With the apparent (we’re holding our breath on this one) success of the return of the Colorado/Canyon mid-size pickup truck from General Motors, and the news that Ford may bring its internationally available mid-size pickup to U.S. shores to fire back up the Ranger legend (we’re NOT holding our breath for this one), why would Ram brand big-cheese Bob Hegbloom say he’s not interested in building a class competitor in the mid-size pickup arena?
Well, this is what Hegbloom had to say in a recent Automotive News interview. Back in the 80s (boy are we glad that’s over), customers were buying less-capable pickups rather than their full-size counterparts because they were smaller, less expensive, and “had incredible fuel economy.”
“When you look at those four factors, that’s truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for,” Hegbloom continued. “I’ve been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four — and even with what’s out there on the market today, I haven’t seen anyone who can deliver on all four.”
Hegbloom said, “If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you’re going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You’re also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you’re going to raise the price. Using a small-displacement diesel could get a truck there, but as Hegbloom explained, “If you do that, you also have the expense that goes along with it. Now you’ve got a price point consistent with a full-size truck.”
We’re not buying that logic. Sure it would cost more, but you probably would want to offer a small-displacement diesel as an option in a Ram mid-size pickup. That only makes sense because GM is about to do the same in its mid-size Colorado/Canyon offering. Ram has the very successful and popular 3.0-liter V6 diesel already in production and available in the full-size Ram 1500. Maybe this is really fear-based thinking on the part of Hegbloom–that a diesel powered mid-size pickup (or any Ram mid-size pickup for that matter) would undercut Ram 1500 sales?
What do you think? Let us know if this is a good decision or a bad play, in your opinion, in the comments section below.