Update 1: Sources Say: Chrysler Considering New Names for Ram Trucks

Sources Say: Chrysler Considering New Names for Ram Trucks

Update #1 November-09-2010 06:57 PDT:

Fans of the current naming convention for Ram trucks can breathe a sigh of relief. Ram spokesman Dave Elshoff has given PickupTrucks.com a firm rebuttal of this information, calling word from our sources "completely wrong."

"There have been no discussions whatsoever, nor any consideration given to changing the names of our incredibly successful and award-winning Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks nor our 3500, 4500 and 5500 Ram Chassis Cab trucks," Elshoff said.

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To accommodate plans for a Dodge Dakota replacement under the Ram truck brand, Chrysler is said to be considering a name change for its pickups, two sources have told PickupTrucks.com.

The current Ram truck line is split into the 1500 half-ton and 2500/3500 heavy-duty series. That naming scheme has been used since 1994, when the 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 was introduced with revolutionary styling that helped Dodge triple its share of the light-truck segment by 1998.

Chrysler dropped the Dodge name from its pickups last year in an effort to develop a stronger brand identity from its long-overshadowed line of Dodge cars.

In trying to figure out a new name for the Dakota successor under Ram trucks, Ram execs are said to have thought about two names: Ram 1000 and Ram 100. We’re told they’re leaning toward Ram 100 because it sounds better, but in doing so, Ram would also change all of the truck names to follow a similar naming convention. Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 would be replaced by Ram 150, 250 and 350.

While that might seem like Ram is trying to find a free ride off Ford’s F-Series pickups, the best-selling line of full-size trucks, that’s not necessarily the case. Dodge's 1981-1993 pickup lineup consisted of D150, D250 and D350 two-wheel-drive and W150, W250 and W350 four-wheel-drive models.

Ram-D150
1990 Dodge Ram D150

Would consumers welcome Ram 100, 150, 250 and 350 trucks?

“If the sales success of the F-150 is any indication of the importance or lack thereof of pickup truck nomenclature, ’150’ certainly does not mean less than 1500,” said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at AutoPacific, an automotive consulting firm. “The Dakota name will most certainly not be missed, and bringing the Ram 100 name to consumers would further streamline the use of the Ram brand.”

We’re told by our sources that the Dakota replacement is best described as a 2011 Dodge Durango with a cargo box. It will share the same unibody platform, along with the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

While Dakota sales have consistently fallen year-over-year as the truck has aged along with other midsize pickups truck buyers haven’t embraced the notion of a unibody midsize pickup. Honda hoped to sell 50,000 unibody Ridgeline pickups per year when the truck came to market in 2005 for the 2006 model year, but in 2009 only 16,464 units were sold.

Chrysler will have to make sure its Dakota replacement is firmly associated with its more larger, more capable stable mates.

“The biggest advantage this could have for Chrysler/Ram is they would have a true pickup truck lineup, as many other OEMs have neglected their smaller offerings to focus on full-size pickups,” Sullivan said. “The Ranger, Colorado/Canyon, Dakota and even the Japanese OEMs have neglected their smaller trucks in search of more profits. Ram could be positioning themselves for a winning lineup if/when gas prices spike again. This gives Chrysler a way to get more volume out of one platform without having to make a large investment on an all-new platform. The Grand Cherokee has impressive towing capability for a unibody vehicle and offers up a proven platform that is ripe to be transformed into a pickup.”

Our sources say that Chrysler has commissioned a market research company to see what truck buyers think of the all-new naming scheme.

What do you think?

Comments

LOL @ D57H Dodge did what to coil Springs...LOL

NOT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxGlJ1mjIAw

I like the name the new Dodge Rambo..By adding to the Ram name it sounds like you are getting an even tougher truck than the plain old Ram...lol,get Stallone to do the ads..

I think Dodge/Ram/Whatever they want to be called ought to dream up something a little more creative than using names right out of the Ford playbook. Nice try....

Amen, Tim.

The Ram coil springs are a huge fail. The least capability and the worst ride and handling on real roads. Nice!

