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Dakota to be dropped in favor of ChangAn?

by David Zatz on

When Fiat Chrysler needed a midsize pickup, they went back into the old Chrysler playbook and rebadged the Mitsubishi L200—otherwise known as the Ram 50. Nissan’s control of Mitsubishi, though, may have derailed that deal, though Fiat Fullbacks and Ram 1200s are still being sold for the time being. (In any case, the Mitsubishi diesel won’t meet new European pollution standards.)

Dodge Dakota in the prime of its life

FCA knew they needed a metric-ton pickup for global sale and reportedly got down to the business of creating one. Now that FCA is merging with PSA (Peugeot), though, that project may be halted.

According to Allpar member “patfromigh,” Peugeot is already selling a midsize pickup; but it’s only marketed in Africa, and is actually purchased from Chinese automaker Dongfeng. Their global solution is well in progress—creating a pickup truck with ChangAn, another Chinese automaker, for the rest of the world.

Rob Hegbloom and Ram 1200

The amusingly named Ram 1200 (1200 being a play on Mitsubishi L200).

Which will survive, the Chinese pickup or the American one? That may depend partly on the costs and specs of the two projects, and it’s possible both may be produced, one for relatively wealthy nations and one for relatively poor ones.

The decision may also rest upon the nature of the contracts with ChangAn, and, for that matter, just how far along FCA was in the development of a metric-ton, midsize pickup, which we’ll call Dakota even though the official FCA name for it may well be “metric-ton midsize pickup.”

Ram enthusiasts may want to start rooting for the American-based Dakota now—because a combined PSA/FCA will have choices to make. That said, there was never any guarantee that the new pickup would be sold in the United States—and we still don’t know whether it’s being developed primarily in the US, Italy, or Brazil.


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