It is an open secret that Ram plans to build a new Dakota midsize pickup truck for the American market by 2020. The reports have been widely circulated, including at Car and Driver this week. Aside from how many decades it will take for fans to stop saying "Dodge Dakota" and instead say "Ram Dakota," the only big question that remains is where will Ram build the truck?
Ram Production Constraints
We know that due to Proclamation 3564 the Ram Dakota could only be built in North America. We also know that any new plant for bailed out American brands in Mexico or Canada are going to meet with a lot of resistance from the President. We also know that any non- UAW state that gets any new factory from Ram is going to create a lot of problems for Ram, so that means the Dakota will be built in America and in a UAW stronghold.
Recent FCA Production Expansions
Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler America announced a significant expansion of its factory footprint in Detroit. One aspect of that expansion is a new factory in Detroit. Torque News reached out to FCA yesterday and confirmed that the brand and the models that will be built in the new plant have not been announced by the company.
Dakota and Gladiator
Although the new Ram Dakota is likely to be very similar in ways to the new Jeep Gladiator pickup (built in Ohio alongside the Wrangler), we suspect that it may also have a lot of its own important bits and will be more like a Ram 1500 than a Wrangler.
The new plant would offer Ram more expansion for the other FCA brands in Ohio, rather than reduce that capacity. It will be interesting to see where the new Ram Dakota ends up. It would not be a big surprise if it was in fact Detroit.
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John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto.
Image of Ram 1500 in production for representation only.