By on July 8, 2019

With Ram having surpassed Chevrolet as North America’s number two truck brand, automotive outlets everywhere rushed to report on it — we sure did.

Unfortunately, General Motors hasn’t been fond of the framing used to discuss the matter. Tough cookies, right? Well, the situation is pretty nuanced and we should always strive to be thorough. GM officially still trumps Fiat Chrysler in terms of overall full-size pickup sales, thanks to the one-two punch of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. And the company is also keen to point out that Ram’s volume has been inflated by the previous-generation 1500 being sold alongside the new version as a “Classic” model.

GM feels that this has made FCA’s win less legitimate and takes umbrage with the media sensationalizing the news as it prepares to totally destroy Ram by making a “massive move in full-size pickups” that will absolutely blow the doors off anything you could have possibly imagined. Insane! 

Alright, I’m teasing. But GM’s recent statement to The Detroit News, simultaneously criticized the media for being hyperbolic while fanning the flames. “The thing everybody needs to remember about this sensationalized Ram versus Chevrolet sales battle is that Rome won the Pyrrhic War,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain. “They’ve indicated they’re gonna stay on offense. That’s fine. We are about to make a massive move in full-size pickups.”

If you need to brush up on your ancient history (kudos to GM hiring someone so well read, by the way), the Pyrrhic War was a five-year engagement between Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, and Roman Republic. However, the point is that it’s often used as an example of winning a war at a cost that effectively negates a real victory. Epirus won important battles, but ultimately lost the war due to the staggering amount of casualties the Romans inflicted upon its army.

An apt analogy, we suppose, but it doesn’t exactly shy away from the sensationalism GM seemingly wanted to avoid. But what fun would that be, really? Without a bit of pettiness and some corporate grandstanding, the truck war would be a absolute snooze-fest. Automotive rivalries are a big part of what gets me out of the bed in the morning and the main reason most brands even bother to up their game.

From The Detroit News:

GM and Cain maintain that selling a discounted Ram Classic alongside the new Ram light- and heavy-duty models will come back to bite FCA eventually. FCA leadership, meanwhile, has said their sales strategy is paying off. Ram Classic discounts meant Ram’s previous full-size model cost less than a new GM midsize truck.

“Ram has been on a tear since we made the strategic decision to enter the year with a three-truck strategy,” FCA U.S. sales chief Reid Bigland said in a statement. “The new Ram 1500, Ram Classic and Heavy Duty are all generating a huge response from customers and critics alike. This is now the third month Ram pickup sales have surpassed 60,000 since December. Our dealers had a steady stream of customers all month long.”

“It’s an extremely strong pickup market,” said Michelle Krebs, industry analyst with Cox Automotive. “But this is not some kind of new game. New trucks are expensive, and there are truck buyers that don’t care if they have the previous generation, and they get it deeply discounted. It’s how the game is played, and they all play it.”

General Motors recently said that it would begin reporting Silverado and Sierra heavy and light-duty truck sales separately, likely in a bid to push Ford and FCA to do the same. However, Ford has no incentive to do so as it’s F-Series is nearly assured to remain the volume leader for some time. And total volume is what matters most. Big trucks provide big margins for automakers and the more they sell, the more dough comes rolling in the front door — which is a point for GM over FCA.

So far this year, FCA has sold 299,480 Ram pickups against GM’s combined Silverado and Sierra volume of 352,866. Meanwhile, Ford’s siting pretty at 448,398 F-Series deliveries.

Although, the General has continued losing ground with both light and HD pickups enduring weakening sales vs last year. GM claims this is the result of it continuing to ramp up the all-new models. True, but we’d imagine the vehicles themselves retain some onus. The Ram 1500 has been a media darling (it’s quite good) while the Silverado was dinged for its polarizing appearance and less comfortable ride (handles well for a truck, though).

Your opinions may vary, which is fine, but the point is that GM isn’t likely to shrug this off. It’s going to make excuses and play it cool, sure, but then it’ll build a more-competitive truck and come after FCA’s throat — which should be a lot of fun to watch. The more they keep fighting, the better.

 

[Image: General Motors

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84 Comments on “The Pettiness of Pickup Sales...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “And the company is also keen to point out that Ram’s volume has been inflated by the previous-generation 1500 being sold alongside the new version as a “Classic” model.”

    This from the company that sells the same truck twice under two brands?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The big news here is that GM once battled Ford for the number #1 spot but is now reduced to snarking at Ram (who has virtually always been #3) about who the *true second place* manufacturer is.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      GM cannibalized the hell out of themselves with the Colorado, including Canadian sales they moved over 180K between the two badges last year. I’d put $20 down that a full hundred thousand of those came at the expense of a half ton on the same lot.

      I don’t know what per unit profits look like, I’ll give GM the undeserved credit that they do and that five digit conquest sales are more money in the bank than another 100,000 Silverados would be, but a non-monetary cost of that is that their half ton and up numbers will never compete with the F-Series ever again. Probably won’t seriously challenge Ram in the future either.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I think I’d take that bet.

