Ram Returning to Midsize Pickup Segment; Shows Dealers a Concept EV

March 3, 2023 | Industry News

The midsize pickup segment, already hotly contested, is on the verge of getting another competitor — this one from Ram.

Ram officials reportedly showed dealers in Las Vegas an all-electric midsize pickup truck concept.

First reported by Automotive News, the brand showed a midsize concept to dealers during the its annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas. According to one dealer, it was a smaller version of the Ram 1500 Revolution concept.

Dealer Randy Dye, who owns Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram and Maserati-Alfa Romeo of Daytona in Daytona Beach, Florida, told the publication he believes the concept was “the future,” and that it was an all-electric model. Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. told attendees before the meeting what they would see is a concept that is not as far down the development road as the Ram Revolution shown at CES in January.

“We’re going to be back in that [midsize] game,” Dye, who was Stellantis’ dealer council chairman in 2022, told Automotive News. “Without a doubt, it looks like a Ram. I look at some of the other midsize offerings in the market, and I’m not going to pick on the individual brands, but I don’t think they always favor their mother brand. The midsize ones have seemed to get away, and they don’t look the same. This is very much a Ram.”

The publication spoke with other dealers who saw the truck, all expressing excitement about the potential new offering. Ram brand officials declined to comment further.

Dealers who saw the Ram midsize concept said it looked much like the 1500 Revolution concept at CES in January, but smaller.

Plenty of competition

Ram’s midsize entry faces a slew of competitors, all from automakers that recognize the appeal of the segment. Toyota’s ready to update its Tacoma model, the dean of the segment for two decades. Consumer interest began to rise when General Motors returned to the market in 2015 with the the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

Ford followed suit a few years later, making its former compact pickup it discontinued in 2011, the Ranger, a midsize model, similar to versions it sold in markets around the world, but not in the U.S. It replaced the Ranger in the compact segment with the Maverick in 2022.

Even the longtime second-place model, the Nissan Frontier, finally got a makeover last year, including a more powerful 6-cylinder engine that fans of the Frontier have been begging to get for more than a decade.

More to come

The Ram brand almost got a replacement for the Dakota midsize pickup in 2010, but it never came to pass.

These days, truck buyers have an array of alternatives, with a number of entries getting major makeovers, starting with the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, which TheDetroitBureau.com recently reviewed. In the near term, GMC, Ford and Toyota will follow suit with their own ground-up renewals.

And that’s likely to add even more momentum to midsize truck sales, predicts Tyson Jominy, head of data and analytics for J.D. Power. They’ve gone “from obscure to (become) a significant segment of the industry” during the past eight years, he said, since General Motors revived the Colorado and GMC Canyon, spurring other brands to re-enter the market.

There was a time, back in the 1970s and 1980s, when midsize and even compact pickups rivaled demand for full-size offerings. A variety of factors came into play, starting with the American mindset that “bigger is better.” 

As recently as 2016, U.S. buyers purchased just 448,398 in 2016 midsize pickups. Demand surged to 637,857 just three years later. Sales slid during the pandemic, along with the rest of the industry — including full-size pickups. But analysts foresee another growth spurt.

S&P Global Mobility forecasts the midsize segment will grow from last year’s 622,941 to 690,190 this year. And that’s likely to reach 778,982 by 2025, said Stephanie Brinley, associate director at the research firm.

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