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

Article by Christian A., 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.

Fitted inside the new 2014 Ram 1500 is the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter engine that is paired to the automatic eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission. With this, the engine is able to offer the most exceptional combination as it relates to striking capability, unmatched torque, and fuel efficiency that is the best in its segment. That this new model has the best fuel economy in its class is not limited to the automatic eight-speed transmission.

There are a number of innovative and fuel-saving systems like the thermal management system, stop-start system, and the pulse-width modulation. Included as well is active aerodynamics like air suspension and grille shutters. It is not just the engine as new to the 2014 Ram 1500 is the front park assist system. New as well are different improvements on features related to emissions, efficiency, and comfort.

Examples of such refinements are the humidity sensor, pulse-width modulated blower, and variable displacement compressor. It even comes equipped with the latest technology in the field of air conditioning refrigerant. For those familiar, the 2013 Ram 1500 had achieved what is considered in the pickup segment as a rare trifecta. This model won Truck of Texas, North American Truck of the Year, and Motor Trend's Truck of the Year. With this as a basis, the brand hopes that the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will be able to extend its title of having the best-in-class fuel economy title.

The brand also hopes to continue raising the level when it comes to innovation, important in a segment that the automotive industry considers as having the most loyal of customers. Price of the 2014 Ram 1500 begins at $24,200, with an additional cost of $1,095 for destination. Customers can have the EcoDiesel V6 engine paired with the automatic eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission. However this is more expensive by $2,850 when compared to the Ram 1500 fitted with the HEMI 5.7-liter V8 engine mated to the eight-speed Torqueflite transmission.

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