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None of the small pickups sell well. The Colorado/Canyon sells in low volume. So did the Ranger and Dakota before the plug was pulled on them. Even the Japanese small pickups sell slowly compared to the past.

Here's the last time the issue was brought up:
http://www.allpar.com/forums/topic/147858-dakota/
 

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12 years ago the Ranger alone outsold the whole compact/midsize volume indicated at the link above. The market is gone.
 

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Again, even if the Ranger and the Dakota died due to poor product planning, how does that explain that the WHOLE smaller truck market is dead? Does that mean every one of the designs are poor? Or have preferences really sifted? Even full sized regular cab trucks have slipped from favor compared to the past.
 

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Tacoma is selling in the 140k annual range. Not that long ago it was in the 170k range so even its sales aren't what they were.
 

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Back in the 90's many people I knew bought small trucks like the Ranger or S10 because they cost about what a Escort or Cavalier did and the small truck seemed more substantial compared to what they saw as flimsy small cars. Now small cars seem better built and there are also small SUVs in the mix now.

I wish the Dakota would come back, I love the two I have (and I've had several more). But the market, even with close to $4 gas, just isn't there any more.
 

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If, and it's a big if, there's a market for small trucks someone would probably be offering them and making a killing, especially if they brought in one from another market. But all the Rampages, VW Caddys, El Caminos and Subaru Brats added together were a pretty small number. 10 years ago the Ford Ranger alone outsold the total of all of today's US small trucks.

I like the smaller trucks. I bought the first year Dakota. I've owned several more and even had a Rampage. My Dad is on his third Ranger. But I just have to face the fact that my Dad and I are in a majority. There's not much of a market for small trucks. My opinion is better options in the small car market and small SUVs have cut a huge chunk out of the old small truck market.
 

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Dakota lost its direction. By the end, it was another Ram. Fuel economy, capability (for the 1500 Rams), and price were little different from the full sized trucks. So, why would people want to spend the exact same amount of money for a smaller framed truck?
Dakota vs. Ram 150/1500 was never a big jump in fuel economy. Even back to 1988, comparing the Dakota to the Ram the MPG difference with the same engine in both trucks was 1 MPG. The only way the Dakota excelled in fuel economy was if you could get by with a smaller engine in the Dakota han the Ram like a 4 cyl. Dak vs. a V6 Ram or a 318 Dak vs a 360 Ram.

I never minded the size of the Ram when I had the 1996 Ram 1500 other than the width (as I lived in town then). I went back to Dakotas after the 1500 because the Dakota was narrower and easier to park in tighter parking lots.
 

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i always thought that was one of the reasons the 2005+ dakotas did not sell as well because they never offer a reg cab.
Except that when there were regular cabs (and a choice of larger cabs) in the earlier years, people overwhelmingly chose the larger cabs.
 
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