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With a host of new mid-sized trucks hitting the market this year and next, DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group unit will try to set apart its 2005 Dodge Dakota pickup on power and price.

The Auburn Hills automaker will offer the all-new Dakota, landing in dealerships this fall, with the only V-8 engine in its class and will price some models below $20,000.

Chrysler is rolling out new nine new vehicles this year and is pricing them lower than competitors as part of an effort to move away from profit-eroding rebates.

The strategy has helped lift Chrysler to a 2.8 percent sales gain this year and outpace hometown rivals General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Company officials hope the Dakota continues the momentum even as competition in the mid-size truck market increases.

“If you look at the overall segment, there has been virtually no activity in the last five years,” said Bob Hegbloom, senior manager of Dodge truck marketing. But new entries will soon account for about 65 percent of the category’s sales, he said.

GM introduced the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in December. New versions of the Nissan Frontier pickup and Toyota Tacoma arrive later this year, and Mitsubishi and Honda roll out new mid-sized trucks next year.

“It’s a very competitive segment, and it’s only going to get hotter in the coming months,” said Joseph Barker, an automotive analyst with CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills.

Full Story HERE

 

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I have some doubts about how successful the new Dakota will be.
-First, while looks are certainly subjective, the pictures I have seen of the new Dakota are not revolutionary in a way where people will want to buy it because it looks so different than anything else they have seen.

-More importantly, however, is I don't see a mid size truck doing well in our economy right now. If you want to tow or haul a lot, you are probably going to get a full size truck. Especially when you consider that, with incentives, you can often get a full size truck for a price very close to what you will pay for a mid size or compact.

-If you want a truck but are not going to need the extra space or you are not going to tow a lot, I'd think you'd want something smaller with better gas mileage. If you aren't going to tow, why would you want to buy a Dakota that gets gas mileage in the mid teens at best?
 

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Originally posted by mjd1001@Jul 14 2004, 09:57 AM
I have some doubts about how successful the new Dakota will be.
-First, while looks are certainly subjective, the pictures I have seen of the new Dakota are not revolutionary in a way where people will want to buy it because it looks so different than anything else they have seen.

-More importantly, however, is I don't see a mid size truck doing well in our economy right now. If you want to tow or haul a lot, you are probably going to get a full size truck. Especially when you consider that, with incentives, you can often get a full size truck for a price very close to what you will pay for a mid size or compact.

-If you want a truck but are not going to need the extra space or you are not going to tow a lot, I'd think you'd want something smaller with better gas mileage. If you aren't going to tow, why would you want to buy a Dakota that gets gas mileage in the mid teens at best?
I agree, that's why GM's positioning of the Colorado/Canyon at the smaller end of the spectrum is probably a better idea. The biggest market that I see right now for small trucks is delivery/runabout(2WD cheap 4cyl.) and 4X4 toy (4WD, large engine, extended cab). GM definately has the edge on the first, and a good standing in the second.

Who knows though, with the large pickups getting bigger and bigger, maybe the market for small trucks will come back.
 

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It looks like a slightly lower Ram. I'm sure it's smaller in direct comparison, but... It's probably close to the same size as the earlier generation Ram.

Why are all pickups growing in size so much each generation? I understand the trend towards larger trucks, but the growth is significant. I'm quite afraid of what we'll be seeing in two or three more truck generations.
 

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The 05 Dakota is only fractionally bigger than the previous model and nowhere near as huge as the Ram. I like Dodges idea of offering V8 power, making the truck mid-size, killing GM's Colorado/canyon on tow ratings and now power and torque, and giving it a lower price so they don't have to constantly keep putting rebates on it. And from what I have seen in some pics the interior looks better too. I'm just not big on the flare fenders for the new model. In the looks department, the GM trucks win hands down. But I think most traditional truck buyers will be after a familliar product like the Dakota, with conventional V6 and V8 engines that can tow, mid size configuration, aggressive looks, and good pricing. Time will tell.
 

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People will buy the new dakota, in a bout the same numbers as they did before. New fullsize trucks are just too good of value now to justify buying a $20,000 midsize truck. Around here, you can get a 2004 Ram Quad-cab w/Hemi for 20,000. Or how about a 1500 Silverado Ex. cab w/4800 V8 for around $15,000. Sorry I sound like a car salesman but the point is that a "big" midsize like the dakota is pretty pointless. I think the size and packaging of the Colorado is pretty much the limit.
 

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Originally posted by 2HOTZ28@Jul 15 2004, 01:47 AM
People will buy the new dakota, in a bout the same numbers as they did before. New fullsize trucks are just too good of value now to justify buying a $20,000 midsize truck. Around here, you can get a 2004 Ram Quad-cab w/Hemi for 20,000. Or how about a 1500 Silverado Ex. cab w/4800 V8 for around $15,000. Sorry I sound like a car salesman but the point is that a "big" midsize like the dakota is pretty pointless. I think the size and packaging of the Colorado is pretty much the limit.
I agree about the sales numbers. Initially, I think they will hit above the current sales numbers for a time, but then fall back in line.

The current Dakota looked nice when it came out, but I can see it was a hard act to follow for the revised one.

The picture for Detroit's strong hold in the small to midsize truck market doesn't look any better. Toyota, Nissan, and even Honda are coming on even stronger. Nissan is expected to have a V-8 in its Frontier in a few years, and the Toyota Tacoma looks even better, stronger, and better built than the current version. The Japanese may not be taking the full size market, but they sure seem to be climbing their way to it, little by little.
 

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Wow! I'd like to know where you shop... in the northwest you can't even think about a 4x4 silverado king cab (or extended cab) for less then $40k. I think offering the V8 Dakota for ~ $20k is brilliant considering a lot of people own trucks -not just to pull things- but for the 4x4 and v8 power, and occasional use of the bed.
 

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Originally posted by 2HOTZ28@Jul 14 2004, 08:47 PM
People will buy the new dakota, in a bout the same numbers as they did before. New fullsize trucks are just too good of value now to justify buying a $20,000 midsize truck. Around here, you can get a 2004 Ram Quad-cab w/Hemi for 20,000. Or how about a 1500 Silverado Ex. cab w/4800 V8 for around $15,000. Sorry I sound like a car salesman but the point is that a "big" midsize like the dakota is pretty pointless. I think the size and packaging of the Colorado is pretty much the limit.
A Chevy Silverado extended cab with 4800 V8 for $15,000! The base MSRP of that truck is $26125 and thats for a 2 wheel drive with no options at all. Assuming you can even find a completely base model with no options, I highly doubt that you can buy this truck for $11,125 off sticker. Oh well!
 

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Is someone comparing mid-size MSRP to full-size DISCOUNT pricing? :blink:

Optional 250-hp (300-tq) V8 and even a 6-speed manual.
I think the design is pretty clean, I have no problem w/ it.

I'm just curious what they may do for a RT (or SRT) model.
There's no 5.9L anymore, but there is that HEMI... :ph34r:
 
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