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Should Ram Enter The Small Compact Truck Market Again?

Should Ram Enter The Small Compact Truck Market Again?​

North Americans Want Small Trucks Again...​


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Today, Ford Motor Company rolled out their all-new Maverick compact pickup. In what appears to be an appealing package, the Maverick is the answer for those who are looking for a more affordable option without sacrificing capability and good fuel economy that can fit in most garages. North Americans from the United States and Canada, have been asking for a true compact for years and it appears Ford has delivered.

 

attyjpf

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They should bring a small pickup on the compass platform but not a Toro unless restyled for N.A. The current exterior is not what we want. The front is ok but the back is hideous. Lower the bed height and change the doors to match the lines. If they bring the Toro unchanged it will fail. Ford really did their homework here and everyone else already has catching up to do. They even offer the 2.0 turbo, something FCA refused to give us in anything smaller than Cherokee.
I actually really like the styling of the Toro/Strada/Ram 700/1000. I prefer it to the Maverick. Santa Cruz is similar to the Fiat/Ram and I like it as well.
 

attyjpf

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Why haven't they already?

The need for these small trucks has never gone away. I can't tell you how many old Mazda and Toyota pickups I see still used by landscaping guys and pool cleaners. They don't need a $45,000 Tacoma or $60,000 RAM 1500. They need a bare-bones <$20,000 truck. Which is something that the market has completely abandoned in favor of big 4-door monstrosities with massive feature-creep driving up the prices so that they're simply out of range of those who actually need them.

I was just saying to a friend the other day that if RAM brought the 700 or 1000 to the US they'd SMASH IT because that market is absolutely non-existent here. Well, looks like Ford beat them to it, so instead of having a head start they'll be playing catch-up, but at least they have a platform to do it with.

GM is just brain-dead on the market trends and I don't see them doing anything except turning the Camaro into another crossover and consigning that name to yet another mediocre mid-size or compact crossover too, just like they did with the Blazer and Trailblazer. Despite the later still being sold as a body-on-frame truck in other markets... The only remarkable thing GM's done in like a decade is the C8, and they've botched that at every possible turn. And this coming from a guy with 2 Chevies in his driveway..

If RAM does the sensible thing and brings the RAM 700 and/or 1000 stateside and offers it as a barebones-base 2-door for under $20,000, they'll have a hit. Because no Maverick is going to see the wild in that $20,000 trim unless someone orders it or Ford offers a fleet version. Power-wise, ram the turbo-4 from the Wrangler in it and you'll have a virtually identical platform to the Maverick's optional turbo-4. I don't know about the hybrid - how many Mavs will actually be built at that ultra-base 2wd-only trim with the hybrid? I think Ford's biggest mistake is only offering the base hybrid with 2wd, but we'll see.

This could get interesting. I hope it does. This is a market that has long been overlooked here in the states.
I totally agree with you. I have a 2005 Baja and LOVE it. I am convinced that it was 15 years ahead of its time. LOVE the styling on the RAM/FIAT and would buy one in a second, if they were available here. Wrangler is okay, but styling is too plain for me. Santa Cruz is better. But I would prefer a smaller truck with a manual transmission.
 

Rustydodge

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Keep ignoring the fact that the enormous majority of their sales were below $34,000. What market is buying those trucks? And does that market require a 4-door truck? If they do why are they driving 30 year-old 2-door Mazdas and Toyotas today? Could it be because there's absolutely nothing comparable on the market? And a RAM 1500, even a 2-door, isn't comparable to a 1993 Tacoma..

Like I said, the only thing that's useful in that presentation is the fact that the enormous majority of RAM buyers want low-priced trucks. They can't sell what they don't offer, and they don't offer a small 2-door truck, therefore that presentation cannot tell you that a small 2-door truck wouldn't sell because it's not represented in the data..

There's a big difference between "Nobody wants a 2-door truck" and "Nobody wants an expensive full-size 2-door truck" and all you've shown is that the later is true. Even then I'd argue that it's not because, once again, the business I work for has an entire fleet of 2-door F-150s...

You're slightly misinterpreting the data:

Majority of sales are NOT below 34k. For the LD segment in 2018, majority of sales are crew cabs in the 39-45k$ region. Which makes sense, that's SLT/Bighorn or base Laramie likely. As a company, you want to be most successful in the largest market segments. If you play with the data, it appears about 64% of Rams sales were over 34K.

The Share% indicates how well Ram is vs competition. The chart clearly indicates Ram was getting killed in the over 40k segment and not really that great in 34-39k. Easy to see why they began focus on the interiors. Ram was pretty successful in sub 34k, but I don't think that equates to Ram buyers only wanting low price trucks - just that relative to the competition, Ram had a good lower price truck offering/value.

Keeping classic around after 2019 and with the 5th gens I'd expect an updated chart would show improvements in share across the segment, with highest share growth in >45k. That's not a bad thing for the brand. 2018 is a long way back.

5th gen Ram DT will likely fill out the offering at the mid-cycle refresh which will align with a sad end to the classic DS.

I think Ford took the Maverick segment (if you want to call that a compact...) much more seriously than the "mid-sized" segment Ranger. And I think that is what Ram should do as well. Let the Gladiator fill the "midsized" area - it is selling pretty successfully and was at the highest ATP in the segment, and bring in something more along the lines of the Maverick/Santa Cruz. But the Maverick is going to be at $30k all day every day in the lots and how it is most commonly configured, by the time AWD and XLT/Lariat is configured, which is likely the content that most consumers will want.
 
