A Ram badge hasn’t appeared on a mid-size truck since 2011, when the company, still marketed under the Dodge umbrella at the time, discontinued the Dakota amid slowing sales. But with American customers buying more large vehicles like trucks and crossovers and the PSA merger bringing about new platform sharing opportunities for FCA, the truck brand could be set to return to the mid-size market in the near future.
FCA CEO Mike Manley told The Detroit News this week that Ram is currently lacking both a mid-size and a metric ton truck, problems the merger should allow for him to fix.
“One area that Ram has long been missing a product is in the midsize market or metric-ton truck,” Manley said. “There is fabulous opportunity, I think, in the merger for PSA and FCA once it is fully fueled.”
Manley also Ram has already started development of a mid-size truck, but is having trouble working out how to build it in a cost-effective manner.
“I want that problem solved, frankly, because it’s a clear hole in our portfolio,” he said. “Trust me, they’re focused on it. We need to get it fixed soon.”
Mid-size trucks are popular product globally and can be sold in virtually all major markets, so a new Ram mid-size truck may also work as a global product sold under a variety of different brands – making it a sensible product for FCA under the new merger.
The mid-size truck segment is already hotly contested and would become even more competitive with Ram entering the fray. The Colorado and Canyon currently compete with the Toyota Tacoma, which is the best-selling truck in the segment, along with the Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. Hyundai is also set to release a crossover-based truck for the 2021 model year, which won’t compete directly with mid-size offerings, but may still attract some former or would-be mid-size buyers nonetheless.
Chevrolet Colorado sales were down 7.63 percent through to the end of Q3 2019, with GM having sold 96,820 examples so far this year. GMC Canyon sales were up 4.06 percent year-over-year during the same time period, with 26,300 units sold.
Source: The Detroit News