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Ram to launch Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger rival: New one-tonne ute in the works

Ram is working on a new one-tonne truck to sit below the 1500 (pictured).

Ram is working on a genuine one-tonne truck to rival the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, with the company's CEO confirming a "metric-tonne mid-size truck solution" was in the works.

Speaking on FCA's quarterly earnings call, company CEO Mike Manley confirmed the new ute was coming, telling investors it would be a more traditional one-tonne truck than the incoming Jeep Gladiator.

That means it would sit below the 1500 in the Ram line-up, with the as-yet-unnamed truck to fight cars like the Holden Colorado and Nissan Navara, as well as US-spec vehicles like the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline

And yes, the new Gladiator is technically a mid-size truck, but the company's perception is that that vehicle is more an off-road lifestyle vehicle rather than a traditional ute.

"(Ram) is focused on solving a metric-ton mid-size truck solution for us because it's a big part of the portfolio and growth we want to achieve," said Manley said.

"Being able to find a cost-effective platform in a region where we can build it with low cost and it still being applicable in the market is what they're struggling with at the moment."

But while a final decision on platform sounds like it is yet to be reached, Manley says he is pushing to have the problem "fixed soon". What is unknown is whether the truck will be built in left- and right-hand drive, and whether it will wear a Ram badge globally, or whether it will appear as a Fiat in some markets. There is speculation in the USA that the new vehcile will wear a Dakota badge - a mid-size truck retired there in 2011.

Either way, a truck that size would pitch into a strongly performing segment in the USA, and if it was to come to Australia, it would battle some of our best-selling vehicles.

"I want that problem solved, frankly, because it's a clear hole in our portfolio. It will not be filled by Gladiator because Gladiator is a very, very different mission," he says.

"Trust me, they're focused on it. We need to get it fixed soon."

Can Ram rattle the Ranger or HiLux? Tell us in the comments below.