Will Ram Reclaim the Dakota Name for Midsize Trucks?
About a year ago this month, May 2019, the auto industry was starting to talk about an auto segment that the market has been missing for over a decade. Back when Ram was still a part of Dodge, hence Dodge Ram trucks, the two produced a midsize pickup truck known as the Dodge Dakota. The truck eventually disappeared, and with it so did the midsize truck market, with automakers like Ram focusing on light-duty and full-size pickup trucks. It wasn’t until Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) off-road automaker Jeep produced the midsize Jeep Gladiator that the automobile group started discussing a new midsize Ram.
Being one of the two top sellers of FCA (Ram and Jeep), it only makes sense to rebuild the segment with the strongest names in the portfolio. With the 2020 Jeep Gladiator already doing well for itself, recently named the “Truck of the Year” by the Rocky Mounting Automotive Press, there’s nothing like a little healthy competition, and according to FCA CEO Mike Manley, a midsize Ram could “address a segment of the market the new Jeep Gladiator can’t satisfy”. What could that be?
With each truck designed to fulfill two different purposes, some options will differ to offer some consumers a reason to go with one over the other. For instance, the Ram midsize truck may offer more configuration options, famous for giving consumers the ability to nearly customizes their truck both single and quad cabs and short and long boxes. The Jeep Gladiator, not veering too far off from the design of the Jeep Wrangler, is limited to four full doors and a short bed.
FCA is also well known for resurrecting old nameplates and filing for trademark registration. The automobile group filed for “Barracuda” and “Cuda” in 2017, the “Gladiator” leading up to the years of its release (originally thought to be named the “Scrambler”), and the newest trademark for FCA to file is none other than “Dakota”. More specifically, the trademark claim is for “parts for vehicles, namely, automotive exterior decorative trim” relate to the Dakota. That doesn’t mean the Dodge/Ram Dakota that went out of production in 2011 is definitely coming back, but anything having to do with it is now under protection.
Although the automobile industry is currently on pause with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, some automakers are starting to set dates for production to start again and setting up small shows for media to start spreading the word about new models and concepts. FCA’s annual “What’s New” preview event will still be held sometime this year, where automotive journalists and other outlets get the first look at new and upcoming FCA products, and have a chance to speak with representatives from marketing and engineering to answer questions. Held in Michigan every year, that’s where we’ll definitely learn more about not just the upcoming midsize Ram but also the Ram Rebel TRX reveal.
This rumor is also fueled by the all-new heavy-duty pickup truck the FCA plans to release in 2022. With competition in the midsize truck segment starting to show, there may be a whole new market when automakers start production again in full force. Stay in the loop when you follow Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram on social media.