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Report: FCA Coming For GM With Large Body-on-Frame SUV, Midsize Pickup

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2011 Ram Dakota

Will the Dakota make a comeback to help FCA combat GM’s mid-size pickup resurgence?

General Motors has made it fairly clear that it wants to try and horn in on Jeep’s territory by offering an off-road-capable, Wrangler-inspired GMC SUV by 2020, so it only seems fair that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would have plans to cut into one of GM’s strongest segments.

According to USA Today, FCA is planning to build a large SUV on platform that underpins the Ram 1500 to compete against the Chevy Tahoe, and it may very well wind up producing its own midsize pickup to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado.

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“You have the opportunity with a new frame for the next-generation Ram,” Mike Manley, Head of the Ram and Jeep brands, told USA Today. “You have the opportunity to take a large SUV off of it because we already have a very, very capable frame today that is going to be upgraded.”

The next-gen Ram pickup is currently in development and slated to hit the market by the start of 2018 with the upgraded frame. FCA lacks a large body-on-frame SUV, and if it needs any motivation to rectify that particular problem, the fact that General Motors sold a total of 200,000 Tahoes, Chevy Suburbans, GMC Yukons, and Cadillac Escalades in the United States last year alone and turned an estimated profit of $10,000 per unit should be plenty enough reason.

Manley noted that any on-frame SUV produced would likely not be a part of the Ram lineup, but rather as part of the Jeep, Dodge, or Chrysler brands. Given the success of GM’s three-brand large SUV approach, here’s a thought: why not all three?

Additionally, Manley said that the automaker is reinvestigating the viability of a mid-size Ram pickup, potentially resulting in the revival of the Ram Dakota namebadge.

“In terms of midsize pickup for Ram I very much believe that that’s an opportunity for the brand,” Manley said. “Not just because of the success of the few competitors that have been playing in that field, but I…have been part of the history of the brand, I think it remains a great opportunity for us. But I have no definitive plans for that to announce today.”

The article also notes that FCA is looking to bring back the Jeep Wagoneer as a three-row SUV built on the Grand Cherokee platform as soon as 2018.

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News Source: USA Today