As an integral part of the Product Planning team that created the original Dakota, I very much appreciate the positive comments about this “milestone” truck. I'm the guy who thought of the name Dakota, which comes from the Sioux word Da Koda, meaning "considered a friend," and that it was to many owners. It's particularly exciting to learn that the name may be resurrected in a new version of a midsize pickup. In the 1980s, our N-Truck team worked very hard to anticipate what pickup trucks would become as they expanded from “work trucks” into more personal-use roles. Although Hal Sperlich had a great idea in identifying and exploiting a gap in the truck market, we faced great challenges in implementing the program within the constraints of Chrysler’s corporate resources extant at the time and were innovators in keeping investment low. Later in my career, I was Program Manager for the amazing Ford F-150 Lightning Performance Truck (handles like a Ferrari but hauls like an F-150!), and that name is also reemerging. The exciting new F-150 Lightning EV, like the original Lightning, breaks new ground in terms of what a pickup truck can be, while retaining all the functional capabilities of the rugged F-150. Great memories of extraordinary trucks which shattered the mold of past pickups.
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