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Ram plans

by David Zatz on

Ram chief Reid Bigland started his presentation with a history of the brand — starting with the first Dodge truck in 1917, though the brand is now Ram and not Dodge.

According to Mr. Bigland, 75% of Ram 1500s are purchased for “personal use” including hunting, fishing, and home improvement. 75% of Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks are purchased for business use.  Fuel economy is, according to customer surveys, the primary driver among light-duty pickup buyers, and is where Ram has a major advantage now.

He noted that Ford’s market-share peak was 48% in 1987, GM’s 51% in 1992; but Ram’s peak is 22%, in 2014 (year to date),with Ford at 34% and GM at 37% so far. Ram’s key market growth period was 1993-95, when the first new Ram 1500s were launched (and factories then geared up for higher production over two years).

In Canada, Ford has 39%, GM 26%, and Ram 30%, year-to-date 2014. For all of 2013, GM still led Ram.

Ram also has the lowest average age of the “big three” pickup makers (52 vs 58 at Ford and 59 at GM), and the highest household income of buyers ($91,000 versus $85,000 at Ford and $77,000 at GM).

To grow, Ram Commercial is establishing 900 commercially-focused dealers through BusinessLink. The company’s aggressive update schedule is continuing, with the Ram 1500 getting yet another update in 2015 (for the 2016 model year), then another major update in 2017. The heavy duty line, only recently updated, will get another minor update in 2016. The chassis cabs will be updated in 2016, and “commercial light duty” vehicles (ProMaster?) will get a major update in 2017.

Ram’s volume goals are to go from 463,000 in 2013 to 620,000 in 2018, almost entirely with American and Canadian growth. The brand is only sold in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Priorities are to build the brand, lead in innovation, and expand the product range.

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