The timing could be perfect for a small and efficient pickup truck, and some are looking to Chrysler to make it happen. We reported several months ago that the Fiat Strada would be an interesting choice if Chrysler wanted to fill the void left by the Dodge Dakota, especially since so much has changed in the small-truck market.
Larry Vellequette, the Automotive News journalist who knows Chrysler better than anyone, seems to be suggesting the same thing in his latest blog (subscription may be required to view). He points out that this little car-based trucklet could be exactly what either Jeep or Ram could use to satisfy all those lost sales that Ram (or Jeep) buyers have been waiting for.
Vellequette also likes the fact that a front-wheel-drive compact vehicle that still gets good fuel economy, whether it's gas or diesel, has a place for many buyers. "If Chrysler were to drop its 160-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter in there and maybe a little Jeep powertrain magic, it would make the Strada a very interesting little vehicle in a segment where it would stand almost alone," he wrote.
We're right there with you, Larry, but it's going to have to be something much better than the Dodge Rampage. Keep sounding the alarm.