By on September 17, 2018

Image: RL GNZLZ/Flickr

If true, it’s news that should bring a smile to a certain American president’s face. Fiat Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex, home to the current Jeep Wrangler JL and its upcoming long-wheelbase pickup variant, will become the assembly site of a new, midsize Ram pickup, a report claims.

The new Ram model, which apparently eschews unibody construction in favor of rugged (and traditional) body-on-frame architecture, doesn’t have a name, but at least it now has a tentative home.

Automotive News claims supplier sources point to Toledo as the birthplace of the new Ram, which some Ram diehards feel simply must carry the Dakota name. After retooling the Toledo North plant for production of the current-generation Wrangler JL, FCA pulled the plug on production of the older Wrangler KJ in April of this year. The retooling of the Toledo South plant for JL pickup production is nearly complete.

However, as Automotive News points out, the expected volume of Wrangler pickups is nowhere near the output of Wrangler JKs, leaving plenty of unused capacity. Given the product shuffling seen over the past couple of years, FCA’s potential choices for a production site are extremely limited. Toledo has the space, and the ability to handle body-on-frame products. A shoe-in, it seems.

CEO Mike Manley, then head of FCA’s Jeep and Ram brands, didn’t give many details on the new model after its announcement in the automaker’s five-year product plan in June. The vehicle will be mid-sized, he said, and will appear before 2022. Supplier sources claim the model’s on track for a 2020 launch as a 2021 model year vehicle.

At the time of the plan’s unveiling, David Elshoff, head of Ram brand communications, confirmed to TTAC that FCA intends to bring the midsize truck to America. The new model will replace the body-on-frame Fiat Fullback in overseas markets, he said, adding that the Mitsubishi Triton/L200-based pickup apparently produced “inconsequential” sales.

While it may not have been the automaker’s chief motivation for the new baby Ram, Ford’s looming entry into the North American midsize pickup market would have left FCA as the only “trucky” OEM without a product in the segment.

[Image: RL GNZLZ/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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20 Comments on “A New, Smaller Ram Pickup Will Emerge From Ohio’s Jeep Wrangler Plant: Report...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    V8?

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The big question, will the Hellcat fit?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Sure it will.
      And an optional 200 gallon plastic tank that fits in the bed so you can add enough water ballast to keep the rear axle somewhat in contact with the pavement.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    And of course… Four years too late… six years if you consider how long I’ve been waiting for a better selection and 8 years if you consider I’ve been wanting something notably smaller than “Mid-sized.”

  • avatar
    don1967

    A pickup truck which “eschews unibody construction”? Really?

    That’s almost as innovative as the dagger-free steering wheel.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So if it’s built alongside the Wrangler that means definite solid front axle? Add in that Americans expect a V8 from a new Dakota and we have a real winner.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I’m actually excited for once, both GM and Ford brought over some lame tall and narrow trucks that look like eye sores. FCA doesn’t have anything to bring over (let’s ignore the fiat truck) if this is a real, all American designed midsize truck then I’m going to jump for joy. The Wrangler pickup is 3/4 of the way to having me open my wallet, I just need that V8 to get me the last 1/4. But a Dodge pickup with two log axles and a V8 would definitely do it.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    FCA could really bring something interesting to the midsize segment. The new 1500 has a good deal of innovation and engineering work that the other 4 won’t match.

    Plenty of buyers pay 7/8ths price for a smaller truck already, and what they can get in 2018 is not near as good as 7/8ths of a full-size. A new clean-sheet midsize from FCA is a great way to set the segment back on track.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      Odds it’s any good: 70%
      Odds of V8: Fifty-Fifty
      Odds of solid front axle: 20%
      Odds of hood scoop: 95%
      Odds of reviews including the phrase “big-rig styling”: 85%
      Odds of diesel: Fifty-Fifty
      Odds of fire-related recall: 100%

  • avatar

    As a former Dakota (v8) owner I’m excited. But with 3 kids I’m a believer in full size for now but I really do like midsizers and more options is always welcome.
    I doubt we will see v8 power thou. Pentastar is a good power plant and the rumors are that inline 6 maybe in the works for the future.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    As a current owner of a V8 Dakota, this is good news. I believe they will probably use the new Turbo 2.0 or the Pentastar V6 as the powertrains. It would be nice to have a 6spd manual in there as a transmission choice in addition to the 8 spd auto, especially since they could use the Wrangler unit.
    Better late than never….

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Another V8 Dakota owner here waiting for the come back. This time I want a small diesel. What I don’t want it anything bigger then my current ’02 Quad Cab… its perfectly sized in pretty much every dimension.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    It’s about time. This sounds great, and no, it doesn’t need a V8 and it doesn’t need a Hemi.

    I suppose that the sad and underwhelming Tigershark 2.4 will be the base engine. On the other hand, the 3.6 Liter Pentastar V6 and the 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel V6 would be great as optional engines.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The original Dakota didn’t “need” any V8s either but it still offered them.

      A 5.7L Dakota would give the truck a unique selling point in its class and the “Hemi” branding under the FCA umbrella is nearly as strong as the “Ecoboost” branding for Ford.

      I’m sure they can also offer the Pentastar or Ecodiesel for people into that sort of thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Aside from the Shelby model, the *original* original Dakota offered no V8s until the 1991 facelift extended the hood. In 1987, its shtick was not “small pickup with a V8,” but rather “small pickup with a 4 x 8′ bed.” In terms of both displacement and power, its engines were roughly on par with those of the Ranger and S-10 before the V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I don’t know why everyone is so down on the Tigershark; it’s really a good engine, when tied to the 9-speed automatic. I have no complaints about it whatever, though I admit I very probably drive it differently from most of you. Highway mileage, city mileage, I have never experienced the issues so many reviewers complain about.

      Of course, I’m also willing to tip the shifter into ‘manual’ mode, too.

  • avatar
    here4aSammich

    “FCA pulled the plug on production of the older Wrangler KJ in April of this year. The retooling of the Toledo South plant for JL pickup production is nearly complete.”

    Apparently there are no adults fact checking the interns…

    The old Wrangler was the JK, not the KJ.

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