• Will a Baby Ram Pickup Revive the “Dakota” Name?

The midsize truck is in FCA’s plans, but the name not so much

FCA’s five-year plan has finally confirmed that there is a midsize or baby Ram in the works and it could debut by 2021, according to some sources.

The Baby Ram; a New Dakota

Will a Baby Ram Pickup Revive the “Dakota” Name?
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As of now, details about the baby Ram are far and few between, but the rumors can finally be put to rest as we know that it’s coming. It would make sense to revive the Dakota name. At the time of the Dakota’s discontinuation sales for compact pickups were diminishing, which is exactly why Ford killed off the Ranger in the U.S. as well. Now, however, with the craze for larger vehicles, the demand is back and so is the Ranger, so it’s only fitting Ram comes correct with a midsize truck as well.

Be that as it may, FCA said no to a midsize pickup just a few years ago, citing cost as the main issue but it looks like that may no longer be the case. After all, FCA has paid to develop the Jeep truck, so it could easily use the same underpinnings and slap on a different body. The new midsize truck’s success, however, will depend largely on pricing. FCA cited declining market interest when it killed off the Dakota, but when it was discontinued it was so high it wouldn’t make sense to buy it when you could spend just a hair more to get a full-size Ram instead.

The Truth About Cars decided to reach out to Ram and ended up hearing back from David Elshoff, the head of Ram brand communications. He confirmed that there are intentions to bring the new truck to the U.S. There’s also word that it will replace the Fiat Fullback in markets outside the U.S. News that it could debut by 2021 cam from Paul Eisenstein of The Detroit Bureau via Twitter:

Final Thoughts

At this point, it isn’t surprising. Automakers are all clamoring to take advantage of the surge in larger vehicles, and now that advances in technology facilitate better fuel economy, midsize trucks could make a big comeback. The problem is that Ram and FCA are coming to the game very late which could turn out to be problematic. Furthermore, it’s important that Ram price the midsize truck correctly. If it’s too close to the price of the Ram 1500, we’ll see history repeat itself as everyone will opt for the 1500 over the midsize. It will be interesting to see how things turn out down the road.


2008 Dodge Dakota
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Read our full review on the 2008 Dodge Dakota.

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Read more Ram news.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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