On Track For Best Year Ever, Ram Beats Chevrolet Silverado In September 2016

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
on track for best year ever ram beats chevrolet silverado in september 2016

For just the second time in 205 months, the Ram P/U range outsold the Chevrolet Silverado in the United States in September 2016.

It’s a victory wiped away by including GM’s other full-size pickup truck, the GMC Sierra, not to mention both Ram and Silverado are fighting for second place. The Ford F-Series is America’s top-selling truck line, outselling the Ram by 20,000 units and the GM twins by nearly 4,400 sales.

September was nevertheless the icing on the cake for a three-quarter period in which Ram’s pickups finished 27,549 sales ahead of their record-setting pace last year.

But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles placed a lot of extra cash on the hood to put so much icing on the cake.

During a month in which even sales at the Jeep brand decreased and total non-pickup sales at FCA fell 8 percent, a Ram P/U increase was vital.

Heading into September, FCA had a 102-day supply of pickup trucks. To aid inventory glut reduction, the average Ram P/U incentive rose approximately $1,100 from $6,000/per truck in August to $7,100 in September, discounts worth nearly $2,000 more per truck than Ford applied to the F-Series.

(F-Series incentives reportedly remained level from August to September; the Silverado’s average per-truck incentive grew from $4,700 to $5,650.)

Naturally, the precise amount would vary depending on the specific truck. Like its key Detroit competitors, Ram’s pickup line is vast, ranging from light-duty 1500s with Pentastar V6 engines to heavy-duty models with dual rear wheels and Cummins diesels, trucks laden with leather, enough electronic doodads to embarrass many so-called luxury sedans, and thick profit margins.

However deep the price cut, it worked. Ram P/U sales jumped 29 percent to 47,792 units, topping the Silverado — for the first time since March 2014 — by 2,412 sales.

U.S. sales of full-size pickups grew by just 1 percent in September, as Ram’s competition collectively lost 6 percent of their sales.

As a result, Ram’s share of the full-size pickup truck market grew from 20 percent in September 2015 (and 21 percent in August 2016, when Ram incentives were already greater than GM’s or Ford’s) to 25 percent in September 2016.

General Motors remains the top-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks overall in 2016. Through the first three-quarters of this year, GM’s pickup sales are up 1 to 697,249, boosted by a 25-percent surge in sales of the company’s midsize twins.

After outselling the Ford F-Series with its full-size twins in calendar year 2015, ending a five-year streak, the F-Series leads the Silverado/Sierra by 5,660 units heading into the Q4.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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17 of 31 comments
  • Drew8MR Drew8MR on Oct 06, 2016

    I actually just tried to help my BIL buy a Tradesman. He wanted the regular cab,longbed,4x2,Hemi,ZF and the 3.72 (3.92? whatever)locker. He was happy with white and happy to order one. Every dealer just steered him to heavily discounted available stock and wouldn't budge off retail if he had the temerity to insist on a custom order.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 07, 2016

      Drew8MR - Nope. Usually fleet spec. They were short box though. I'll bet more rural or fleet oriented dealers will have them.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Oct 06, 2016

    I love it when journalist play the number game like the manufactuers. The lack of transparency here suits Tim. GM still outsold Ford in pickups. A Colorado has more in common with most 1/2 ton Silverado's sold than a 1/2 ton vs a 1 ton. Because of the distorted pickup numbers just incorporate all pickups or break them down completely.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 07, 2016

      Higheriq - no reg cab in any small truck. A while back it was blamed upon CAFE footprint rules. Reg cab means too small a footprint so tougher mpg rules. Reg cab small trucks are also domain of fleets and "economy conscious" buyers. Extra cost and no profit means "we no make" anymore. 1/2 ton reg cabs on the other hand sell in huge numbers to fleets, single guys and empty-nesters.

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  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
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