Fiat Chrysler is keen to develop a model to compete with the Ford Ranger, and seems to be holding the door open for some platform sharing.
Thanks to new product and ever-growing proportions, sales of one-tonne utes – or mid-size trucks – are growing in the US after years of stagnation, and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is keen to be a part of it.
Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, has told Automotive News and other outlets the company's Ram division is "focused on solving a metric tonne mid-size truck solution for us, because it's a big part of the portfolio and growth we want to achieve".
He did caution the company is still trying to "find a cost-effective platform in a region where we can build it with low cost and it still being applicable in the market is what they're struggling with at the moment".
At present, FCA only builds the much larger Ram truck range, and the recently unveiled Jeep Gladiator.
Manley seemingly ruled out using the Gladiator or a derivative as the basis of the new one-tonne truck, stating the car has a "very, very different mission".
The FCA CEO's comments and determination to have this problem "fixed soon" seem to leave the door open for some form of platform-sharing agreement.
The Chrysler Group's last entrant in the mid-size truck segment, the Dodge Dakota (top), was withdrawn from the North American market in 2011.
Fast forward to 2019, and not only has the mid-size ute market been revived in the US, but similar one-tonne models are strong sellers throughout many parts of the world.
Locally, the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger have held the top two spots on the sales charts for the past few years.