        Plus, the Ranger is widely available now and FCA is planning on a Gladiator/Dakota offering across their brands. If mid-size sales are hurting FS volume, it should stabilize for GM in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        Rocket

        Funny, GM specifically said that their mid-sizers were NOT cannibalizing full size pickup sales much at all. Even if there is some cannibalization, I guarantee you it doesn’t account for 100k of Colorado/Canyon sales. I mean, if GM owners are staying within the family, where are all the Ram sales coming from?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          >if GM owners are staying within the family, where are all the Ram sales coming from?

          As someone with experience in this area, conquesting GM truck customers into Ram is easy pickings. In the work truck space, a lot more truck for less money. Where the cost is around the same in the luxo truck arena, the content and quality of the Ram is vastly better.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Yeah, call us when Ford had a Ranger and FCA has a Gladiator problem.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    GM does not have the ability to match FCA or Ford. Their engineers may design a competitive truck, but the GM army of cost cutters can’t resist taking out content. GM will always win the cheapest interior award. They also will own the worst ride award.
    ” We are about to make a massive move in full-size pickups.” – Ha! the Mary Barra special in pink!

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      That worst ride is because it does actually function the best as a truck. The Ram is basically a lifted car. For those who buy it for transportation, the Ram is probably better. It also probably is the part of the market that spends the most. It’s more comfortable and has a nicer interior. Any kind of real load and it sucks fuel like crazy. I also don’t have the same historical faith in long term durability. It’s still though to know how GMs current heavy Chinese and Indian parts content will affect these long term.

      • 0 avatar

        I think Ford has the best approach here with offering a slightly obscure package that increases payload. Kind of allows you to play both fields.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          There’s plenty of negative things to say about the GM trucks without resorting to outright nonsense. Their HD trucks have far and away the best ride of the 3, and their half tons are perfectly competitive with everything besides the Ram.

          • 0 avatar

            The coil sprung 3/4 ton rams are pretty good haven’t been in the newest GM HD yet but yeah the GM one tons in particular were way better then the other two for ride.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            “…and their half tons are perfectly competitive with everything besides the Ram.”

            Not the greatest praise when the GM twins are brand new, and yet it is only “perfectly competitive” with a 5 year F-150, 10 year old Tundra, and 4year old Titan, and not competitive with the only other brand new truck on the market. The is standard GM MO though-target older models then release a product that is not competitive with newest competitive releases (see Cadillac ATS).

            What is going to happen when GM’s trucks are going to have to compete with the new F150?

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @whynot,

            Believe me, it’s not intended to be great praise. I think the new GM trucks are an embarrassment to a once great nameplate, and they have earned every bit of their sales decline.

            My only point was “the worst ride award” is not a fair statement, especially when there are so many other legitimate complaints that can be leveled against these trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I have to agree. I recently had a pretty well equipped V8 F-150 as a rental. It was nice on the inside, and a decent ride. The only thing I dislike is that Ford really wants to sell you the turbo V6 instead of the NA V8. A few years ago, if Ford dealers were willing to deal on a V8, I might have ended up with one instead. You get why they sell more of their trucks than the competition.

          (Edit, response meant for mopar4wd)

      • 0 avatar
        Robotdawn

        Given the full quarter victory of Dodge Ram over the Silverado I took a real look at the new RAM too, just to see what the hype is. First off, the new truck is pretty rare on the ground, although perhaps that is a local thing. I’d be curious what the Classic/New split is. Second, the new RAM, other than the Rebel trim, is rather pedestrian looking if you ask me. The big deal must be the interior, which is a nothing-burger to me once you get past functional and not unattractive. It’s a truck, not a Porsche. If that’s your thing though, I could see not being thrilled with Ford or GM.

        I guess I’m too old to see a Dodge truck owner as anything other than someone whose credit or cash won’t buy them a Ford or Chevy.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Have they broken out Old vs New Ram Numbers? I mean the Silverado and Sierra are far closer than the old vs new Ram.

          Still, it does appear that Ram is moving more trucks, largely at GM’s expense as Ford seems pretty solid here but while GM has facilitated this by selling just a terrible looking truck, they may not be wrong on this. Will Ram demand stay strong when the old truck goes away and the bargainhunters are satisfied? We shall see.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            It wasn’t so long ago that any Dodge Ram truck without a Cummins engine was sold at a heavily discounted price and that Dodge Ram’s sales were less than half of Chevrolet’s, and less than a third of GM’s total. If they’re making money as well as headlines, then this isn’t really a Pyrrhic victory at all. I’d love to see this competition tabulated in sales per dealer and profit per unit.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          I had more than enough credit/cash back in 2003 when I bought my 2003 Ram 1500 4×4. I loved it and only traded it in on a car (A Charger R/T)after I was hurt in a bad fall, and getting into a 4×4 truck is pretty risky. My credit then was about 740, and now it’s pretty close to 800. If I was buying a truck now, a Ram is what I would be buying. Rare on the ground? Where do you live? They are everywhere around NW Ohio, along with the Classic and all the previous gens going back to 1994. A friend of mine just bought his wife a Ram Rebel, and it’s great. His credit is over 800, and he could have paid cash, but for cash flow, he got a loan for 2 years at almost zero interest and will pay it off early, like by Jan-Feb 2020.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            nrd, Back in ’03 I bought the ’04 Ram 1500. I still have it. The “hemi” runs like it did when I bought it and the drive train is flawless. I would gladly buy another Ram, but this one won’t break. Gas mileage? Who cares? I don’t commute in it.

