Since Ram ceased production of its Dakota midsize pickup in late 2011, Mopar product enthusiasts have had no other option than to fall back on the company's full-size model, the Ram. The Jeep Gladiator has been around since last year, but its odd vocation – and steep price tag – means it doesn’t attract many of those who would previously have been interested in a Dakota.
Over the past few years, rumours have bubbled up periodically regarding the return of the Dakota. Unfortunately, new reports indicate such a thing is not currently a priority for the Stellantis group, the new entity born from the merger of the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme) groups.
And yet, the midsize pickup truck market has been very popular for some time. The segment includes the Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Gladiator, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon duo and Nissan Frontier, which is finally getting a complete overhaul this year. The Honda Ridgeline can be considered one as well, but there we're talking about a different pickup truck with a unibody construction.
GM Authority reports that while there’s no obvious reason why Stellantis is setting aside the idea of bringing the Dakota back, it’s likely that that the presence of the Gladiator has something to do with it. Thay may or may not be so, but one thing is certain: there is room for a Dakota. With the price of the Gladiator being such a steep hill to climb, a more "affordable" option like a revived Dakota could really be successful.
The mothballing of the Dakota project is certainly not good news for the fans of the nameplate, but tomorrow’s another day as they say. The project is said to be dead for now, but a lot can happen over the next few years.