No. 3 Ram shrinks sales gap with No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 24, 2014

Chrysler’s Ram is trimming the sales gap between it and the No. 2 best-selling pickup, the Chevrolet Silverado. In the last seven months, following the launch of the redesigned Silverado last summer, Ram sold 208,414 pickups, only 52,844 units behind the Silverado, which sold 261,258 vehicles. In the same period a year earlier, Silverado’s lead over Ram was 97,199 units.

It would be surprising if No. 3 Ram surpasses Silverado in terms of sales in a US pickup market dominated by loyal consumers who seldom switch brands. But Ram gaining on the Silverado is not something that can be ignored. "Never before has [General Motors] lost share after launching a new pickup truck platform," Barclay's analyst Brian Johnson noted in February.

From Jan. 1, 2013, through Feb. 26, 2014, the Silverado and GMC Sierra have squandered 3.29 percentage points of market share in the large pickup market. Johnson wrote that in the period, Ford and Ram have gained 1.86 and 1.8 percentage points, respectively, of market share. Johnson's market share estimate includes only the Detroit 3.

Ram started in February offering a diesel unit in the light-duty pickup, picking strong orders from dealers. The unit is currently only light-duty diesel pickup available in the US and boasts of a rating 28 mpg on the highway.

In comparison, the highest-rated Silverado light-duty is rated at 24 mpg on the highway. According to GM spokesman Jim Cain, sales of well-equipped high-end Silverados are fine, but noted some potential weakness in lower-end trims and V-6 models. He said that this is why Chevrolet launched an "unprecedented promotional assault," that includes a Truck Month promotion in March and increasing incentives and marketing.

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