            4WD long bed crew cab SLT, tow package, upgraded stereo, full-time AWD, etc cost me less than 27k. I could have afforded to spent more, but why? I liked the value. I think it is still there. FCA is smart to offer bargain prices on models you don’t have to special order or hunt for.

            I do agree with what others have said about payload, however. This truck tows as much as I need but payload is really lame. I think the next one will be 3/4 ton, probably a Powerwagon.

          • 0 avatar
            Robotdawn

            @nrd,
            I live in Middle Tennessee and I have really looked for the new RAM and just don’t see them. I saw one over the weekend, and none in 2 days of commuting 26 miles each way. Like I said, it could be a local thing.
            The RAM Rebel is a good looking truck. I’ve seen a couple over the last few months.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          Or someone that can’t stand the look of the new GM trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        MBella

        Q: You know who else uses a lot of Asian parts in their vehicles?
        A: The Asians!

        Only vehicle made in India, and imported into the U.S. is the Ford EcoSport. GM doesn’t build those.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        MBella

        Q: You know who else uses a large number of Asian parts in their vehicles?
        A: The Asians!
        Also the only vehicle from India imported into the U.S. is the Ford Ecosport. GM doesn’t build the Ford EcoSport.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        MBella

        Q: You know who else uses a large number of Asian parts in their vehicles?
        A: The Asians!
        Also the only vehicle from India imported into the U.S. is the Ford Ecosport. GM doesn’t build the Ford EcoSport.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “The Ram is basically a lifted car. For those who buy it for transportation, the Ram is probably better.”

        That’s a bit of a shallow assertion when the Ram can tow and haul competitively, while simultaneously riding and handling better. Ram provided a more sophisticated 5 link coil spring suspension while Ford and GM stick to the jittery leaf springs. They presume their customers won’t know the difference or feel short changed.

        “Any kind of real load and it sucks fuel like crazy.”

        The current crop of DI turbo downsized engines are actually worse for this because of the need to over-enrich to avoid detonation/degradation or otherwise de-rate.

  • avatar

    When your sales theory is profit over volume. Cost cutting to hit the profit seems like a bad idea when the other guys are selling on upgraded features. Then making it ugly sure didn’t help. Looking at GM sites around the web not a lot of love for the new Silverado. And what love there is seems turned off by the fact that they can get a Ram cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      mopat4wd

      When has the web ever been kind to GM?
      GM is still on track to sell 500,000 Silverados in the U.S. this year, and about 200,000 Sierras.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I believe it is presumptuous to assume all midsize truck sales take away from full size trucks. I will not buy a full size truck and have less loyalty to a brand. I am not going to buy a full size truck because GM doesn’t make a smaller truck which now it does. That is like saying a buyer should buy a Chrysler 300 because Chrysler no longer makes a midsize 200.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Correct – I wouldn’t take a full sizer if you gave it to me. I need a truck, that like my current Dakota, fits in the my garage and doesn’t require a step ladder to get into. GM’s twins are a bit too big and the A8 transmission situation is a mess. So I am curious to see if a new Dakota comes out because my 02 V8 Quad Cab SLT (w/tow package) has been bullet proof aside from rust in the bed around the rear wheel wells. I owned a Ranger before so Ford is still on my radar. I only buy used so my purchase is still at least 2 years away.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        From what I can tell, most US drivers wouldn’t own a fullsize pickup in a million years. Heck many midsize pickup owners complain their Tacomas or whatever are very hard to park and get around in.

        There’s a fullsize learning curve most don’t want to deal with. OK I get it… But it’s all relative. My elderly parents each drive fullsize pickups and swing them around like Pros, since that’s mostly all they’ve ever driven.

        They park their fullsize pickups in their standard 2-car garage, no problem.

        I see this all the time, but yesterday I was waiting for the next available gas pump and when the guy finished, all he had to do is pull through gap left by the cars at other (center) pumps, typical 1-8 pumps station.

        So he approached the at least 10′ gap in his little Hyundai, as I approached the open pump and thought “yep!”. Nope, he threw up his hands and his Reverse lights came on. So I then threw up MY hands.. Ugh, so typical.

        I’m just saying this is America and where else to you get the chance? Bolivia maybe. Yeah I’m fullsize pickup biased, but it’s like living on “The Lake” but refuse to go near the water.

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    I find it odd that GM would complain about Ram selling an old style “Classic.” It’s a page out of the playbook that GM has used numerous times in the past (when transitioning from the gmt400 to the gmt800 platform and again when moving to the gmt900 platform). In fact, a quick search on cars.com reveals both old style and new style 2019 Silverados.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The Silverado 1500LD is the old style Silverado sold alongside the NEW for 2019 Silverado 1500.

