Compact RAM Pickup a Consideration: Exec Says

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Though a final decision has not yet been made, a Chrysler executive confirmed that a compact Ram pickup is currently being mulled over as engineers study several platforms that it could potentially be built on.

Back in 2009, Chrysler briefly spoke about plans for a compact pickup when it revealed its five-year plan; it appears that may still be on schedule as a potential new pickup built on a unibody platform is being researched.

“Based on the research we’ve done of the customers and their needs… we can do something in a unibody,” said Joe Veltri, Chrysler’s vice president of product planning.

Even though several automakers have been exiting the compact pickup market in recent years, others have enjoyed greater success with less competition – naturally. Toyota, for example, has sold 67,150 Tacoma pickups this year, a 27 percent increase compared to the same period of time in 2011. GM has plans on reentering the market with its new Chevrolet Colorado, but there has been no confirmation as to how soon.

The biggest hurdle Chrysler, or any automaker for that matter, faces with the small pickup market is to aggressively price them so that consumers don’t opt for a larger truck. Of course fuel efficiency is always a top concern in the pickup category, so it appears that the American automaker has its work cut out.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • DrLou DrLou on Jul 07, 2012

    Here are a few ideas Chrysler might want for a compact pickup truck. I think these options and features would guarantee that Chrysler would sell them as fast as they could make them; regular, extended, and crew cabs, a reliable diesel and/or GDI engines with great torque with a timing chain; achieves over 35 MPG highway, has RWD, AWD, or 4WD, a bed able to haul 4x8 sheets, good all around crash test rating, and a price range of $18-26K. A mid-gate and Stow-and-Go seats would be icing on the cake. Forget about a FWD for this or any pickup unless it has switchable FWD, RWD, AWD capability. FWD is good for driving around without a load, but not good when hauling because front wheel traction decreases as the load increases. Whereas traction increases as the load increases with RWD. This is why pickup trucks have traditionally been RWD. I think VW is on to something with their switchable AWD/ RWD Amarok pickup.

    • WetDogSmell WetDogSmell on Jul 10, 2012

      Most cars don't even get 35+mpg! Sure I would love that kind of fuel economy, but lets be realistic. 30mpg would be fantastic! I heard something, somewhere about using the caravan chassis, which would be interesting for sure. I think what RAM needs to focus on is PRACTICALITY! i.e. A nice balance between price, mpg and capability. I really look forward to more news on this one.

  • Nonymous Nonymous on Jul 20, 2012

    With Full size trucks doing much better in the MPG game even at the v6 passes the 300hp mark.. the game with compact pickup trucks might be to forget about small trucks, but offer the open cargo capacity of the truck in a mid and compact cars. I've always felt the hatchback was one of the greatest car designs of all time. Well, why not take it a step further, incorporate a truck tailgate and make that rear window do much more than just open upward, but rather slide forward over the roof? Imagine a Cadilac CTS 2 door coupe with high flat rear window... give it a truck tailgate and make that rear widow roll up over the roof exposing the rear seats. Fold those rear seats flat above the wheel wells and put the tailgate down to expose a 4 foot wide hard plastic bed to an open sky. Dump the spare and open a large under bed hatch (ala Ridgeline) for other dry storage. Close everything up and you have a sporty, efficient sedan with some really killer truck features when you need them... While dreaming, give it a front bench seat for 3. Push the rear seats way back, low and with a super recline feature for industry breaking rear leg and head room. Maybe add a hiden 3rd side door with no door handle. Sleak, Elegant and FUNCTIONAL