QOTD: Trims to Models and Everything in Between?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd trims to models and everything in between

On Friday, we published our take on the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup. Some of you even read it, for which we thank you. Ram wisely brought a wide range of trims to the event, ranging from the workaday Tradesman to the high-zoot (that one’s for you, commenter MLS) Limited model.

The differences in equipment, capability, and appeal between the different trims on display got me thinking: at what point do we start thinking of these things as distinct models?

In 2017, the Ram brand sold 556,790 units, with the vast majority of those, over 500k, being pickup trucks. Parsing out the vehicle lineup we find only trucks of the 1500 to 5500 variety and a couple of staid work vans.

Over at Jeep, where 828,522 machines hit the road, five models compete for showroom space — six if you count the JK and JL Wrangler as separate models, which this author does. Five models conspired to sell 446,996 vehicles at Dodge. Individually, none of them came even close to 500,000 copies like the Ram pickup did.

If car companies ever started treating individual trim levels as unique models, it would give us a fantastic window into the buying habits of the American public. This is not limited to Ram; an Ace of Base F-150 XL bears little resemblance to a loaded-up Platinum.

After all, in the bad old days, one could argue the early-90s versions of a Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy, and Olds Bravada were simply gradually increasing trim levels of the same vehicle, and their sales were reported individually. Yes, there were different marques on their noses, but you get the point.

None of this will ever happen, of course, as I am quite confident manufacturers would be quite happy to give us less information about sales numbers, not more, if they thought they could get away with it.

Makes for an interesting train of thought, though: what trims on what vehicles do you think could be broken down into different models?

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2 of 35 comments
  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )