The full-size truck market continues to be dominated by Ford, but the battle for second place has become a lot more interesting in recent years.
While Chevrolet has long held a commanding lead over Ram, that gap has been closing at an alarming rate for the bowtie brand. Now, Automotive News says Ram has done something that was once unthinkable – outsell the Chevrolet Silverado.
According to the publication, Ram sold 120,026 full-size pickups in the first quarter of 2019 and this eclipsed the 114,313 units that Chevrolet was able to move. While it’s easy to look at these numbers and think consumers prefer the 2019 Ram 1500 over the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, they don’t tell the whole story.
Both trucks are all-new for 2019, but the companies also kept the previous-generation pickups in production. However, Automotive News says brands have used these models in very different ways.
GM kept the old Silverado around in order to maintain market share while ramping up production of the all-new model. Ram, on the other hand, is using the previous-generation 1500 to increase market share with the use of heavy incentives.
That tactic seems to have worked out, but it remains unclear how long FCA can keep doing this as Ram 1500 Classics were reportedly discounted as much as $18,000 in Texas. A quick looks on Ram’s website reveals the company is still discounting the truck as Michigan residents can get up to $6,250 in cash allowance on certain models.
GM doesn’t seem bothered with this and company’s first quarter results statement said combined sales of crew cab versions of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 were up 20 percent year over year. More importantly, they’re making GM a ton of money as the average transaction price for the all-new models climbed $8,040 compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Besides noting those statistics, GM said availability of regular and double cab variants was limited as they wanted to focus on building crew cab versions first. That’s no longer an issue as “full production of all cab styles started in March” and they’re now arriving in showrooms.
It remains to be seen if Ram can continue to hold onto its early lead, but things will become ever more interesting when the two brands launch the redesigned versions of their heavy duty pickups later this year.