Ford builds a truck? I know over a couple decades of being a used dealer I had a lot of things that sat in the back waiting to go to auction because they were too crappy to retail. I think they did have an "F" on them. Which would be appropriate since "Fail" starts with that letter.

Whatever they call these, there are only three trucks, Dodge, GMC and Chevy, so slap a badge on and build them and stop worrying about it

Make the Dakota the Ram 500 and leave the rest of the lineup alone. Will have same flow as it did in the 80s Ram 50 compact and 150/250/350 fullsize. Don't want to switch back to that and confuse current loyalist or piss off Ford guys.

@ Jason and Tim Are you guys serious? This is a promotional video made for Ford by Ford. Who did you expect them to say was better? Have you ridden in the new Rams? Obviously not. They ride awesome. As far as the name change goes, well I don't really see the point. The lsat name change didn't go over so well and didn't accomplish much. I suspect this one will be no different.

@Jason: You managed to get one oughta three things you said right: capability. Dodge is not trying to get you to haul 11,300 pounds with a 1/2 ton with brakes the size of the F150s (ok, Ram 1500 brakes are bigger than F150s) They actually realize we don't always drive with trailers attached. You wanna tow 11,300 with a gasser, go right ahead. Might as well go to a 3/4 ton for safety and diesel options. Heck the Ram 2500 Hemi will handle and STOP the load better than that F150 will. In all honesty, a new 6 speed is needed there to get it moving better, still safer at that weight! Didn't happen to read the 2008 light duty shootout? (about the 2009s?) Well, incase you can't find it, Mike Levine himself said the Ram had the best unloaded driving feel and STABILITY and it seemed to easily control vertical and lateral moution from ROUGH ROAD input. With slight porpoising in a straight line (you mean like the old '75 455 Buick Electra that had a smooth ride that was the first car I drove? it had the rocking chair) Then he says the Ford was well mannered on the road without a trailer, THOUGH IT FELT MORE JITTERY THAN THE GMs and it was A LONG WAY FROM THE RAMS. In the comments below he explains "the F-150s UNLOADED RIDE QUALITY WASN'T CLOSE to the RAMs"! There are plenty other reviews, from M.T., FWD Mag...talking about the GOOD ride. And the DECENT trailer towing, yet admittingly, less then all others. Of course this new V-6 truck shootout, Mike said negative about the Rams transmission vibs in 3rd gear, in the floorboards and firewall, and a burbling noise in the cabin @50 mph. I don't have any issues like that with my V-8 truck, and my wife will tell you I AM PRETTY PICKY! Sounds like a V-6 only issue Dodge DOES NEED TO ADDRESS for the new V-6! As far as open road comments on the F-150 in that shootout, appears Mike was so happy with the V-6 6 speed that he commented every chance he could on it, no talk of rough roads. (hey, we gotta push that new Ford driveline!) Maybe he couldn't find the same rough roads as the 08 shootout? Or Ford gave him a map?? So, he didn't dog the Rams coils springs there (no comments) Just on the (worthless) autocross, and trailer towing. Yup, we all know the Ram isn't as trailer tow friendly as all of them in the HEAVIER weights. Atleast I can add an airbag kit for $90 to help that and tow most things just fine. As good as a half ton needs to. But you can't do that with your leafs. You are stuck with them being too stiff. Maybe you can get softer ones when sobebody starts making them for you, and airbags, add the money $$$$ up! (That's another reason the Ford autocrosses good, stiff springs) But I didn't get a 37,500 MSRP 4x4 truck to run 100% around the corners! Maybe next time he will load each truck to the max payload and test braking...give you a hint, the Ford gets worse as weight gets added, and the Ram actually is not so effected it responds better, in braking. Alot depends what you buy a truck for. But I guess the next test might be "lets see how fast we can tow the trailer around the autocross" now that Ford actually has power...(Good job on that, Ford.)

I got a good laugh out of some guy doing a review recently on a new F-150. Said he hauls a 11,700 pound trailer with I think an FX4 6.5 box. Fords pushing the numbers down everybodies throats, makes people like him want to run overweight, WAY overweight, like stupid overweight. Lets see, add your passengers weight, might be 1,000 over on a truck that is rated high anyway. Hope he stays up north so he doesn't run me over cause he can't get it stopped!

