By on April 26, 2018

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak, Image: FCA

2019 Ram 1500s have begun arriving on dealer lots, but only in limited numbers. Not every trim and drivetrain configuration is currently available, as V6-powered models are not yet eligible for sale. Meanwhile, production of the previous-generation model continues.

Hoping to get more Ram transactions on its sales sheet, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to lure buyers into any and all of its trucks and vans. In many cases, the sales will exist only on paper.

According to an email sent to dealers — seen by Automotive News— part of the cure for sliding sales involves the brand’s loaner fleet. In the month of April, dealers were told that Ram vehicles (both trucks and commercial vans) placed in the Courtesy Transportation Program would count towards monthly sales. Hardly a new practice, but it shows just how easily an automaker can juice its “sales.”

By adding vehicles to the loaner fleet, dealers can more easily reach sales goals, thus making them eligible for factory bonuses. However, the email claims that while the loaner vehicles will count towards monthly sales, those particular vehicles will be excluded from the potential bonus. If a dealer reaches its goal with a sales mix of three-quarter retail sales and one-quarter loaners, it will receive three quarters of the maximum bonus. These vehicles eventually end up on the used lot.

One dealer that spoke to Automotive News said they’d never seen FCA involve Ram pickups in the loaner fleet sales shuffle.

Sales of Ram-branded vehicles fell 13 percent in March, year over year, with sales over the first three months of 2018 down 14 percent. The losses stem from every vehicle in the Ram stable, from the relatively low-volume Ram ProMaster van (down 36 percent, year-to-date), the even lower volume ProMaster City (down 15 percent in March and 3 percent year-to-date), and the Ram pickup line (down 11 percent in March, and 13 percent year-to-date).

For actual consumers, FCA’s sales efforts mean a heavier wallet. $1,500 in bonus cash landed on the hood of 2017 Ram 1500s in April, with an extra $500 tacked onto Ram EcoDiesel models. 2018 Ram 1500s saw $500 in bonus cash added for those purchasing or leasing.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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19 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler’s Pulling Out All the Stops to Boost Ram Sales Numbers...”

  • avatar

    Not news, just getting a peek at the sausage being made. All automakers run programs like this most months to boost numbers. Getting dealers to sell cars to themselves is nothing new.

  • avatar

    FCA: Dodge testing. RAM it into production. Have Tony Fix it again.

  • avatar

    HEMI RAM Longhorn 4×4 please. Bench seat or no deal. ;-)

    I do wonder what the real world profit margins after the ATP is. The deals being advertised on these things by the dealer are pretty crazy.

  • avatar

    I cannot think of a situation where I would consider any FCA product but I really like the look of the new Ram. It’s understated but not in a boring or run of the mill looks kind of way. I’m sure FCA will sell ’em by the truckloads….

    • 0 avatar

      Ryan: Nothing wrong with FCA. I have a ’16 200s. It’s been great and without any issues..

      As a rule, I don’t have issues with any Mopar product. FoMoCo, on the other hand, have a tow truck on stand by when I own one.

      Quality wise, seems as solid as my wife’s Nissan.

    • 0 avatar

      I saw a RAM today at the Commissary that had the 6.4L badge on the side, with side-steps and a hood I have never seen on any RAM. Didn’t know they made them that way.

      By the time I came out after shopping the truck had already left.

      Nice color too, kinda reddish-brown metallic with red pinstripes and side-boxes along the length of the bed.

      I would have liked to meet the owner. Chances are I’ll see him again someday since he is military and also shops at the Commissary.

  • avatar

    FCA fan here. You basically give up some reliability to get a vehicle that won’t bore you to death. So long as you have a decently supportive local dealer it’s not a bad trade off. LOVE the new RAMs – would consider one if the Crew Cab 1500 would fit in my garage with the door closed….229 inches…..

    • 0 avatar

      My ’16 200s has been great. It has the issues I knew about (rear entry, etc) but since I use it to drive to and from work, it’s a non-issue.

      I don’t have reliability issues with any Mopar car I’ve owned. I have that issue with FoMoCo. As I joked above, I kept a towing company on speed dial when I own one.

      • 0 avatar

        Wrong. With some of the best powertrains on the market, you are not giving up any reliability.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m reluctant to engage here but I do own FCA’s flagship car, which sports the best powertrain they have ever built.

          Yellow Duck is on the money. I wouldn’t trade my Viper for any car currently on sale, but it has had multiple annoying small issues that are really unbecoming of its price. I had lowered expectations when I bought it, and nothing in my experience has made me change that mindset. I accept it because the car is unbelievable to drive and I don’t rely on it daily, but it has given me pause about buying any more of their products. If their hand built supercar shows this level of cost cutting, what must they be doing to their lower priced offerings?

  • avatar

    I hate to admit this but the new RAM is finally something to covet…

    When the Rebel plastic edition came out I thought it was the end of the road but wow do I want a 2019…

  • avatar

    From the Freep:

    “In a call with analysts, CEO Sergio Marchionne said earnings could have been better if not for production difficulties at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant for the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. Production of the new pickup is currently at only 60%, “which is not where we need to be” and has cost about $300 million more than anticipated, he said.

    Marchionne added that he sees the problems as only short term and expects production to eventually improve. Production for the new Ram moved from the Warren Truck Assembly Plant.

    “I am not sleeping on the (factory) floor,” Marchionne, 65, said in response to a question about production difficulties. “You have to be Elon’s (Musk) age to do that. I’m too old for that crap.”

    So new model RAM sales may well be held back by shortages.

  • avatar

    I’m digging the 2019 Rebel trim with the RamBoxes on the side. I would love to get one with the 12″ Uconnect and Pano roof, but looks like those options are only available on the higher trims. Those interiors are something straight out of a luxury car. Anyhow, I’m seeing advertised discounts as high as $17k off 2018 models by local dealers. If the 2019’s have similar discounts in the future, I would seriously consider taking a chance on an FCA product.

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