QOTD: A Truck by Any Other Name?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd a truck by any other name

We’re playing a name game today, and as luck would have it, there’s no wrong answer to this question. As we’ve told you before, Ram has a midsize model on the way, ready to (eventually) do battle with Chevrolet’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma and Ford’s long-awaited-but-not-really-new Ranger. Yes, there’s other midsizers to contend with, too.

Plenty of mystery still surrounding this vehicle, but it’ll apparently appear in roughly two years’ time, suppliers say, and it’ll sport a frame, not a platform. What it doesn’t have right now is a name, or at least one that Fiat Chrysler’s willing to reveal. That’s where you come in.

Just a word of warning about one potential name, though…

If any of you wish to see a return of the truly awesome “Ramcharger” name, we regret to inform you that FCA US LLC just trademarked that moniker for use on an in-vehicle wireless phone charging device. It seems the automaker isn’t above using heritage model names on unlikely creations. Obviously, someone in Auburn Hills was hanging around with a bad influence from Ford.

Anyway, there’s a truck in need of a name here. Something rugged, something [s]Manley[/s] manly, and something not so Southwestern in origin that people think it’s a Hyundai, sight unseen. “Dakota” remains an obvious choice — it’s rooted in Chrysler Corp truck history, never mind that the truck behind the script was a Dodge. But maybe Ram’s progressed too far as a brand to have that happen.

Dakota reminds people not only of a non-Ram brand, but of a model that withered, dried up, and blew away in the immediate aftermath of the recession. And, as we saw during the recent 2019 Ram 1500/Martin Luther King, Jr. ad kerfuffle, too many people still assume Ram is a model produced by Dodge, not a standalone brand. Resurrecting the Dakota name could just add more confusion. The move away from the signature crosshair grille was Ram’s way of severing the visual ties to its Dodge past and striking out on its own.

No, Dakota seems wrong, despite name recognition making it seem so right. (If you’re curious, FCA renewed the Dakota trademark in 2009, and the earliest it can file for another renewal is November 7th of this year. The latest it can file is May 7th, 2020.)

Can’t say I find the removal of a zero from the Ram 1500’s name appropriate, either. Sure, the Ram 150 was a model designation once upon a time, but it resided on a full-size model. A Dodge model, to be sure. The full-sizer is now the 1500, and adding a 150 line, though numerically proper given the 1500’s larger size, would again create confusion — only this time among the Ram ranks.

What to do? For once, I’m at a loss for ideas. Can’t come up with a single name, though I’m sure if I looked at a map of the Great Plains long enough, I’d see a few knockouts.

So, it’s time to hand the levers of power and all the naming decisions that come with it to you, B&B. What should Ram call this truck?

[Image: ©2016 Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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2 of 69 comments
  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Sep 18, 2018

    I like Ram 1200, Ram Rebel, and Ram Fargo. Rebel would obviously need to be dropped as a package on the full-size trucks were it applied to the smaller truck. Ford has successfully transferred many names that were formerly trim packages into models, including Ranger, Villager, Explorer and Edge.

  • Taco Tuesday Taco Tuesday on Sep 19, 2018

    Ram Mule Ram Trail Chief I really like previous suggestion of Ram Fargo

  • Hugh I bought my 2014 Volt in 2017 with 29K miles on it- all ICE. The lease person never charged the battery. Lifetime MPG was 41. I have owned the car over 5 years now. Lifetime MPG is 151. All I have had to do to maintain it was tires, brakes and an oil change every two years (at 50% oil life). It has been incredibly dependable. It is small and cramped for passengers, but I love it. It did cost more than the Cruze it is based on, but a friend at GM said was sold for half of what it cost to make. GM pulling the plug on yet another EV is no surprise.Two months after I bought it my brother went into an ICU 200 miles away. I was able to spend every weekend with him. I could not have done that in a Leaf. I drive a 39 mile eaxh way commute. The Volt is perfect for that, except when temperatures drop below 45. Even then, when it has to run the ICE, I get 145mpg at least. I have saved enough money on gas to pay for the car and then some. CO2 is about 20% of what my Tacoma was based on the 12KW it takes to charge eaxh way. Now that it is an orphan, it is getting harder to find a qualified technician. Parts are also hard to find and expensive. I have bought (and may actually actually receive) a 2023 Maverick Hybrid. If Ford makes a Maverick PHEV I will trade for that.If I could find a Gen2 at a reasonable price I would have bought that instead of the Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts What a bizarre idea. Keep it legible. There's absolutely nothing wrong with A4E, Q5E, etc. At this point the Q5, Q7, and A4 in particular are such well-known brands that it's just dumb to monkey with them.
  • Ajla After the success this sort of thing brought Infiniti and Cadillac I can see why Audi is joining in.
  • SCE to AUX A plug-in hybrid requires two fuels to realize the benefit of having that design. This is where the Volt fell down.It could be either:[list][*]A very short-range EV[/*][*]A long-range ICE with mediocre fuel economy[/*][*]An excellent mid-range vehicle that required both a plug and gasoline.[/*][/list]If you wanted a short-range EV you got a Leaf (like I did). If you wanted a long-range car with good fuel economy, you got a Civic/Elantra/Cruze/Corolla. In my case, we also had an Optima Hybrid.I'd personally rather have a single-fuel vehicle - either gas/hybrid or electric - rather than combine the complexity and cost of both into one vehicle.
  • Bobbysirhan The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.