Dominating the headlines following Chrysler's first dealer meeting in three years yesterday was news of a new Viper planned for 2012. But apart from headline-grabbing sports cars, Chrysler execs made plenty of comments regarding the company's commitment to the truck and SUV segment.
For the new RAM brand, CEO Fred Diaz commented that his team is studying bringing a "Baby Ram" to market, with an estimated 30-mpg and room for four. This could replace the Dodge Dakota as RAM's entry-level work truck, with a next-generation Dakota confirmed to take more of a lifestyle direction.
The RAM brand also has plans to target lifestyle truck buyers with a luxurious "Longhorn" model that will debut at the Texas State Fair in two weeks. RAM execs didn't comment on if it would bear any resemblance to the Mopar Dodge Ram Bianco model shown at last year's SEMA Show. The truck will, however, feature a Longhorn logo that can be removed from the floor mat and used as a belt buckle.
As for features, the "Ram Box" storage area currently found on the 1500 model trucks, will be made available on the 2500 and 3500 heavy duty work trucks.
And finally, Jeep execs hinted at expanding their lineup to include a pickup truck, rolling out what is believed to be the Jeep Gladiator Concept from several years back. Jeep execs would not comment on if this model was slated for production.
More: Dodge Dakota Replacement Confirmed; RAM, Jeep Considering New Pickup Models