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Now we know why Ram was split off

by David Zatz on

Analysis. For years, people speculated about why Ram was split from Dodge. The official explanation, accountability, never made much sense; nor did  “people call it a Ram anyway.” People call it a Charger, but there’s no Charger brand. For that matter, the SRT brand didn’t last long.

Rob Heglboom and Ram 1200

For years, I believed that the goal was to move Dodge from muscle to being a European-style performance brand — strong on cornering, maybe not so much on brute force. The first and only test of that was the Dodge Dart, which failed in the market; Dodge returned to traditional muscle, where it has been thriving. As for why they didn’t bring Ram back into Dodge, I thought it was partly because that would have cost more money, and partly because nobody wants to admit a mistake.

Now, though, we know the real reason: because Ram is going global, and it’s not taking Dodge along for the ride.

2019 Ram 1500

Ram would be a good global brand, with an image leader — the Cummins and Hemi powered Ram pickups. It has the everyday cars, the Ram 700 and Ram 1200 (Fiat Strada and Mitsubishi L200), and the ProMaster van, which is sold here and there already. The new Fiat Fullback/Ram 1200 replacement might be better suited for Ram’s serious/brash aura.

In short, if Jeep (outside North America) has the Wrangler for the odd niche buyer but mainly trades in Renegades and Compasses, Ram would have the 1500-3500 series but would mainly trade in 700s and 1200s.

Australian mines and independent European distributors are just the start. Expect big things from Ram, all around the world.

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