Chrysler is expected to end production of the Dakota midsize pickup this week at its Warren truck plant. The end of the Dakota means that 39 temporary workers have already lost their jobs, but there could be more layoffs. The total layoffs could reach 150 or more.
The Dakota debuted in the late 1980’s and was dubbed the first “midsize” pickup. The small truck segment has seen its market share slip dramatically since the Dakota was first launched. In 2000 Chrysler sold 177,000 Dakotas, but last year only 13,000 were sold. Ford has also announced plans to end production of its small truck, the Ranger by the end of the year.
Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne has already announced plans to replace the Dakota with a car-based “lifestyle” model for the Ram brand. Marchionne has not announced when the Dakota’s replacement will be released.