@Joe Country; What Nissan configuration is that? I looked at one, and if I wanted a lightweight midsize, I woulda bought it. But knowing I will tow 5,000 to 6,000 max, I quickly gave up on that idea as it will move a Frontier all over with just 5,000! No thanks! A full size with med tow ratings will do alright! What numbers are you getting though comparing it to a V-8 Dakota? Cause my 07 Dakota 4x4 Quad cab with the H.O. 4.7 3.92s was rated to tow 6,850. It had arched leaf springs that could handle some weight, unlike the little flat Nissan Frontier/Toyota Tacoma springs I wouldn't even go 4,000 with!

No sense changing names, just get busy on a 6 speed, continue to make the Hemi make more bottom end (longer stroke, smaller bore?), Maybe alluminum engine block, and put that pentastar V-6 in there!

@tom trx4 - I'd say the base model V6 Dodge is a different animal than your 4x4.
I agree that the whole "my truck can tow more than your truck" is ridiculous. There were several conversations on the HD Colorado threads about CDL's. You'll need a CDL to tow anything larger than a 10,000 lb trailer regardless of the tow vehicle.
I didn't buy a 1/2 ton to tow 10 grand or larger.
I did like the ride of the Ram 4x4 better than the Ford.
The new F150's ride much better than the previous generation of trucks. I would suspect that the longer leaf springs and outboard shocks help. I have not had any issues with wheel hop or axle wrap.

@Lou: and I'm sure yours well hold more weight too. Legally. Just wonder on your door jam what it says your "max weight of all occupants and cargo should not exceed" is? Differant trucks for differant uses. Heck, I didn't realize you had to have a cdl for over 10,000! Brings to mind another technicality; physicals. I have a cdl class A on my license, yet I let the physical expire, so, technically, if I drove 10,000 plus, it would be illegal! I had it for 18 wheelers, never considered hauling heavy with a pickup! On the wheel hop though, do you floor it from a stop? I don't, not a big deal to me, but big to alot others, I didn't buy mine for racing! If somebody else does, ok for them!

Per the Texas Driver's License Handbook:

Class C driver license permits a person to drive the following vehicles,
except a motorcycle or moped:
a. a single unit vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that is not a Class A
or B; and
b. a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than
26,001 pounds, towing a trailer not to exceed 10,000 pounds gross vehicle
weight rating or a farm trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating that
does not exceed 20,000 pounds.

So just because you can't use a 1 ton without a CDL doesn't mean the rest of us can't

Just reacting to what Lou said: maybe where he lives, or somewhere he knows of, to pull over 10,000 pounds I guess requires a CDL. I don't know the laws in my state on that cause like I said, I never thought of pulling that heavy with a pickup. As for the guy with the F150 pulling an 11,700 pound trailer plus his passengers....not a good plan.

A guy pointed out to me that towing over 10,000 lb required a CDL. The rules I looked at seemed to support his comment. You could drive a one ton without a CDL as the truck is under the weight limit for a CDL. One just needs to be cautious and be familiar with the rules and regulations in your own jurisdiction. Farm rigs can tow heavier than other people without a CDL.
I'd say that what Enjelus posted would support my comment.
I can "down rate" the insurance on my pickup to a lower towing and hauling class to save on insurance. If I tow or haul I cannot excede what I've licenced the truck for. I can chose to licence the truck to the maximum rating for the truck (as per door sticker).
My truck is rated for 9,500 lb. trailer. I don't plan on buying a trailer heavier than 7,000 lb. (loaded weight).

