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Ram Ends Production of Dakota

The Ram truck brand has announced that the production of its smallest offering, the Ram Dakota, will end this week, reports Left Lane News. Though a replacement is planned, it won’t see production in the near future, so as many as 150 workers at Chrysler’s Warren Truck Plant in Michigan may be laid off.

Sales of the Ram Dakota dropped from a peak of 177,000 in 2000 to just 13,000 last year, according to Autoblog. Though sales of compact pickup trucks overall have been dwindling for some time, the Dakota hasn’t been thoroughly redesigned since 2005, though it did see suspension updates for 2010. This makes it one of the oldest compact pickups, losing out to more recently updated trucks like the Toyota Tacoma.

Plans for the Dakota’s replacement are uncertain. “In May, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company plans to replace the body-on-frame Dakota with a car-based ‘lifestyle’ vehicle for the Ram brand,” reports The Detroit News. “He said a decision had not yet been made about where to build it.”

Left Lane News writes that the new truck will be smaller and closer to the size of the compact Ford Ranger than the midsize Ram Dakota. Ford has announced that production of the Ranger will cease in December.

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