An open letter to Sergio. Ram 700: it's the right tool

Sell it here

You have a problem FCA/Sergio. Fortunately, you also have somewhat of a solution. Let me explain. Ram and Jeep are two very desirable brands that you now have in house. Bravo! These brands are iconic for their capabilities, but not necessarily their frugality at the pump. You've shown with the Cherokee and Renegade that those don't have to be mutually exclusive. Sure there are compromises, but while giving people what they want you are also closing in on giving them what they need. That makes for a happier customer.

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So let's get back to the elephant in the room. You need a small, fuel-efficient truck to sell in volume but not to cut into your bottom line on the Ram 1500. Fortunately, the target consumer has some very different needs if the product is appropriate. And the product I'm referring to is the single cab Ram 700 packaged with the EPA compliant base motor from the Dodge Dart (or optionally the 1.4L turbo).

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Illustration for article titled An open letter to Sergio. Ram 700: its the right tool

I'm talking a $13000-17000, 2600 lb, fuel-efficient (40 MPG HWY?), capable (1500 lb payload), working pickup. Sell it in white only with limited powertrain options and leave the rest to MOPAR dealer installed accessories. At this price point, you aren't competing with existing new product. You're going after the auto stores, utility companies, small businesses, and budget minded hobbyists that used to buy single cab Rangers, Tacomas, or Colorados. You're competing with more established used pickups that have depreciated, but you've got an outstanding warranty and much lower running costs (Note: give it a good warranty)

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The right tool for the job

There's your new tagline by the way. Show it doing what it does best. Running parts, small jobs and deliveries, and maybe a little fun (see below). You can use the same strategy for your other trucks as complementary products

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Baja 1000 it

Illustration for article titled An open letter to Sergio. Ram 700: its the right tool
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Maybe you should do this one first. Show that it's tough. Show it having fun. Show it using MOPAR accessories. Generate interest in the country that you already sell it while gauging interest north of the border.

Nurburgring it

Illustration for article titled An open letter to Sergio. Ram 700: its the right tool
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It's about time you dialed up the boost on that sweet little 1.4L and set a pickup truck record at the Nurburgring. I think, under 9 minutes is a good time to shoot for when looking at other small FWD vehicles. Nurburgring lap times

MOPAR parts

-Staged tuning kits (turbo model)

-Bed covers, cargo management

-Roll bars

-Wheels/tires for offroad and street

-Vinyls for business or fun (consider a free standard door kit for any business purchase)

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-Do what Mopar does best and include warranty where appropriate

but the Chicken Tax

After you realize that this is a good plan, build it in Mexico. Or better yet, start having some real talks with our lawmakers about how this antiquated tax is artificially isolating our market in a way that slows progress and doesn't allow US Global companies to bring in the vehicles that we need to meet the strict CAFE requirements. Don't be afraid of import trucks taking all your domestic profits, learn what the global consumer needs and build a better product.

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