      GM is having a hard time adjusting to the reality that currently RAM has a more desirable 1500-series with more value and more content for the same money than GM does.

      The problem with all that desire for RAM trucks is that the discounts on the hood of a RAM, especially the top level trims, is shrinking.

      At the same time the dealer discounts on the High Country and LTZ trims of the 2019 Silverado are getting bigger as more GM fans opt for the LT, Custom and W/T trims with Pkgs, leaving the RST trim as the answer to a GM pickup truck question never asked, by anyone.

      But ALL halfton trucks these days have been sissyfied. If you need a real truck to haul and tow, you really need to buy a 3/4-ton truck.

      Halfton these days is all for show. Not for go.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        “But ALL halfton trucks these days have been sissyfied. If you need a real truck to haul and tow, you really need to buy a 3/4-ton truck.”

        This isn’t really a fair statement. Underneath the leather and big touchscreens, the 1500 trucks are as capable as ever, or can at least be optioned that way. Anyone who tows all day long or hauls thousands of pounds in the bed has always been better off with a 3/4 or above. If you’re just towing a boat or doing household work, there’s no reason a 1/2 ton won’t suit you. The payload and towing are as high as they’ve ever been, the engines are more powerful than ever, brakes are stronger, transmissions more intelligent, etc.

        The only real loss of capability that I’ve seen on the half ton side (and one of the major reasons I bought a Super Duty) is the disappearance of the 8 foot bed.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          A number of people I know, who were my fellow contractors, builders, remodelers, etc, have stepped up their game to a 3/4-ton.

          And you’re right, the 8-foot bed + a fullsize CrewCab (and in some cases Dualies or DRW) were the major drive behind those decisions.

          As much as I would love to own yet another Tundra 5.7L CrewMax, if I ever decide to buy that last truck of my driving life, I’m seriously looking at a Ford F250 or a RAM 2500 4dr, long Bed.

          I won’t even need 4WD since the truck will only be used for long-distance travel towing a 24-ft camping trailer.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    HAHAAAHAAAAHAAAAAAHAAAAAHHHHAHAAAAAA!!!

    Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors LLC funny!

    The Silverado and Sierra are Chinesium grade rolling dumpster fires full of Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (GM) IF YOU CAN’T MATCH OIR LOWEST COST PARTS SUPPLIER OUT OF CHINA LOWEST BID ON ANY PART THEN DON’T BOTHER SUBMITTING A BID parts and circa-2009 plastic-fantastic interiors.

    RAM is going to continue to kill Chinerado and Mexierra to the point Guangzhou-Guadalajara twins will never recover (Mid Cycle Refresh will be a wet, humid fart).

    Mary Barra be buggin’.

    短的;近的;矮的;短期的;短暂的;简短的;少量的;简短地;突然扼要
    段落;短评;将…分段;分段落;写短评段落

    Sree USA in your Guangzhou Motor (GM) Dong Yue LLC Chebroret Chinarado!

    Interior parts and a textures and all components pride of Dong Yue LLC, Industrial Zone D17, Factory No. 3.

    SAIC Guangzhou deeply values lowest cost bidder parts supplier status with GM North America!

    We a most a ra parts and put for General a Motors Chebroret Chinarado and GMC Chierra!

    Tanks for a hepring Peoples Repubric of China become dominant rivarl to a USA, GM!

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Deadweight

      No Mazda is built in the U.S. They don’t use any U.S. made parts.
      Criticizing GM for Importing parts, while writing love letters to Mazda makes you a hypocrite!

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    So GM launched the all new models and is now still ramping up? that’s a poor excuse, it makes them look bad.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Unless the “huge move” is making it look like a GMT400 somehow, I think this is a lost generation for GM trucks and they had better hope the next generation is a homerun and brings them back.

    Think about it, lately the last few truck releases you have had Dodge (Ram) wowing people with comfort and ride quality. You have Ford with the engines and the Aluminum (people will wail on here about that last bit, but the sales numbers say you area minority) and even Toyota when the last Tundra came out wowed people. When is the last time GM introduced a truck that was beyond a “meh”, or “evolutionary”, let alone a failure like the current ones?

    If your stylists can’t come up with something good, just copy your own stylists from when your trucks looked good. The engines are great, the interior is good enough…just make it look like a GMT400 and make us all happy.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      “When is the last time GM introduced a truck that was beyond a “meh”, or “evolutionary”?”

      -The Avalanche, in 2002.

      Outside of powertrains (admittedly a big part of any vehicle purchase) there has been very little to recommend GM trucks for a long time. This after being class leading, IMHO, through the 80s and 90s.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        ” there has been very little to recommend GM trucks for a long time.”

        That’s true. Even GM’s power trains are not as innovative as Ford’s Ecobusts. The RAM 5.7L HEMI vs the GM 5.3L? Pick the larger displacement every time.

        GM is more evolutionary than revolutionary. And the savvy buyers of today know that.

        There used to be an argument that Silverado+GMC outsold Ford F150. Now the argument has been diminished to Silverado+GMC outsells RAM.

        How far they have fallen?

