Fiat Chrysler’s planned return to the midsize truck segment may have ended. A new report suggests FCA’s successor has scrapped plans to revive the Dakota nameplate on a midsize Ram pickup truck.
Rumors of the Dakota’s return have swirled the industry for several years. As soon as General Motors and Ford both reentered the segment a few years ago it was seen as a given Ram would follow suit. In recent years rumors have gotten more detailed that the Ram Dakota would be based on the Jeep Gladiator. Dakota was to leverage the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 for power. A powertrain option that would have made it a formidable competitor with Colorado, Ranger and Tacoma.
Citing unnamed sources, GM Authority is reporting Stellantis has killed the Dakota program. The reasoning behind the move is unknown, but it could be in part because of the Gladiator. Gladiator sales have been in line with the rest of the midsize truck segment, suggesting another model could just cannibalize Gladiator. There’s also the fact that Stellantis has some massive investments into electrification to make, so axing some programs may be inevitable.
Nonetheless, this news is likely a disappointment to Ram enthusiasts. As half-ton pickups have gotten larger and more expensive, it has opened up more folks to the midsize truck segment. Apparently Ram will continue to make due without a smaller entrant.