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Ram's midsize truck will fill 'very different mission' from Jeep Gladiator, report says

FCA still has a few hurdles to get over, though.

When Jeep announced that it would transform the Wrangler into the Gladiator midsize pickup, some folks assumed that blocky boy would be Fiat Chrysler's sole entry in the segment. But, according to FCA CEO Mike Manley, that's not the case.

Fiat Chrysler is currently jumping through a series of hoops in order to bring a second midsize truck to market under the Ram brand, Automotive News reports, citing Manley's comments on the automaker's first-quarter earnings call. "it's a clear hole in our portfolio," Manley said on the conference call.

That doesn't mean that you should expect a new Ram Dakota (or whatever they'll call it, now that Ram is a standalone unit) in the next few weeks. Manley remarked on the earnings call that there are still plenty of things to work through. "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," Manley said.

Putting two vehicles from the same automaker in the same segment can be trouble, because the company might find itself competing against its own bottom line, rather than trying to scoop up customers looking at the competition. To that end, Manley sounded pretty confident that there wouldn't be any cannibalization, saying on the call that the Gladiator "is a very, very different mission" than what Ram has in store.

A hint of what to expect might be found in Manley's comments about the Ram Classic, the last-generation Ram 1500 that continues to be sold as a value play alongside the newer, more expensive full-size pickup. Automotive News notes that it remains a favorite among people who want a proper work truck, as opposed to something closer to a tech-laden lounge on wheels. It stands to reason, then, that a midsize Ram might try to offer something more like a pure workhorse, but we'll find out for sure once FCA irons out the remaining kinks in its plans.