The execs at Ram are changing their tune about the possibility of a midsize truck in the US. Nothing is certain yet, but the chances now look a little more favorable.
“I think there’s opportunity there in the US if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here – significant growth last year,” Jeep and Ram boss Mike Manley told the Detroit News. “I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there.”
The other product that Manley alludes to is the forthcoming Jeep Wrangler-based pickup that’s due in 2017. However, there might not be much customer overlap between the Jeep and those looking for a more traditional Ram-branded model.
Manley admitted the most likely candidate for a midsize Ram would be for the company to use an existing Fiat platform, according to the News. One possibility could be rebranding the Fiat Toro pickup, but it’s rather small at 20-inches shorter than a Chevrolet Colorado.
This greater openness to a midsize Ram is a complete change from the company’s position in the past, though. Last spring, the brand’s CEO for North America said he couldn’t find a strategy to make the model work. FCA boss Sergio Marchionne made the same point in 2014, when he admitted the company showed a Ram 1000 at design clinics, but the response was “lukewarm.”
Over the past couple years, the midsize truck market has a renaissance of fresh products. The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are successes both critically and commercially. The latest Tacoma is on sale, and the new Honda Ridgeline is imminent. We know Nissan has a Frontier successor under development, and there are always rumors of Ford reviving the Ranger in the US. With so much development in the segment, it’s easy to see why Ram would want to be at the party.