Ram's Three-month-long Streak of Outselling the Chevrolet Silverado? It Ended in June

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
rams three month long streak of outselling the chevrolet silverado it ended in june

March 2017 marked just the third occasion in three years in which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram P/U line outsold the Chevrolet Silverado in the United States.

One month later, in April, Ram did it again.

Then in May 2017, Ram made it a threepeat, outselling the traditional No. 2 pickup truck in America by more than 1,000 units. By the end of May, the Silverado was only 5,055 sales ahead of the Ram on year-to-date terms, a narrow gap which served to highlight the possibility that the Ram could outsell the Silverado for the first time ever in calendar year 2017.

But June 2017 marked an end to Ram’s party, at least for the time being. General Motors reported 50,515 Chevrolet Silverado sales in June, a 2-percent year-over-year uptick and 7,442 more sales than FCA’s Ram truck lineup managed.

How did GM manage to end the trend? By earning less money per truck, naturally.

Granted, the pricing swings weren’t dramatic.

In June 2016, according to J.D. Power PIN data obtained by TTAC, the average transaction price for a Chevrolet Silverado was $41,614.

Last month, that figure dropped to $41,106. More notable, however, was the drop in average Silverado transaction prices from $42,408 in May of this year, when the Ram was outselling the Silverado, to $41,106 in June, when the Silverado regained its rightful position.

Meanwhile, FCA decreased average incentives on the Ram by $163 in May to $5,310 in June, still substantially more than the $4,439 average incentive on Silverados but a narrower gap than we’ve traditionally seen. FCA’s average Ram transaction prices grew by $675 from May to June and only trailed Silverado by $165 last month.

The comparison, you’ll recall, isn’t entirely relevant from GM’s perspective. As GM spokesperson Jim Cain (no relation) said last month, “One should never discount the contribution of GMC to our pickup strategy. It’s a high-volume, premium brand and it makes a monthly comparison to Silverado alone kind of unfair. It’s like we’re playing with one hand tied behind our back with that analysis.”

Through the first-half of 2017, General Motors has reported 362,093 full-size pickup truck sales; 427,282 truck sales in total. Ram sold 250,443 trucks in the first six months of 2017. That 176,839-unit margin is measurably smaller than the 215,487-unit spread at this time a year ago.

Regardless, both Ram and General Motors appear somewhat weak in comparison with America’s full-size pickup truck behemoth. Not only is Ford’s F-Series truck lineup up 9 percent this year — in a sector that’s growing about half that fast — but the F-Series’ 429,860 first-half sales place the full-size Ford line 2,578 sales ahead of the entire GM truck line, midsize trucks included. Ford is on track for nearly 900,000 F-Series sales in 2017, its best year since 2005.

Not only is Ford selling a ridiculous number of F-150s and Super Duty trucks, the Blue Oval is charging its buyers more, too. F-Series ATPs jumped $3,110, year-over-year, to $45,566 in June 2017; 11 percent higher than the ATPs of its two main rivals.

[Images: GM, FCA, Ford]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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6 of 16 comments
  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jul 06, 2017

    "This must be wrong – How can 3 full-size trucks be selling so many units when the head of Volvo says customers are demanding EVs?" Easy. A surprising number of households - and in particular, rural and suburban ones - can afford multiple vehicles. We use the HD truck to pull the gooseneck horse trailer and make runs to the home center, and fuel sippers to commute to work in the city.

    • See 3 previous
    • 427Cobra 427Cobra on Jul 06, 2017

      This is pretty much true. I live in SoCal... I'm single... I have a 2016 Ram 2500 crew cab short bed 4x4 with the 6.4L Hemi that I use for towing, camping, & hauling the dog around. I also have a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis for daily driving duty (sentimental purchase... was my grandfather's car)... and for a weekend toy, I have a 2004 Corvette Z06. I'm looking at a couple of additions... a 1986 Mustang GT convertible and a 2007 Saturn Vue V6... may let go of the Marquis. Four cars is my limit in my current driveway... I refuse to park on the street.

  • Trent Trent on Aug 19, 2017

    Does the Silverados ATP average include the HD and low cab models? I'd be more interested in knowing the ATP average of the GMs 1500 vs the F-150.

  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?