        If GM wants to sell more of their trucks, they need fewer trim lines instead of W/T, Custom, LT, RST, LTZ and HighCountry, and give more content/value for the same money as Ford and RAM do.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      GM has the 6.2L, that’s about where it ends with GM trucks, unfortunately your spending over $50k (though I heard they’re bringing it down market to 43k) to get that engine. Worse than that you have to look at and live with the package surrounding it.

  • avatar

    I swear that front end looks like a 4 layer wedding cake that is 1 or 2 layers too many. I’d love to know how many inches if any, of nothing, there is between the bottom of the hood and the top of the engine. GM trucks tend to have bulky manifolds as opposed to their cars, but even then, they aren’t that tall.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    There was a time, not horribly long ago, when it made sense to combine all load ratings of a pickup into one sales figure.

    When a half-ton pickup looked just like a one-ton, except for the parts you didn’t see, it made sense. A 1980 F-350 looked just like an F-150, despite an entirely different frame. The engine choices were pretty similar as well. So in 1980, Ford could justify saying that the F-Series was the best-selling truck line.

    Today, not so much. An F150 is an almost entirely different vehicle than an F350. They don’t look alike and share few to no common engines. It’s pretty disingenuous to lump all the F-series into one number. Heck, why not rename the Ranger to the F-50 and lump in that sales figure too??

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I have to agree. Especially since the F-150 would still be the most sold vehicle by a large margin.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You do realize that the Super Duty line moved back to a common cab with the half tons a year or so ago, right? There are differeces, but they are cosmetic. One can drop superduty sheet metal on a half ton and vice versa. Maybe 5-10 years ago you were correct, but now they are more alike then different.

      Aren’t GM heavy duty trucks still on the previous platform as well as Ram with them adding literally 2 different model half tons?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Dear Chevy – Stop making excuses. Your truck looks nasty. Notice how Ram went with a more subtle design and sales increased tremendously. Hopefully the age of monster trucks is over.

    Personally I would certainly consider a Ram these days, which I would have never said 5-10 years ago.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The problem with most half ton crew cab pickups is they have short beds and they are too tall to easily access the bed unless you use the steps or a ladder and that is even true of the 2 wheel drive. I understand having a crew cab for a family vehicle especially with kids and a dog but if you are going to use the bed for hauling it is just not long enough. That is true with midsize crew cabs as well. If I were getting a full size half ton it would be an extended cab or a regular cab because I would only want one for the bigger and wider bed otherwise my midsize does everything I need it to do and it is easier to drive and fits in my garage. My 99 S-10 extended cab is very easy to drive and park much easier than my crew cab Isuzu which has a smaller bed. Having said that the Isuzu is much easier to drive than most full size trucks and it fits in the garage.

    Chevy should have gone back to a design like the GMT400 which still looks good. I would like to see the half ton full size 2 wheel drive trucks height lowered to where they were in the 90’s.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Half ton pickups have been getting a lowering job, so yeah shocking, automakers are actually listening (to whiners).

      4X4s no longer sit higher than 2wds, and rear ends are level with the fronts. It’s not actually a good look, but it’s also for CAFE/mpg consideration.

      So you might take a closer look, but I sense you prefer to hear yourself complain. Even the HDs are getting lower, especially in the rear, with exception of GM HDs.

      Crew cab 1/2 tons are now readily available with 6.5 ft beds, no need to special order.

      Fullsize pickups are specifically designed to fit in the standard garage. I’m not saying it’s not a snug fit, and no doubt it’s easier to leave them outside, which happens to most pickups, including midsize. But they’re “trucks”, not Maserati’s

      Specify aftermarket running-boards (steps) that extend from wheel-well to wheel-well, but unless you’re new to pickups (or just love to complain), you don’t drop small, unreachable items in the bed of your truck, you’ll want to retrieve later.

      It’s not Rocket Science. Nor does it take a genius to carry a milk crate back there, easy to grab and put small things in, hand tools, bungies, straps, or use as a step, seat, etc.

      Amazing, but you snivelers might try throwing a rake in the bed and leaving it there as a reach tool. Not the flimsy ones, the ones with prongs.

      I like the ones with 3 big prongs, but you guys sound like pickup truck “green horn” newbies..

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “but you guys sound like pickup truck “green horn” newbies.”

        Guilty, but if you aren’t going off-road and it isn’t negatively impacting payload ratings then what is the problem with the truck being lower? Having to drive around with crates, and stools, and sturdy rakes to retrieve things from the bed seems like a hassle if there is no tangible upside.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          I just don’t like the looks of lowered trucks, even if “factory”. Unless they’re airbagged and lay-frame of course. Spinning beds not required.

          The reason I like high sides is for the security of expensive tools, power equipment, etc. When I park away from others and or across the road from the diner, it just looks like a typical empty truck. They’re supposed to sit higher in the rear (empty), to compensate for a load.

          But either you use the bed or you don’t. The repeated complaints are that you can’t reach things in the bed. I just offer commonsense “solutions” well known or obvious to anyone with pickup experience.

          There’s others and you will probably come up with your own. But it just seems like complaints come from those not actually looking for any kind of solution, and probably don’t even own a pickup, or plan on ever owning one.

