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Ram Boss Says Room for Two in Midsize Truck Line-Up

Jeep Wrangler-based option already in the works.

by on Mar.31, 2016

Are Fiat Chrysler officials considering adding a second midsize pickup to its line-up for the Ram brand?

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.

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“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. (more…)

Are Makers Reconsidering Small Pickup Market?

Maybe yes…maybe no.

by on Jul.12, 2012

Not for us - Ford has no plans to bring the all-new version of the Ranger compact pickup to the U.S.

This story has been updated to reflect GM’s plans to launch a next-generation version of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup.

They were once the vehicle of choice for Baby Boomers on a budget and others who wanted a simple, affordable and highly functional set of wheels.  But time hasn’t been kind to the compact pickup which has all but vanished from American showrooms.

Could those small trucks now be ripe for a comeback, however? A Chrysler official is indicating that maker might be thinking twice about its options while the Korean makers apparently continue to look for an opportunity in the segment. On the other hand, General Motors has decided to scrap its two current compact offerings, while Indian maker Mahindra & Mahindra has abandoned plans to enter the U.S. with a long-delayed compact pickup.

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“Historically, if you go back to the ’80s, the compact or midsize pickup segment was bigger than the full-size segment,” Chrysler’s Vice President of Product Planning Joe Veltri tells the Detroit Free Press, adding that, “Based on our data, young males still aspire to own a pickup.”


First Look: 2012 Chevrolet Colorado

Thai debut spices up introduction of new compact pickup.

by on Oct.05, 2011

The all-new Chevrolet Colorado makes its debut in Thailand before an upcoming U.S. launch.

When General Motors launches an all-new version of the Chevrolet Colorado in the months ahead it will be bucking conventional wisdom that says small pickups have fallen out of favor with American buyers.

That helps explain why GM took the wraps off the Chevy Colorado in Thailand, a market where demand is still straining manufacturers’ production capacity.  A prototype of the small truck was first unveiled at the Bangkok Motor Show last March.

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“This is a vehicle built tough for the people of Thailand, by the people of Thailand,” proclaimed GM Thailand President Martin Apfel, noting that the Asian nation will be just the first market for what he described as “GM’s most significant play in the midsize pickup truck market ever.”

Those in the States who have been eyeing the Colorado don’t need to worry.  It will make its way here in a hurry, with a preview scheduled for next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.


GM Not Ready to Give Up on Small Pickups in U.S.

by on Mar.08, 2011

Chevrolet is teasing its new Colorado pickup truck show vehicle that it plans to show at the Bangkok International Motor Show later this month.

Ford may have given up on small and mid-size trucks for the U.S. market, but GM isn’t ready throw in the towel yet.

During its 2008 restructuring, GM said it would kill its mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, but it would appear the automaker has had a change of heart.

GM gave a sneak peek of the Colorado it will introduce at the Bangkok International Motor Show, which begins March 25.

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“Trucks play a key role in most Southeast Asian markets,” said Susan Docherty, vice president of GMIO Sales, Marketing and Aftersales. “Nowhere is this more evident than in Thailand, where trucks like the Colorado are ingrained in the local lifestyle.”

GM plans to stop building the current Colorado, as well its twin, the GMC Canyon, in 2012. The Shreveport, La., plant where the trucks are built is slated to close. But reported last month that development on the next-generation 2014 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon for the U.S. and Canada is under way, based on GM’s all-new GMI 700 body-on-frame global small truck platform that will be built in Thailand starting late this year.

Speculation is that GM will move production to the under-utilized Wentzville, Mo., where it builds full-size vans.


Are New Names Coming For Ram Truck Line-up?

Bye-bye Dakota?

by on Nov.10, 2010

Would the new Dodge Dakota do better under a new name? Big changes apparently are coming.

To accommodate plans for a Dodge Dakota replacement under the new Ram truck brand, Chrysler is said to be considering a name change for its pickups, two sources have told our columnist, Mike Levine, who also serves as editor of

The current Ram truck line is split into the 1500 half-ton and 2500/3500 heavy-duty series. That naming scheme has been used since 1994, when the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 was introduced with revolutionary styling that helped Dodge triple its share of the light-truck segment by 1998.

Chrysler dropped the Dodge name from its pickups last year in an effort to develop a stronger brand identity from its long-overshadowed line of Dodge cars.

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(The decision to create an all-new Ram brand came, however, as a notable shift in direction in an industry that has, if anything, been trimming its brand count.  General Motors, for one, sold or closed four marques following its bankruptcy, while Ford sold off all its foreign brands and announced plans to close laggard Mercury.)

In trying to figure out a new name for the Dakota successor under Ram trucks, Ram execs are said to have thought about two names: Ram 1000 and Ram 100. We’re told they’re leaning toward Ram 100 because it sounds better, but in doing so, Ram would also change all of the truck names to follow a similar naming convention. Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 would be replaced by Ram 150, 250 and 350.