Riverside’s Hargrave thinks the market is ready for a smaller Ram.
“[It would be] more city-friendly, and those that aren’t comfortable driving a large vehicle would like it,” he said. “I would certainly like it.”
PAST FOCUS ON FULL-SIZE
The midsize-pickup segment changed significantly more than a decade ago after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Stellantis’ predecessor, dropped the Dodge Dakota, and Ford ended the Ranger. For the 2019 model year, Ford introduced a new Ranger based on a global platform.
“Focus and resources were clearly put into the full-size market,” said Karwel. “[It was] understandable, since these trucks are so popular with Canadians. And sales were growing, while the compact market was stagnant.”
The Gladiator’s brand positioning and marketing message is uniquely Jeep.
“Ram is a workhorse compared to the Gladiator, which is an off-road and fun vehicle,” said Zehtabi, the Toronto dealer.
Further ostracizing it from small-truck shoppers, the Gladiator is a premium niche vehicle with a starting price in the mid-$50,000 range, nearly $10,000 more than the base Tacoma.