A serious new competitor has risen.
Earlier this month we reported that Ram had taken the number two truck sales slot away from GM in the first quarter of this year. While Ford remained number one with its F-Series, the Ram 1500 sold a total of 120,025 compared to 114,313 Chevrolet Silverados. The F-Series, for the record, sold 214,611 units. Although Ram's defeat over Chevy may be by just over 6,000 units, a win's a win. And Chevrolet isn't exactly happy about that.
Speaking to The Detroit Free Press, a GM spokesperson said that "the Ram pickup's first-quarter sales victory over Silverado amounted to a hollow chocolate Easter bunny because FCA has been pulling out all stops to win sales." Yes, exactly. That's the whole point of business - to outsell your competitors. So why is GM taking this attitude?
Well, for years it comfortably took the number two sales spot behind Ford while Ram (and Dodge before it) typically always had to settle for a distant third. But FCA did take some "shortcuts", if you will, to take down GM. For example, it paid dealers bonuses of $8,500 to put Ram Classics into courtesy transportation fleets, sales of which count as retail. It also offered major discounts on Ram Classics. In Texas, those discounts went as high as $18,000. But there's another vital element to Ram's success: excellent product. One look and test drive of the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 makes it crystal clear FCA was no longer willing to be number three.
It went above and beyond to out-engineer, out-design and simply out-do the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 twins. And the sales numbers are proof those efforts are paying off. As for GM, well, perhaps it needs to work harder now to regain its number two position against Ram. Never take things for granted. Ford certainly does not and it fights hard to protect the F-Series' sales crown no matter what. One thing is for certain: the truck sales war between Detroit's three automakers is fiercer than ever.