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 PickupTrucks.com.
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.