Ram’s new mid-size pickup will be built alongside the upcoming Jeep Scrambler in the same Ohio factory.
In case you haven’t heard, Ram is making a new midsize pickup truck to compete with the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger. And according to a new report from Automotive News, it’ll be built in the same plant that will make the new Jeep Wrangler pickup truck using a similar body-on-frame construction method.
We know that Fiat Chrysler has been retooling their plant in Toledo, Ohio to produce the new Scrambler pickup truck, setting aside a whole section of the plant just for the new design. Now we hear that the same area will be used to create the Ram mid-size pickup truck as it will have the same kind of construction methods used between the two trucks.
Body-on-frame designs are typically tougher, workhorse trucks designed to take a beating. Since the body is separate from the chassis, it's easier to remove panels and repair portions of the truck. Unibody frames combine the body and frame into a single design, which has the advantage of being easier to design crumple zones and generally make safer at the expense of maintenance.
The new mid-size is expected to arrive as a 2020 or 2021 model after the Scrambler has already hit the roads.
This will be the first new Ram mid-size pickup since the Dakota, back when Ram was still a part of the Dodge brand. Made from 1986 to 2011, the Dakota was a top-seller for the brand until 2007 when sales began to sharply fall off. Late Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne finally pulled the plug when sales dipped below 15,000 annually.
The Ford Ranger met a similar fate but managed to continue on internationally.
However, now both the Ranger and a Ram mid-size is coming back to the United States. We’re not sure what changed in the American palette to appeal to smaller trucks again. Perhaps its the fuel savings, perhaps it's the cheaper sticker price, or perhaps people think they can get away with driving them in the city thanks to their smaller footprint.
Whatever the reason, we’re glad small trucks are coming back in a big way. The only question is, will it still be called Dakota, or will it be something else?