The pickup truck sales race has largely been a calculated hierarchy for some time: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 in first, second, and third, respectively. As of last month, Ram has overthrown that hierarchy.
For the first quarter of 2019, the Ram 1500 has outsold the Chevrolet Silverado – and General Motors is not happy. The final numbers speak for themselves: Ram moved 120,026 trucks, Chevrolet sold 114,313 pickups. Ford is comfortably ahead with 214,611 trucks sold in the first quarter.
On the topic, a GM spokesperson had quite the comment on Ram’s move into second place.
GM spokesman Jim Cain told The Detroit Free Press in a report published Wednesday that “the Ram pickup’s first-quarter sales victory over Silverado amounted to a hollow chocolate Easter bunny because FCA has been pulling out all stops to win sales.”
What has GM accused Ram of doing? A few things to steal sales and move more pickups than ever.
Cain said Ram has placed Ram 1500 Classic models (the previous-generation pickup) into courtesy transportation fleets (loaners). The moves count as new retail sales right now, but the pickups will be offloaded as used cars, per the report. Ram has placed 553 Classic models into courtesy fleets, which amounts to only 1.4 percent of the trucks Ram sold in February.
Cain added that Ram has offered incentives up to $18,000 off of Ram Classic trucks in some markets and pushed short-term, low-mileage leases.
That isn’t to mention the incentives Ram has placed on the new model itself, either. One analyst from Edmunds said Ram and Fiat Chrysler’s strategy is “aggressive” and “kind of unprecedented.”
On its strategy, FCA said it is “committed to providing competitive products at competitive prices in the marketplace. Our incentives constantly change, and vehicle prices can vary by dealership.”
The strategy might be the right one for today’s truck market. Recall, a majority of pickup owners said trucks have become too expensive, and new vehicle MSRPs continue to price buyers out of the market. For those who want a truck, but can’t afford the lofty sticker price, Ram offers an alternative.
This comes as GM chases a very different strategy—one that revolves around profits. While Ram may be number two, it’s unclear how much the brand may lose with the wads of cash thrown onto the hood of its pickups. The real picture will become more clear when quarterly profits release soon.
Source: The Detroit Free Press