Midsize Ram Pickup Coming to the U.S., Replaces a Mitsubishi-based Model Overseas

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
midsize ram pickup coming to the u s replaces a mitsubishi based model overseas

Years of on-again, off-again rumors about the addition of a baby Ram truck to Fiat Chrysler’s product line has led us to this day. While the automaker’s Capital Markets Day presentation in Italy focused primarily on Jeep and the two Italian luxury divisions — three of the four global brands highlighted in its five-year plan — Ram sees new product, too, including a midsize truck.

CEO Sergio Marchionne wants its core brands spread as far and wide as possible, and that means occupying new segments. For Ram, this means the large off-road truck niche and the growing midsize market. “We’re working on it,” is what Marchionne said two years ago after being asked about a midsize Ram.

FCA had kiboshed the idea in 2015, claiming that developing a new midsize would prove too costly. And yet here we are.

In this morning’s presentation, the only mention of the truck was its inclusion in a product chart. It’s listed as “new mid-size/metric ton,” and FCA says it will appear before the plan’s five-year window ends in 2022.

Ram brand boss Mike Manley wasn’t forthcoming with a predicted launch date during the presentation, nor would he say whether the model would resurrect the Dakota name. (The automaker’s last domestic midsize truck disappeared from the market after 2011.) Initially, what with so much talk of global markets and so little mention of the new model, there was some confusion as to whether the U.S. would see the truck at all.

When contacted by TTAC, David Elshoff, head of Ram brand communications, confirmed that Marchionne intends to bring the midsize truck to America. According to Elshoff, Ram brand boss Mike Manley claims the new model will replace the body-on-frame Fiat Fullback in overseas markets. The Fullback, based on the Mitsubishi Triton/L200, apparently produced “inconsequential” sales.

The replacement of the Fullback by the unnamed Ram (it’ll carry a different badge in other markets) jibes with what Stephanie Brinley of IHS Automotive reported via Twitter. The new truck “is expected to be more important for global sales than for US sales,” she said.

Certainly, the North American and overseas markets are polar opposites when it comes to truck size preference (and availability). Given the upcoming addition of the Ford Ranger in the domestic market and the continued success of the Toyota Tacoma and General Motors twins, a new Ram makes sense, but it only makes financial sense as a global product.

Paul Eisenstein of The Detroit Bureau tweeted that the model will appear “probably ’21-ish,” according to comments made by Marchionne.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 01, 2018

    One thing that would of forced FCA to move away from Mitsubishi. The sale of Mitsubishi to Nissan. Will Mitsubishi move to the D23 platform and drop the Triton in the near future? The current Navara is used by Reno, Nissan and Mercedes Benz.

    • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jun 03, 2018

      Mitsubishi is developing replacement truck for Triton that is lower cost and slightly smaller than Navara. Triton and Navara will be sold by either or both Mitsubishi and Nissan depending on market.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jun 03, 2018

    Not in agreement with a me too midsize for U.S.A. and Canada. A compact truck is needed. Why not import the STRADA? Compact light utility with lower price and downsized expectations of capability. Please don't import or base the new midsize on the Toro.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?