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The big long range picture is Stellantis wants a global truck built around electrification instead of the Chinese truck they have now or a modified Gladiator. This is an opportunity for Stellantis to use it’s global scale. Also the opportunity for Jeep spin-offs would be in play. View attachment 79439
They already have a Jeep spinoff that is the right size. The Fiat Toro is basically a Renegade pickup.
 

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The more I think about a Gladiator based Dakota, the less profit I see. I think it would steal a lot of sales from Ram and Gladiator while being very expensive and somewhat dated on arrival. I would think a new electric friendly worldwide competitor to a next generation Tacoma would be the ticket. It should be designed for a vast array of products to be spun off this platform.
 

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It's all about size and the renewal of the phase 2 EPA fuel economy targets. 31.2 MPG is the average fleet wide mandate that companies must achieve for light duty trucks. Any truck, SUV, and Van under 6k lbs. No point in releasing a North America only vehicle that doesn't meet these targets and is mostly a facelift of an existing product. Better to design a global vehicle that can be sold in Europe while increasing the average fleet mpg.
The Ram 700/Fiat Toro just barely meets this requirement with an interior and engine that would not sell in the US.
 

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It's all about size and the renewal of the phase 2 EPA fuel economy targets. 31.2 MPG is the average fleet wide mandate that companies must achieve for light duty trucks. Any truck, SUV, and Van under 6k lbs. No point in releasing a North America only vehicle that doesn't meet these targets and is mostly a facelift of an existing product. Better to design a global vehicle that can be sold in Europe while increasing the average fleet mpg.
The Ram 700/Fiat Toro just barely meets this requirement with an interior and engine that would not sell in the US.
Ram 700 is the Fiat Strada subcompact pickup with a structure and engine that will not sell in the US. Ram 1000 is the midsize Fiat Toro and the Fiat Toro can be had with the 2.4 Tigershark.
 

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There is only 1 way for a new mid size to be a winner. It has to be caravan/pacifica base and base model to start around 18 grand.
 

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We owned a '97 Dakota 4x4. Wonderful truck. Having said that, and it being a low production vehicle, it was difficult to find parts for it. We own a '15 Ram now. Seriously wonderful truck.
 

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Gladiator is an inferior starting point for a true mid-size pickup.

VW Amarok and Toyota Hilux are BOF mid-size pickups they sell globally. The North American mid-size pickup segment is growing rapidly.

Fiat had the Fullback, a BOF pickup created from a JV with Mitsubishi. That JV ended in 2019 and the Fullback was cancelled.

Stellantis could use an entry in this segment.....not just for North America. Building such a mid-size in Mexico would allow it to be sold in Brazil that uses a large number of mid-size pickups.

Jeep had the Comanche, which used the unibody cab from the XJ Cherokee and a BOF pickup bed together. It was far ahead of its time and incredibly durable, and rugged....in keeping with Jeep's brand image and far superior to the Gladiator.

If Stellantis was smart, it would design a new Comanche (I know we cannot use that name anymore) for global markets. It could be sold as a Jeep and Ram and Fiat, depending on market.

Compact pickups are coming back. Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are unibody compact pickups we will see later this year in North America. Stellantis could enter that segment in North America more easily, but, under FCA, there was no will to do so as they seemed to prefer jumping into segments after they were saturated.
 

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I believe that PSA had been well advanced on the planning of a mid size (1 metric ton) pickup prior to the merger. This may be why the Dakota has been canned as it has greater global reach. AFAIR there was some connection to one of the Chinese automakers as well to keep costs down.
 

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So a product that was never announced is supposedly canceled?
The full size market is stable, the midsize market is just coming back, the compact market is still dead.
The full size truck market has grown an average of 2% per year over the last 6 years. This means the only way to really grow your full size truck line is to gain conquest sales. That means selling on discounts and more costs to market.
Over the same time period, midsize truck sales have grown 17%, that's a huge growth rate. And the market will reward those who get into that market quickly.
17% growth - that's a huge growth market to only compete on the fringes of.
 

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We owned a '97 Dakota 4x4. Wonderful truck. Having said that, and it being a low production vehicle, it was difficult to find parts for it. We own a '15 Ram now. Seriously wonderful truck.
1997 Dakota was not a low production vehicle. They sold over 130k of them. Sales of the gen II Dakota peaked at 177k in 2000.
 

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There is only 1 way for a new mid size to be a winner. It has to be caravan/pacifica base and base model to start around 18 grand.
There is NEVER ONLY ONE WAY, and $18,000 isn't going to justify making it. It's 2021, would be 2023 by the time it would come out, not 1984. Do the inflation math, for crying out loud!
 

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Clearly, given the information that valiant67 has given, there is a need for a mid-size truck.
I looked at dealer inventory online last night, used and new. The cheapest used truck was a 2018 Ram 1500 Express with 34K miles, for $26,900. All used trucks had a 5'7" bed, totally useless to me. Of new trucks, the only one of 10 in stock that had a 6'4" bed (2 inches shorter than my 'short-bed' Dakota) has a sticker price of $47,300.
Unacceptable. For $26K, I could find a decent Dakota frame down south, have it shipped, and drop a new drivetrain in it, and have all my needs met. Obviously, too much time and effort. But you get the idea. These are NOT trucks. These are living rooms with fully-featured entertainment centers on wheels, with a cooler-sized storage capacity behind them. And they only get 3 mpg more than I get now.
 

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Where "Dodge Dakota" rolled off the tongue, "Ram Dakota", not so much.
From that stand point and to avoid any negative reactions associated with "Dakota",
What about "Ram Rebel" or reuse Ram Rampage" or Ram Ramcharger"
Or maybe since it's so difficult to name it, scrub the whole project entirely !!
But RAM offends people from India,many of them are named RAM...Just wait until a Toyota,Ford,GM guy from India gets offended by the name RAM...It's coming!
 

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Gee. I thought the Dakota was off the table a long time ago.
It must have gotten put back on the table (though we never saw any confirmation of that) before being taken off again?
 

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Like the LX cars, a new Dakota has just been a tease. I don’t see these products ever coming. The cash will be spent on the Jeep and full size Ram. As it should be. Those are the money makers for what‘s left of Chrysler.
Just as GM has spent billions upgrading the Suburban/Escalade and full size pick up plants. Often spending millions just to up production rate a couple jobs per hour.
 

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First it will be teams, then product and finally plants.

We have seen this story before.

I was open minded. Stellantis closed it for me.
 

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Like the LX cars, a new Dakota has just been a tease. I don’t see these products ever coming. The cash will be spent on the Jeep and full size Ram. As it should be. Those are the money makers for what‘s left of Chrysler.
Just as GM has spent billions upgrading the Suburban/Escalade and full size pick up plants. Often spending millions just to up production rate a couple jobs per hour.
Sounds like Fort Wayne.
 
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