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Yes or no: Will Ram bring a compact or midsize truck to US?

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The question of whether Ram will bring a compact or midsize truck to the U.S. market has been rumored for years. And it makes us feel a little bit like we’re back in junior high school, daydreaming about the girl (or guy) we like, and though we’ve heard rumors they like us back, we just aren’t sure.

After the recent media days at the 2022 Detroit Auto Show, the rumors are being whispered in the hallways again.

So, maybe we need to pass Ram a note between classes that says: “Dear Ram: We like you and can’t stop thinking about the possibility of a midsize or compact truck. You probably already know this and are thinking about the possibility, too. Please check one to confirm: Yes, we are bringing a smaller truck to market; No, we aren’t; Maybe, we don’t know yet. Please give this note back to Mike to pass back to us with your reply. Thank you.”

We’d even include a little heart emoji at the end.

What’s the new rumor?

According to The Detroit News, Mike Koval Jr., Ram’s CEO, said he is contemplating showing a concept version of a smaller truck at the dealer meeting in March of 2023 to test the waters. It sounds like if the dealers like it and think they can sell it, a smaller Ram pickup truck might be on the way.

We think we just got our note back with a “maybe” – it’s definitely not a no. Or a yes.

In a way, that’s progress.

Compact or midsize Ram truck?

Ram is the only Detroit Three automaker that currently doesn’t compete in the midsize segment. It departed this arena after the Dakota was killed in 2011 amid dwindling sales. But now the midsize truck segment is heating up, GMC and Chevrolet just refreshed the Canyon and Colorado, and we’re expecting to see new Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger for the 2024 model year. Why wouldn’t Ram want to be competitive here?

Then you get into the compact truck segment, and you see that Ford Motor Co. can’t build compact Mavericks fast enough. This seems like such a missed opportunity.

In other markets Ram does offer a 1200 model, which would most closely resemble a midsize truck in the U.S. And it offers a 700 just south of the border, which would be on the compact side of the spectrum.

So, both could be technically possible. However, with the 1200, Ram would have to figure out a way around the “chicken tax,” which imposes a tariff on trucks built outside of the U.S., Mexico or Canada. The 700 is built in Mexico and would have no such problem.

We already know what we’d call the Ram midsize truck: Dakota.

The bottom line

Though we don’t know anything specific, we consider Koval’s comment progress because previously the brand has said nothing about a smaller truck. While a midsize truck would make a lot of sense for the U.S. market, there would be some tax and production hurdles to navigate, which could take time.

But a compact truck? That could be here by the end of 2023. That is – if the dealers like it.

So, maybe we should start passing some notes of our own. Comment below if you think Ram should build a smaller truck.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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  1. joe September 24, 2022

    saw one of these on the road of San Antonio Texas but it had Mexico plates on it
    i think it was called a ram 750

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      Jill Ciminillo September 26, 2022

      Likely the 700, which is built in Mexico. What did you think of it?

  2. Jared September 26, 2022

    There seems to be a market for sure for a smaller truck with decent room and good MPG. I tried to order a Maverick Hybrid on day two of the banks being open and that was still not early enough.

    Some of these compact ‘world’ trucks worry me a little if they were to be brought here as far as reliability. I would give them consideration for sure though if research seemed favorable.

    Right now I am hoping the 2024 Tacoma will have a Hybrid that is MPG focused and crewcab with a much improved rear seat. I would be willing to spend a little more $$ for that compared to a Maverick/SC size pickup.

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      Jill Ciminillo September 26, 2022

      I definitely think there’s a market for a compact Ram (and Chevy for that matter). The Maverick success blows my mind, and the fact that neither Ram nor Chevy are competitive here is crazy. And 🤞 on a Tacoma hybrid with good MPGs, but Toyota seems bent on making the truck/SUV hybrids more about performance.

      1. Jared September 27, 2022

        Hopefully Toyota takes notice and fills that niche. I have had 4 trucks over the years and while I don’t tow anything I always regret not having one when I need to haul something and have to put it in my CUV and ‘dirty’ it up. I drive about 22K miles a year so while I would love to have a fullsize, it doesn’t make financial sense to me for the added cost of lower MPG’s. That’s why I currently have a CUV. If nothing comes out truck wise that makes sense for me in 2024 I am leaning Sienna at this point.


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