sterling Heights or Belvidere.

Note: the rendering above is not based on any rumors or advance information and may be completely different from the final product. 

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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