Don’t Expect a Mid-Size Ram Pickup Any Time Soon
The Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon have seen tremendous success since their reintroduction to the market last year. And the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma—well, they exist at least. The American truck market is full of mid-size pickup trucks, but why don’t we already have a mid-size Ram pickup? Ram is exclusively a truck (and van) brand, after all.
Bob Hegbloom, who heads up Ram here in North America, says there isn’t even a mid-size truck in the works, and it’s going to stay that way. Why? Here’s the short version: because making a mid-size Ram pickup even more fuel-efficient than current Ram full-size trucks would be way too expensive.
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According to Hegbloom, truck drivers consider mid-size pickups knowing that they are less capable because they are more interested in something smaller, less expensive, and with “incredible fuel economy.” He told Automotive News, “When you look at those four factors, that’s truly what a mid-size pickup customer is looking for. I’ve been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four—and even with what’s out there on the market today, I haven’t seen anyone who can deliver on all four.”
Hegbloom, of course, was referring to those trucks mentioned above. The Colorado and Canyon, for example, deliver 27 mpg on the highway, which seems decent, but as far as Hegbloom is concerned, that’s not good enough to convince someone to downsize from a full-size pickup. After all, the full-size Ram 1500 with a diesel engine already gets 29 mpg (yes, more than GM’s mid-size offerings). That means “incredible fuel economy” for a mid-size pickup, at least as far as Hegbloom is concerned, would have to be around 35 mpg to truly deliver on a customer’s desires, and there’s no way that could be done and still delivered at a price point that drivers in the mid-size truck segment are interested in paying.
Hegbloom believes that a diesel engine could get a mid-size truck up to the 35 mpg marker, but even then, the costs of fueling said truck would put it in line with the cost of a full-size pickup powered by traditional gas.
So no, we won’t be getting a mid-size Ram pickup anytime soon. Things could change down the line, however, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed and ears to the ground.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)