May 20, 2024

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Ram Is Reportedly Still Developing a New Dakota

2 min read
Photo credit: Dodge

Photo credit: Dodge

From Road & Track

We first heard that Ram was working on a new mid-size pickup, likely a revived Dakota, back in 2019, though there hasn’t been much news since. Last month a report emerged from GM Authority—of all places—indicating that this pickup had been cancelled following the merger of FCA and PSA into Stellantis. But that’s apparently not the case. Over at Automotive News, Larry Velquete reports that the Dakota is still on, citing an unnamed source.

As Velquette points out, it would be understandable if Stellantis were to cancel the Dakota as part of its push to reduce cost and complexity. Especially when you consider that the mid-sized pickup market is now quite crowded and still dominated by the relatively ancient Toyota Tacoma. But, Stellantis still thinks a new Dakota could be successful. Perhaps it’s buoyed by the strong sales of the mid-sized Jeep Gladiator pickup.

Speaking to investors in 2019, then-FCA boss Mike Manley said the Ram brand needed a mid-size pickup, and that it would be aimed at a different market segment than the relatively pricy Jeep. A new Dakota would compete with the all-conquering Tacoma, the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, the recently revived Ford Ranger, newly facelifted Honda Ridgeline, and the new Nissan Frontier. So, it’s a crowded market, but perhaps Ram could shake it up as it’s done with its excellent new lineup of full-size trucks.

The Dodge Dakota first emerged in 1986 as a competitor to the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado and continued over three generations until 2011. At that point, the mid-size pickup market was contracting, so the Dakota—like the Ranger—was canceled. The Dakota was notable for offering a convertible version in the Eighties, and for being the first mid-size pickup with an optional V-8.

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