          So why even have small items sliding around your bed? It makes no sense to me. Any way, chances are the item or items will end up in the center of the bed where they can’t be readily reached in any pickup, any size, class, etc.

          My mom is 5’1″ with a Tundra 4X4 and has a big plastic tray, looks commercial, maybe a bread tray, zip-tied to the back of the bed. She just drops the tailgate and her groceries or whatever are right there. She came up with that on her own.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        DM – what is this “standard garage” BS you like to spew? In my neighborhood in Florida, there is not a single house that has a garage that will fit a modern full-size truck. Even the ones under construction TODAY. And that is before you start putting cabinets or anything against the back wall of the garage. My garage barely fits a Volvo 940 (to the point where you can’t walk in front of or behind the car with the door closed), which is toy-sized compared to these monstrosities.

        My place in Maine will fit three longbeds, but 34×40 is not exactly a standard size garage. None of my friends with newer attached garage houses can fit a crewcab truck in them up there either, never mind a four-door with a decent length bed. I guess things are bigger out west, but where people actually live not so much.

        And that is before we even get into the utterly stupid height of the things, which make them about useless. Needing a “man step” or a six-way folding tailgate to get into the bed makes my point. I’m 6’2″ and I can’t reach over the side and pick something up off the bed of most of them. Silly.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          My crew cab F150 fits in my 2018 built garage just fine, and I even have a 90 degree turn to get it in there. It stays outside though so my other vehicles can be in the garage because, you know, ITS A FREAKING TRUCK!

  • avatar
    sirwired

    It’s legit for GM to complain about the GMC totals not being included when ranking the various manufacturers against each other. (But, on the other hand, selling two brands of the same truck is kinda guaranteed to create this sort of confusion, so they shouldn’t be whining too much.)

    But it’s certainly *not* legit for them to complain about the last-gen truck also being sold. A sale’s a sale. If the older truck still meets the needs of a lot of shoppers, more (profit-packed) power to FCA for continuing to sell it.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      GM isn’t doing itself any favors crying. Even though they have a point, it brings attention to the how much better Ram trucks are and spotlights how GM pickups lag behind in so many ways.

      Quiet down and just focus on building better trucks. Right before I bought my new, new for 2004 F-150, (in 2003) the other truck makers were flooding the TV stations with commercials depicting how much better their pickups were, and where/how they bettered the new F-150.

      Their’s were the 4X4 luxo version, mag wheels, tu-tone, etc, and of course vs a stripper-base F-150 on steel wheels and fleet white.

      A the time I was totally immersed in flipping houses, besides my regular job, but that’s where I got my first glimpse of the all-new F-150. On competitor’s commercials.

      A new pickup was the last thing on my mind, but felt if they were making so much noise about all they ways/specs/measures the F-150 failed, no doubt spending millions, I should take a closer look… So yes I had to buy one.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    Sometimes people tell you things you dont want to hear. The overwhelming story from the press is that the new Chevy trucks(and hell the cars too) are less than attractive. Im sure there was a design concept that probably looked pretty good, but after the accountants cut the cost, you were left with alien vs predator front ends. GM Im sure hates to hear that their baby is ugly, so instead of acknowledging that they missed the mark, they blame the messenger and cry foul about how FCA reports sales. Then, to prove they are worried about sales, they promise that something amazing is coming… So in addition to tacit admission that they screwed up, they are telling people to wait for the next thing, which will further drive down sales.

    My wife took her 2013 yukon in for its 180k service, and were given a brand new Chevy silverado as a loaner. Think about this for a minute- we were given a brand new silverado as a loaner because the yukon was getting the main seal replaced, and would be out for a few days. A 2013 yukon, with nearly 200,000 miles, on ~1500 bucks of work(more than just the main seal but nothing major).

    Previously, when we got loaner vehicles from this dealership, we got a chevy cruise, or maybe an impala. Now they are padding weak numbers with a fleet of loaner trucks. If those trucks were moving quickly they wouldn’t be loaners.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      Interesting point about the loaner Silverado, s_a_p. I would tend to agree with you, especially on a brand-new release of one of their most profitable products. The only hiccup comes from my personal experience of getting an F150 loaner when my lowly Focus went in for state inspection a couple years ago…but I only drove the F150 a grand total of six miles.

      Yesterday, I saw a new Silverado drive past my work. I caught myself literally muttering out loud, “Poor guy…”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I find it hard to believe that pickups are getting lower. What proof do you have that pickups have been getting lower? If you compare even an early 00’s pickup today’s there is a noticeable difference in how much higher a 2019 pickup is to even a 2006. At least make the 2 wheel drive pickups the height of the 90’s 2 wheel drive pickups. I can understand ground clearance for a 4 x 4 for off road but getting on a ladder to reach into the bed is not the safest thing especially if you are older than 40. I don’t want a low rider but I don’t want something that requires a ladder and yes I do have running boards on my 2008 Isuzu 4 x 4 but it doesn’t help for when you need to reach into the bed. Maybe more trucks need to put a step on the sides of the bed just like the step side pickups of the past had.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Which specific “2019 pickups”? OK look at this 4X4 Silverado 1500:

      tfltruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Chevy-Silverado-RST-LSD.jpg

      The rear squats even with the front. And it’s a Z71 package. That alone tell you they’re getting much lower. It looks like it has half a pallet of ready-mix concrete bags in the back. But the gap in the front (tire to wheel-lip) looks lower than the previous Silverado 2wd.

