The Ram 1500 won’t be getting a little brother after all.
Ford Authority reports plans for a Ram Dakota have reportedly been scuttled early in the development stages.
Scrapping the project allows Stellantis to instead focus on the still-fresh Gladiator and the Ram 1500, the latter of which has continued to grow in popularity.
US Ram 1500 sales have grown every year since 2009 except for last year, with sales rising from 177,268 units in 2009 to 633,694 sales in 2019, an all-time high for the nameplate by some margin.
Meanwhile, what’s referred to as the mid-sized pickup segment in the US remains in the thrall of the Toyota Tacoma.
Despite the return of the Chevrolet Colorado in 2014 and the Ford Ranger in 2019, the ageing Tacoma continues to reign supreme with sales last year surpassing the combined tallies of the Ranger and the Colorado and related GMC Canyon.
The Jeep Gladiator was around 20,000 units behind the Colorado in fourth place despite having only one body style and a base price almost US$10,000 higher, suggesting Stellantis may not want to risk cannibalising sales of a potentially more profitable model in its portfolio.
Ram last offered a sub-1500 model in 2011 with the Ram Dakota, known until 2010 as the Dodge Dakota.
The third generation of a model line dating back to 1987, the final Dakota continued to be a bit larger than its Japanese rivals and, unlike them, offered the option of a V8 engine.
After 2011, FCA went without a pickup below the Ram 1500 in North America. However, it’s offered such vehicles in other markets.
From 2016 to 2019, FCA rebadged the Mitsubishi Triton as the Fiat Fullback or Ram 1200, depending on the market. It was sold in various markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Fiat’s Brazilian operations also developed a ute version of its Palio light car, the Strada, which was first introduced in 1996. Since 2015, this has been sold as the Ram 700 in Mexico.
The Strada was redesigned last year, moving to the new modular platform underpinning the Palio-replacing Argo.
The new generation now offers a dual-cab body style, something rival Latin American utes like the Chevrolet Montana and Volkswagen Saveiro can’t match.
Though the Stellantis merger now brings 14 brands under the one umbrella, the merged company still doesn’t have a Ranger rival for markets like the US and Australia.
The only vehicle in the product portfolio that comes close is the Peugeot Landtrek, a rebadged Changan F70 sold in some markets in Latin America and Africa.
The Landtrek borrows a turbo-diesel engine from Isuzu and a turbo-petrol engine from Mitsubishi.