Jeep and Ram Chief Suggests Two Midsize Pickups in the Future
Manley Suggests Space in Segment for Both Brands to Get Trucks
Jeep and Ram could both get midsize pickups in the near future, if the brands’ head honcho is to be believed. Mike Manley recently suggested there’s space in the midsize-pickup segment for both brands, speaking to The Detroit News.
Citing significant growth in the last year, Manley stopped short of confirming a Ram-branded midsizer, but he suggested it could be a possibility. Jeep has already confirmed it will build a pickup, something fans of the brand have been clamoring for since the departure of the Cherokee XJ–based Comanche pickup in 1992.
With General Motors reentering the segment with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, there’s some clear revitalization in the marketplace. Additionally, Toyota recently redesigned the segment-leading Tacoma for the 2016 model year, inciting even more buyers to downsize from their larger pickups. With a clear need for Ram to downsize in order to succeed internationally, there’s a good chance a smaller pickup will appear next to the 1500, 2500, and 3500 currently on offer to American consumers.
One obstacle is a lack of a platform for a midsize pickup. Some of us on staff have surmised that Ram will adapt the Mitsubishi-developed Fiat Fullback for American consumption. That truck offers body-on-frame utility and compact size, but its styling would need to be extensively reworked to fit in with the brand’s American presence. The smaller, unibody Fiat Toro is another potential base for the new Ram pickup, although that vehicle would compete as a lifestyle vehicle rather than a truly rugged pickup. Then there’s the possibility that Ram will simply repurpose the Wrangler-based platform Jeep will use for its upcoming pickup. That option strikes us as most likely.
With nothing official, all of this could be mere vaporware, but Manley’s comments to The Detroit News make the Ram fans on staff hopeful the company will produce a more urban-friendly, fun-to-drive compact or midsize pickup.
Source: The Detroit News