FCA filed for the trademark late last month.
Rumors of a midsized Ram pickup truck have been ricocheting around the internet for years. It’s been nine years since Dodge Dakota production ended, which occurred alongside the demise of the Ford Ranger, as compact trucks saw declining sales accelerate after the recession. But in the ensuing years, trucks have grown in both physical size and popularity, allowing for the midsize truck to find a foothold. The Ford Ranger is back, and Jeep now offers the Gladiator, too. Ram needs a Dakota, and the company could be one step closer to that reality thanks to a recent trademark filing.
Motor Trend discovered that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a trademark application for “Dakota” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 29, 2020. FCA hasn’t been awarded the trademark just yet – it’s still awaiting examination from the office. Also, automakers often file trademark apps for names that’ll never see the light of day, though that seems unlikely with this one.
Ram dealers have wanted a midsize offering, too. Phil Bivens, chairman of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles National Dealer Council, said earlier this year that he’d like to see a small truck offering. However, he said he didn’t see anything in FCA’s portfolio that hinted at such a model coming. That’s at odds with FCA’s roadmap, which suggests a small pickup might be on its way before 2022.
Earlier this month, Fiat introduced the 2021 Strada for South America, too, which would make a great candidate for a midsize Ram Dakota. There are rumors the Strada might arrive in Mexico as the Ram 700, which is quite close to the U.S. However, if the Strada does become the Dakota, it’d need a significant powertrain upgrade as U.S. consumers won’t settle for the 1.3-liter engine that makes just 109 horsepower (81 kilowatts).
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For now, just as FCA waits for approval, we’ll wait, too. If the Ram Dakota materializes, it’ll need to stand out from in a crowded field. Competitors will include GM’s midsize twins – the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon – the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and others. It’d be nice to see a Ram Dakota in the fray, too.
See the 2022 Ram Dakota and all of the other upcoming new cars in our list of future cars and trucks.