      It’s obvious.

      I don’t have time to look up all the specs, but if you don’t see it, you’re crazy. And it goes the same for the F-150 and Ram 1500. Tundra and Titan are still old platforms.

      I’m not a fan of their new stance and lowered ride height, but it happened for a reason, partly for the complainers and for CAFE/mpg/aero.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I had a 2005 F150. I have a 2015. Both 2wd. Neither is noticibly higher or lower looking at them but the 15 is easier to get in and out of.

      My Dad has an 18 4×4. It was parked next to mine all weekend and it was barely taller than my 2WD.

      This, just like the myth of modern trucks being massive compared to the models of 10-20 years ago that persists even after someone posts actual dimensions is a bunch of hooey.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    DM–I have owned a pickup since 1985 so to say that I don’t own a truck or that I don’t use the bed is not correct. I have hauled equipment, 2 x 4s, rocks, pavers, gravel, furnaces, appliances, junk, power equipment, and many other things and yes I had a 63 IH series 1000 pickup with a step side bed which was at one time what a full size truck was. Just too easy to assume that anyone who doesn’t like the current size and height of a truck doesn’t own one or doesn’t use one. I even pulled out a tree stump with a chain attached to my truck. I don’t own a pickup for status I own one for utility and I have driven and used pickups since 1967 to assume that I know nothing about them is erroneous–I have even driven a 68 IH Loadstar with a tandem axel.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    From the story:

    “They’ve indicated they’re gonna stay on offense. That’s fine. We are about to make a massive move in full-size pickups.”

    So, I take it they have admitted they have an ugly duckling design and the 2020 will be a swan?

    That said, I like the new Ram Rebel better than the old, but I sill like the Classic trucks better than the new Ram. The new ones are OK other than the JC Whitney emblem on the side of the hood bulge.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    There was no “Pyrrhic War”.

    The term “Pyrric Victory” is attributed to King Pyrrhus of Epiros. Epiros was a city-state in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks had colonies in Sicily and southern Italy. “Napoli”, or Nea Poli (New City in Greek) was one of them.

    As Rome was expanding southward in the 250-270 BC, they came into conflict with the Greeks. King Pyrrhus defeated the Romans. However, his victory came at a high price (men? ships? whatever?), and when some advisor or ‘sycophant’ (many in corporate America today) congratulated the King, Pyrrhus replied “one more such victory and we are finished”.

    Ultimately, the ascendant Roman empire prevailed, and the Greek colonists of southern Italy became Italianized.

    Mr. McCain’s comment is off-base. Chrysler will not bleed to death outselling GM. Dude, this is 2020, not 1960 or 1970; GM is no longer the Roman Empire.

    But, GM stands a real chance of lower sales and profits in the future because of some very poor strategic decisions that many in the TTAC commentariat have noted: overpriced in general, overpriced V8s in particular, penny-pinching interiors, and debatable exterior styling.

    Since, in general, newer products tend to be better, good odds, a 2012 Silverado owner who switches to a 2019 Ram (old or new) will like it more, and not come back to GM.

    Also, GM has is selling their ‘old’ and ‘new’ light duty trucks currently, just like FCA.

    If GM was smart, they would continue offering the old trucks, and cut the price of all their trucks (to the chagrin of those who bought one in the last year). If GM drops the old trucks, good luck catching Ram.

    It’s tough going from being the world’s premier company to just another player in the course of 50 years. To go from top selling brand (Chevy) to ‘total trucks outsell Ford’ to ‘total trucks outsell Ram’ is a public humiliation. And losing sales generally results in lost profits over time.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The problem isn’t even the front end in these new trucks, although it’s bad, a simple front end issue can be redesigned. No the problem is the sheet metal from the rear quarter view, to extreme length of the sheet metal north to south, the useless side mirror positions. The body looks like inbred cousins got together to see just how far they could take it. It is exceedingly unappealing and the front end is just icing on the turd.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      IMO, the real let down is inside. Compare a High Country Silverado to a Longhorn Ram, which are at the same price point. The Ram uses very nice, high grade materials in an attractive layout. The Silverado feels like it’s using leftover W body Impala parts. I felt insulted that GM felt they could ask the same price.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        You’re both right, which I think is the reason for this discussion in the first place.

