Fiat Chrysler wouldn’t be the first automaker ever to change course.
After months of denying it has any interest in returning to the midsize truck segment that is expanding like wildfire an FCA official hinted at the possibility of not one offering but two.
“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.”
(FCA readying operations for new Jeep pickup. For more, Click Here.)
The acknowledgment marks a departure from the automaker’s standard response since the debut and subsequent popularity of General Motors two midsize offerings: Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Japanese makers, like Nissan and Toyota, have dominated the segment since Chevy and Dodge, now Ram, abandoned it some years ago.
Manley consented the most likely candidate for a midsize Ram would be for the company to use an existing Fiat platform, such as the Fiat Toro pickup, according to the News. One complicating factor is that its smaller than much of the existing competition. In fact, its 20 inches shorter than GM’s midsize siblings.
Another issue with the Toro is that it’s currently produced in Brazil so the automaker would need find a location to produce the Ram version, otherwise it would be saddled with the Chicken Tax.
(Click Here to find out more about the new Ford Ranger.)
The Wrangler pickup, which is still unnamed, is expected to be produced at the company’s massive Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio. However, the complex is completely maxed out for production space and there are no other simple options available.
Ford also proclaimed it would not return to the midsize market, afraid it would cannibalize F-150 sales; however, the automaker is expected to return to the segment with the Ford Ranger, which is sells in markets around the world, except the U.S. in 2017 or 2018.
The segment continues to grow beyond the usual suspects. In fact, Mercedes-Benz appears ready to get into the market with a luxury offering that shares a platform with a Nissan midsize truck to succeed the Frontier that will be produced in Mexico.
(To get more information about Jeep’s pickup plans, Click Here.)
Honda rolled out its new Ridgeline offering and even Volkswagen has tinkered with the idea of a truck to round out its line-up in the U.S.