Ram shows dealers midsize EV concept

Dealer Randy Dye had something a little more conventional in mind for a potential Ram midsize pickup, but an early concept he saw this week surpassed his expectations.

What Dye viewed during a dealer meeting in Las Vegas was “the future,” he said.

Dye said the truck was an electric concept bearing an aesthetic similar to that of the 1500 Revolution concept that Ram rolled out at CES in January.

Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr. said before the dealer gathering that the midsize concept wouldn’t be as developed as the Revolution. Yet Dye saw enough to be excited about Ram’s vision.

Koval wasn’t available to comment after the meeting.

Dye, who was Stellantis’ dealer council chairman in 2022, thought the concept was “spectacular.” He owns Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram and Maserati-Alfa Romeo of Daytona in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“We’re going to be back in that [midsize] game,” Dye told Automotive News. “Without a doubt, it looks like a Ram. I look at some of the other midsize offerings in the market, and I’m not going to pick on the individual brands, but I don’t think they always favor their mother brand. The midsize ones have seemed to get away, and they don’t look the same. This is very much a Ram.”

Dye said Stellantis officials detailed more than 30 new products for numerous brands during the meeting, the first of its kind in eight years for retailers who were with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles before the 2021 merger that brought FCA and PSA Group together as Stellantis. He said CEO Carlos Tavares explained where the company is heading and discussed profitability in the age of increasing EV production.

The company spent time trying to open minds about electric vehicles and their capabilities.

“There was not an attempt to force it down anybody’s throat, really, rather than get people to understand,” Dye said. “They took a lot of time explaining this transition, took a lot of time giving you data, numbers on performance and those types of things. You absolutely would have walked away from that, if you paid attention and you were awake, [with a] different mindset about what EV really means.”

Dye believes there’s a fear that the industry is returning to the 1980s, a time when muscle cars were largely shackled by emissions rules. Dye said EVs can still deliver on the performance front even if the power source is different.

“I love our hot rod stuff. I love our gas engines. I love all of that,” Dye said. “But if you take a minute and you think about performance, does it matter that it’s an ICE engine? Does it matter that it’s a diesel engine? I think what a lot of people are afraid of is that we’re going to go back into the ’80s when the performance car business just didn’t exist, and that’s not what this is about. As a matter of fact, numberwise, I would tell you that probably a lot of the EV platforms are better performing than the gas.”

Stellantis also revealed a Dodge Durango concept that Dye said was drastically different from the current generation, which has been on the road since the 2011 model year. The Durango concept, Dye said, was “representative of the changing market” and “what people are looking for.”

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