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patfromigh

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Ram is working on an electrified ProMaster right now.
That is welcome news. I wonder if the battery electric ProMaster will be manufactured like the BE Ducato as a glider which is then finished elsewhere. At first I thought Stellantis was being cheap by doing this, but as I learned more this makes a lot of sense. The percentage of vans involved isn't that large and this allows for greater flexibility in power train offerings. Fuel cell electric can be added to the lineup as well. This is what is happening in Europe already with the Peugeot and Citroen vans. I would love to see what Proterra could do with a glider if a Ram version was offered for the aftermarket.

About the video, Ram ProMaster chassis-cab configurations are cataloged and available. Gas fueled versions are already built, but the bed will be an aftermarket unit. I'm saying this for clarification. The video points to the future in two ways, one is electrification, and the second is the regular cab truck will probably be a product of customization. As the percentage of single cab trucks sold continues to shrink, manufactures will pull back offering them and the aftermarket will step in to fill the void.

Now I only wish there was a ProMaster City chassis-cab offered in North America as is done in Europe.
 

Mopar392

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It's a rumor for now, but Chevy could be working on a Trailblazer pickup.

Jeep already toyed with the idea.
 

redriderbob

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup is an IIHS Top Safety Pick​

Poor headlights on low trims hold it back from "+" rating​





If that truck can do it, I see why not bring the Toro here.
 

patfromigh

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Ram is going to have a midsize pickup. Whether it's also offered in the US is another question. The Stellantis landscape will be very different in 2024. I remember the 1990s when the K-car based vehicles were rapidly replaced by cab forward designs. I also remember when the K-car based designs ended the rear drive era at Ma Mopar.
 

vbondjr1

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There are several things I would like to see the Dodge & Ram brand do. I absolutely feel the Dakota should return to the stable as well as a unibody pickup truck as well. With the new GME-T6 engine fast approaching I think a mid-size Dakota would be an amazing truck, especially if it was built on a dynamic chassis that could support the next gen Durango as well, to keep it a mid-sized Explorer fighter. This would give the Dodge Muscle car stable four muscle vehicles that can be all-conquering in every category. As far as a compact truck, bring back the Dodge Rampage. I really would love to see this little truck on the same platform as the Challenger/Charger and not some front-wheel drive platform. Give it the same 2.0L 4xe powertrain as the jeeps and keep it Dodge/Ram comfortable and aggressive and price it on the same level as Ford's Maverick and have the hottest compact truck and midsize truck in the market. I also feel that Dodge should bring back the Ramcharger if they want something to go toe-to-toe with the Tahoe & Expedition class vehicles.
 

JeepBen

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There are several things I would like to see the Dodge & Ram brand do. I absolutely feel the Dakota should return to the stable as well as a unibody pickup truck as well. With the new GME-T6 engine fast approaching I think a mid-size Dakota would be an amazing truck, especially if it was built on a dynamic chassis that could support the next gen Durango as well, to keep it a mid-sized Explorer fighter. This would give the Dodge Muscle car stable four muscle vehicles that can be all-conquering in every category. As far as a compact truck, bring back the Dodge Rampage. I really would love to see this little truck on the same platform as the Challenger/Charger and not some front-wheel drive platform. Give it the same 2.0L 4xe powertrain as the jeeps and keep it Dodge/Ram comfortable and aggressive and price it on the same level as Ford's Maverick and have the hottest compact truck and midsize truck in the market. I also feel that Dodge should bring back the Ramcharger if they want something to go toe-to-toe with the Tahoe & Expedition class vehicles.

The one thing I dislike about the Ford Maverick is that it is front wheel drive based. The size is perfect for my needs but I prefer the driving dynamics of rear wheel drive over front wheel drive. Due to available space in my garage the length of all of the mid size pickups are just a few inches too long. The 200 inch long Maverick will fit. A 210-212 inch mid size is a very tight squeeze.
 

patfromigh

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The big reason the price on the Ford Maverick is low is because it is based on the Escape/Bronco Sport platform. The Maverick shares powertrains and parts with those corporate cousins. The Fiat Toro/Ram 1000 does this as well, sharing much with its SUSW platform mates. The only problem is the Ram 1000 isn't built anywhere near here, and where it is built has reached capacity.

This generation of the Doblo/Ram ProMaster City is in its final run. It would be nice if Ram offered a chassis-cab version of the Doblo/PMC here for the next generation, like they do elsewhere. There is a desperate need for up to date powertrain options under the hood of the Ram PMC as well. Hopefully this will be addressed as well in the next generation. The reason why I bring up the Ram PMC is because it shares much with the Toro. If the Ram 1000 is sold here it will need to have a state of the art powertrain. A ProMaster City chassis-cab will compliment a Toro based product to cover the fleet and commercial buyer market.

A mid-sized Ram pickup based off the Jeep Gladiator would be nice, but it won't be cheap. The 4Xe Wranglers are 50 Grand which is nearly twice the price of a base Ford Maverick. There is no way Stellantis is going to limit the supply of profitable Gladiators to sell cut rate Ram pickups.
 

iDrive

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FCA/Stella should bring Toro all over the world, even in Europe to, with FIAT Pro badge and of course in US with RAM badge. Maybe in the « Promaster » Line-up like other FIAT rebadges.

A Ram Promaster line-up with:
Promaster,
Promaster City,
Promaster Truck

It doesn’t sound bad.

RAM also could offer a midsize P-U « Dakota », maybe getting synergies from Gladiator.
 
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iDrive

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They even offer the 2.0 turbo, something FCA refused to give us in anything smaller than Cherokee.
I think we will see the 2.0 GME soon in the Compass, with the arrival of the 2.0 in US, under the Tonale and Hornet.

A Toro US version would (should) likely use this engine to.
 

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