Good News or Bad News for a New Jeep Truck


Staff member
It's hard for me to think that Chrysler would make a Jeep Truck without it having some kind of a shared platform. They do this all the time with vehicles such as the old Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro or even the newer Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. For me, I'd have to think that a new Jeep Truck would have to be made hand in hand with something like an all new Dodge Dakota and with that said, there had been rumors of one that was in development for 2016. Unfortunately, Reid Bigland, chief at Dodge has stated in a recent interview that the 2016 Dakota has been cancelled and for similar reasons that Ford had for cancelling their Ranger here in America. The fear of course is that it might compete with their light duty RAM 1500. Now, assuming that a new Jeep truck would have shared a platform with a Dakota, I don't know if this good news or bad news for one still being developed. Certainly, a compact Jeep truck would give Chrysler more options in the marketplace and without "confusing" their RAM customer base. The only question is, would it be economically viable for them to do it as a stand alone model.

Anyway, enough of my speculating, here's the article that got my gears going.

Dakota Dropped Again

During an interview last week, Dodge chief Reid Bigland said that the Dodge Dakota replacement slated for 2016 had been cancelled again. Rumored since we first broke the news in 2007, this lighter-duty small pickup, fitting somewhere between Fiat Strada and Ram 1500, was to see duty around the world as a European-standard metric-ton pickup, filling a hole in both Ram and Fiat product plans. The two companies’ long-term plans both have a position for a new, Chrysler-initiated truck.

At one point, the Windsor Star reported that the truck was to be made at the Windsor, Ontario minivan plant, based on the new minivan chassis.

When we asked then-chief of Ram Truck about the “lifestyle Dakota,” he said that research had pointed to a vehicle that was:

… capable, but not as capable as a full size Ram. People want to be able to take cargo, with a reasonable payload, and people, with high mpg, reasonably priced. The Dakota is so capable, pricing bumps against the light duty [Ram 1500]. We don’t want confusion.​

We asked about whether Ram was looking at a compact pickup, the size of the current Ranger. Mr. Diaz said, “We are only looking at a Dakota replacement.” The same people tend to cross shop both compact and midsized trucks, including Ranger, Tacoma, Ridgeline, and Dakota. (Full interview)

It is possible that Mr. Bigland did not mean to imply that there was no upcoming compact Ram, but that a technical replacement for Dakota — a mid-sized Ram — is not on the schedule, but a compact truck not named Dakota — could still be there.

In related notes, a next-generation Fiat Strada light pickup is being tested. Strada would be a lighter-duty vehicle than the metric-ton pickup that has been rumored for the last few years.


Caught the Bug
"Holy cow! If the alleged new Jeep pickup looks like the photo in the article, I gotta take a good look at it. The retro look is cool. I know, among other reasons, when Chrysler purchased Jeep they dropped the pickup to keep it out of competition with Dodge. This new concept seems like it will appeal more to Jeep enthusiasts rather than the general pickup buyer. Home run??"

That was my comment from January on the new Jeep Truck. Ram Truck sales have been on a tear lately and I'm thinkin' Chrysler may be getting nervous about upsetting the momentum. Totally not liking the "lifestyle" truck. Looks too much like a Ridgeline to me. I like the Ridgeline, but not as a trail vehicle.:twocents:


Caught the Bug
Well for one I doubt the Dakota would look like this if they were a shared platform because you know Jeep wouldn't even think about making a JK8 (or whatever they'd call it) with a lack of suspension and front solid axle. The only way this would work for both models is if they made the truck GC looking and you know that wouldn't ever happen cause they'd get raped by the die hard customers (aka most of us). If anything, having the Wrangler truck on a shared platform with the Dakota would be a huge plus for the Dakota because it'd have great suspension components and ride height with the realistic possibility of solid axles on 4x4 models. Just my $0.02...I don't know how they're going to do it but somehow Jeep is gonna end up having a JK8 type model for sale on the market, probably by making small numbers of them at a time via the Wrangler factory. Who knows.
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