@tomtrx4

Was talking about the 05/06 Frontiers that initially were 265hp @ 280ftlbs. I don't believe the Dakota was quite there then, though I saw they went to 7,000# later. My point was that we are/were able to come up with some potent engines/technology in the mid-sized vehicles, that surpassed the bigger trucks base engines at that time. As an aside, I believe I'd recently read an article on this site talking about having to revamp tow ratings that were more REAL world numbers that weren't inflated, just to sell a vehicle; be interesting to see how the numbers change. When buying a truck, I would want the best realistic hp/towing combo I could afford as would anyone. Being a valid CDL holder, I'm not looking to get into stupid territory. : )

Big mistake dropping the Dodge brand from the Ram trucks!!! Can you imagine not calling a Ford a Ford? Or a Chevy a Chevy? Come on! History and heritage are very important aspects of any product, especially automobiles! I am currently a proud owner of a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and if you have no more pride in your history, then forget you! I'll look at a Ford next time. They have a great history and they didn't take a government bailout!! By the way, you're hurting the Jeep brand with models that are out of focus with the brand. Wake up and embrace what you have and focus on brand specific vehicles!!!

@ Joe Country; Yeah, in 2005 the Dakota Quad cab 4x4 with 3.92 gears and even the non HO 4.7 could tow 6,850, per it's rating. Not saying I would wanna do that, but I would do 80% of the tow rating with a Dakota vs. JUST 70% of the Frontiers tow rating when comparing them with the same cab and drive configuration. In 05 the Dakota got a much beefier frame, I would say under the cab it is as strong as some of GMs 3/4 tons of the day. That's the year the ratings went up. I get the idea you are comparing horsepower as the Nissan out horsed it, think the base V-8 made 230 HP, but at 4800 RPM, vs the Nissan 260 ish @ 5600. But the torque is where it is, the 4.7 was 295 @ mid 3000, the Nissan needed revved 4-500 more rpm to make 15 or so less. The Nissan is not known for smoothness at the higher rpm. The Dakota was (is) far closer to it's weight and trailer tow rating than the Nissan Frontier, with it's flat leafs and wimpy axles, brakes, and shorter wheelbase. But even with the HO engine, I realized it wasn't enough, and I needed more space. I wanna say the V-8 Dak tops at 7,150 in 4x2 CLUB cab, with a good deal more power than the old HO. If it had better shocks on it, and a cab that didn't keep getting wet inside, and they would do like Toyota did with the longbed Taco, make it available with the Quadcab, I mighta still been in one.

I've owned a '97 Dakota and a '05 Ram 1500. I bought them both brand new, and we still have them. I wonder if I will hear from their "research firm", just like I heard from any other "research firm" to ask me my opinion and feedback of my satisfaction. Their statistics are all a crock of @(*$.

BTW-The Dak has 110k and runs like a champ and can tow a house. No rust either. ...and it spends it's life outside 24/7. Best 19k I ever spent!

i think if they make the dakota a ram 500 d50 or whatever give it the same body style as the half ton rams. because if the current dakota looked like the current ram 1500 that would be much better than its current body style. they should also give the factory installed dual tail pipes and the coil springs instead of leaf springs

Wow, I hope chrysler makes a tacama sized ram 100 4x4 with a 4-cyl mercedes diesel in it from the freightliner vans. Would definetly buy that and it would be a market leader in mid-sized pickups.

I think Ram should go back to Power Ram I have a 91 Power Ram 150 4x4 its amazing,power house

Power Ram 150
Power Ram 250
Power Ram 350
Power Ram 450
Power Ram 550

I have been very happy with my 1995 DAKOTA EXTENDED CAB V8, and mine has anti-lock breaks! It was an option when I ordered it, and it was worth it. Dodge definitely needs to bring back this Dakota style. I would buy another, but not with any of the styles since 1996. After 1996 they just got ugly and larger! I have 242,000 miles on mine. Although it needs paint, they just don't make paint that can tolerate UV these days with the EPA restrictions.

I wonder if Dodge ever reads any of this stuff?

thanks for sharing,,,

I see a great American Icon (the Dakota) being abused by Non American ignorance. I am the very proud owner of a 2005 Dakota SLT. To incorporate any Fiat influence is already destroying the Dodge / RAM . Learn from History. Fiat was a loser in europe and a loser here in America. Why is someone trying to destroy America's toughest truck. Especially with something as sick as the Italian Fiat?
I've enjoyed Doge/Plymouth etc vehicles since early 60's. All have been tougher than the rest.
Thanks, but I'll keep my 1/4 ton Dodge Dakota. Built Dodge TOUGH.
PS: Even my wife kind of likes it.



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