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Ram pickups vs the world

by David Zatz on

Ram had a good year, but how was it compared with everyone else?

Let’s start with the eponymous pickup trucks, which are the vast bulk of Ram’s sales. US sales in 2017 totaled 500,723 pickups, around 11,000 more than in 2016 — a good result given that FCA’s US sales fell during the year.

Ford, as usual, dominated the market with 896,764 pickups sold, a good boost over 2016’s 820,799. The gain alone was nearly triple Fiat’s sales for the year.

Over at GM, as usual, there were two lines of full-size pickups: the Silverado and Sierra. The Silverado bested the Ram, with 585,864 sold and an almost exactly 11,000-truck gain over 2016; then Sierra, just for fun, added another 217,943 sales (down by 3,500 from last year). The total, then, is:

Ford — 896,764
GM — 803,807
Ram — 500,723

That’s much better than it was in the early 1990s, but it seems as though neither GM nor Ford is in much danger of being overtaken by Ram. That said, the people at FCA are adding a new pickup plant — one with much higher capacity than the old Warren site, which may still make pickups (but will most likely be more focused on SUVs).

Pickups aren’t just a Detroit game; Toyota and Nissan are also big players, and Mercedes wants to join in.  Nissan’s redesigned Titan hasn’t really taken off, despite the Cummins diesel power; while it doubled 2016 sales, the total is now just 52,924 (Nissan’s star is the Rogue, which thanks to a Star Wars tie-in sold over 400,000 copies — beating every Jeep, and doubling the Wrangler’s sales). The compact Nissan Frontier, suffering a bit from the Colorado, registered 74,360 sales.

At Toyota, the best-selling pickup, which dominates its market, is the Tacoma, with 198,124 sales for the year; the full-size Tundra, laboring on with an outdated powertrain, hit just 116,285. But if we’re looking at compact pickups, too, we have to throw in the Chevy Colorado (112,996) and GMC Canyon (32,106). GM has succeeded in creating a credible competitor for Toyota, and it’s been doing well in the market so far. That would be a good sign for FCA, if the company chose to create an internal replacement for the Mitsubishi L200 it sells globally as a Fiat and as a Ram.

Looking just at full-size pickups, then, we can get a glimpse of FCA’s market share.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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