Chrysler’s Ram gains ground on Silverado

In the course of the previous 7 months, Ram sales rose 19 % from the 12 months-earlier degree.

DETROIT — The side-view mirror of a Chevrolet Silverado is made up of this warning: “Objects may be closer than they seem.”

The warning could be talking about the Ram.

The Silverado, the longtime No. 2 in pickup product sales, even now has a substantial lead on No. 3 Ram. But the Ram is gaining.

In the final 7 months, soon after the redesigned Silverado arrived final summer time, Ram revenue had been at 208,414, although the Silverado was at 261,258 — nevertheless a sizable gap of 52,844 units.

But think about: In the identical period a 12 months earlier, the gap between the 2 was 97,199 units.

In the U.S. pickup market place, dominated by loyal consumers who seldom switch brand names, it would be surprising if the Ram passed the Silverado. But the fact that the Ram is gaining ground is noteworthy.

“Never ever prior to has [Common Motors] lost share after launching a new pickup truck platform,” Barclay’;s analyst Brian Johnson noted final month.

From Jan. one, 2013, by means of Feb. 26, the Silverado and GMC Sierra have misplaced 3.29 percentage factors of market place share in the large pickup marketplace. In that time Ford has picked up 1.86 percentage points and Ram one.8 percentage points of marketplace share, Johnson wrote in late February. Johnson’;s industry share calculation involves only the Detroit 3.

And the Ram appears to have momentum. In February, Ram began offering a diesel in the light-duty pickup, and dealer orders for the diesel have been sturdy.

It’;s the only diesel available in U.S. light-duty pickups and is rated at 28 mpg on the highway. The highest-rated Silverado light-duty is rated at 24 mpg on the highway.

GM spokesman Jim Cain mentioned sales of effectively equipped substantial-end Silverados are fine. But there is some likely weakness in reduce-finish trims and V-6 versions, he stated.

That’;s why Chevrolet launched what he known as an “unprecedented promotional assault,” declaring a Truck Month promotion in March and increasing incentives and advertising.

The Silverado, with a lot more than $ 6,500 in reductions and incentives, based on the model, will be featured on marketing during the NCAA men’;s basketball tournament. Ram also is conducting a Truck Month campaign in March for its pickup.

“Our quick challenge is to develop momentum at the reduce finish of the marketplace whilst protecting the gains we have created everywhere else,” Cain advised Automotive News. “One particular thing’;s for sure, we’;re not going to stick to the lead of brands that are purchasing market share. That story never ever has a pleased ending.”

The interior of the 2014 Ram

Ram gains

Critics have complained that the redesign of the 2014 Silverado, which went on sale in June 2013, was uninspiring.

Chevrolet “was targeted on refining the interior, making the truck a much better expertise general, but it was conservative,” says Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Other critics have described the Silverado redesign as “evolutionary, not revolutionary,” and chided General Motors for not differentiating its 2014 pickups ample from 2013-model styling.

Analysts say, meanwhile, that the Ram has obtained some nice touches in the final few years.

“If you search at what Ram gives, almost everything from MegaCab, Rambox, a [light-duty] diesel, the 8-speed transmission, coil spring rear suspension — they are innovating. That’;s the gist of it,” says AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan.

The Rambox attribute offers a pair of locking storage compartments.

The MegaCab, introduced in the 2006 model 12 months, is an additional-lengthy cab that gives 22 inches more than a typical crew cab and makes it possible for the 4-door pickup’;s rear seats to recline.

The Rambox is a pair of locking storage boxes constructed into the rear quarter panels of the Ram pickup. The Silverado does not offer a equivalent characteristic.

The Ram 1500 is the only pickup with coil spring rear suspension. This provides a smooth ride, usually favored by suburban drivers who want a pickup but don’;t require a work truck. Shoppers who want a work truck can get a Ram 2500 or 3500 with classic leaf springs.

Eddy: Some SUV trade-ins

‘Rides like a car’;

Chuck Eddy is chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council. His dealership, Bob & Chuck Eddy Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, is close to one of the nation’;s largest GM plants in Lordstown, Ohio.

“This is ground zero around here for GM, so what I see predominately for Ram are Silverado and Sierra trades,” Eddy stated. “But it truly is intriguing. With the [top-end model Laramie] Longhorn and the Rambox, we get a whole lot of guys buying that truck as their principal automobile. Our truck rides like a automobile, so we are obtaining some sport-utility and vehicle trade-ins on it, also.”

This 12 months MotorTrend awarded the Ram 1500 its yearly Truck of the Yr prize — the very first pickup to win the award in consecutive years.

Marketers for the Ram have touted the consecutive victories in promoting that includes the brand’;s brawny pitch — “Guts, Glory, Ram” — to the pickup crowd.

The redesigned 2014 Silverado arrived in June.

Incentive wars?

Gutierrez, the analyst, explained that in February — just before Chevrolet launched its Truck Month incentive campaign in March and although Ram was in the middle of its own — Ram incentives averaged $ 4,000 per unit, somewhat increased than Silverado’;s regular of $ 3,800.

But Ram was commanding larger common transaction charges for equivalent pickups, he said.

For illustration, Ram dealers got an typical transaction price of $ 35,300 for a Ram 1500 Quad Cab in February, whilst Chevrolet dealers obtained an regular of $ 34,200 for a Silverado 1500 Extended Cab, Gutierrez said.

This year a wild card in the Silverado-Ram competitors will be GM’;s redesigned mid-sized pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which are scheduled to arrive in showrooms in the fall.

GM executives have mentioned that the 2 autos, which are only slightly smaller than the Silverado and Sierra, are the company’;s answer to consumers searching for higher fuel economy.

Spokesman Cain said the firm doesn’;t feel the redesigned mid-sized pickups will cannibalize income of the larger Silverado.

“We’;re not concerned about the Chevrolet Colorado attracting would-be Silverado clients,” Cain mentioned. “The folks who must be anxious are the ones who orphaned their mid-dimension truck buyers, and these who sell trucks that are about to be rendered obsolete.”

You can attain Larry P. Vellequette at

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