        If they don’t put a better effort into the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon versions, they may end up losing a lot of ground to the Expedition there too.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Honestly I haven’t sat in one of these, I looked in one when they were first making it to dealers, I could see areas on the outside that were clearly cost cut, such as a higher trim truck not having the features of my lower trim 2017 truck. From the window the interior looked almost unchanged from mine if not cheapened in key spots.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    So customers are complainers. I don’t see a measurable difference in the height of the 2019 Silverado and the 2018 one. Maybe they lowered it by an inch which would not be that significant. Just because a truck is higher doesn’t mean it hauls more payload. How many leaf springs, what type of springs, and what type of shocks determine capacity and so does the frame strength. Just jacking up the height of a vehicle does not mean it will haul more weight. I can see if you are driving off road a lot then taller would be better. As for the rear of the truck it can sit a little higher than the front but that doesn’t mean it is so tall that you need a step ladder to get into the bed. You don’t have to be an extremist. As for complaining I usually would not say anything just not buy a product that doesn’t suits my needs and no I do not expect a manufacturer to make a vehicle to my exact specifications. This is a comments section and one has a right to express their opinions whether you agree with them or not unless comments that don’t agree with yours become censored which seems to be where some on the left or right would like it to be. DM you are free to drive as big and as tall a vehicle as you want you can even jack up the height if you don’t think a truck is tall enough as long as it is in compliance with any regulations. You can even have a monster truck.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    While it is no longer easy to get a sense of market trends when both Ford and GM are reporting sales on a quarterly basis, BEFORE GM started this, there was already a SOLID TREND of the RAM starting to gain on the Silverado in sales. This is not a NEW TREND, folks. This was at least two years in the making.

    Also note that GM is GUILTY of building a “classic” version of a pickup the last time they tried to convince us that the 2014 model was a “new” truck (it barely was significantly changed). In order NOT TO LOSE SALES, they staggered production and kept the prior version in production while the new one was being ramped up in sales and then phased out the old truck.

    For GM now to whine is evidence that they are neither serious in building a competitive truck, they are now scared that they have assumed insignificance in the market along with the Titan and that antique from Toyoduh.

    GM whining about selling things on price is also ridiculous – this company has long had fire sales to offload slow moving junk that people would not pay sticker price for.

    I really like that RAM and Ford are now the contenders and their competition is raising the bar on what we can expect from trucks. The fact that GM half bakes their “new” products is only GM’s problem.

    And please, if GM has two divisions selling “different” trucks, you cannot add up those trucks as ONE – that is called GM math – and that is fake math. Either Chevrolet and GMC are different, or they are the same – but that makes a mockery out of “Professional Grade” attached to a GMC which is really a Chevrolet built by a non-drunk UAW worker.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s a good 3 inches drop, over the previous Silverado/Sierra 4X4. It might be more, might be less, I don’t care.

    But the point is, automakers are giving in. I thought they were fine, or could be raised a couple inches actually. Is that because I’m an actual user (and abuser) full time? On and off road? Work/play?

    I wasn’t trying to imply static-height in the rear dictated capacity. But I’d rather a truck ride level (at worst) if partly loaded, than starting out “level” and sagging dramatically in the back when only partly loaded, never mind at full capacity.

    I just don’t agree when auto/truck makers cave to those that are not likely serious users (or even “buyers”), or CAFE/CARB tyrants.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Although the trend is to lower them, if there’s enough outcry, and enough aftermarket lifting, pickup OEMs may offer a high-rider or “Highboy” options.

      But BOF pickups have always been made to be lifted, within reason.

      When I say “sagging”, I just mean the angle which they ride, not the overloading of springs or legal capacity.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I think there is a place for a higher truck and maybe in the 3/4 to 1 ton trucks they should be exempt from much of the CAFE/CARB. The problem is that more people are buying pickups and that has the attention of the regulators. The crew cab pickup has replaced the sedan as a family vehicle. Trucks in the past did not sell in the volume they do now and many would have never considered a truck in the past are now buying them. Also the status of a pickup being a work vehicle only is no longer true.

    About sagging in the back I actually broke the leaf springs on the back of my Mitsubishi Mighty Max truck and had 6 leaf springs added to each side of the Max and I put taller tires and heavy duty shocks so I could haul a heavier load (it became a 1 ton). The ride was not so good when I had an empty bed but with a load it was not bad but the ride height was still not so tall that I couldn’t climb into the bed–many thought I had a 4 x 4 because it sat higher. I drove that Max for 14 years and 200k miles using it for all kinds of hauling and yes it had an 8 foot bed which I miss (single cab).

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I just received my July 8, 2019 issue of Automotive News a few minutes ago. Here are the June 2019 monthly truck sales from their data:

    Chevrolet Silverado – 47,089 units (down from 53,381 in ’18)
    GMC Sierra – 19,530 units (down from 26,301 in ’18)

    Total GM truck sales in June 2019 = 66,619 units

    Ram pickup – 68,098 units (up from 43,542 in ’18)

    Ford F-series* – 79,426 units (up from 79,204 in ’18)

    *Automotive News uses a small ‘s’ in F-series for those who keep score.

    Verdict: FCA clearly has eaten GM’s lunch for the month of June.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Truck owners are some of the most brand-loyal buyers, but GM is still managing to lose them. With GM, there is always a “game-changer” just around the corner. More often than not, unfortunately, the game stays the same: GM shrinks. It is the most consistent aspect of their company performance for the last 50 years.

    GM just keeps getting smaller. They are the master of nothing. They are known for nothing. They are distinguished by nothing. Their reputation is nothing. They will inevitably go back to selling pickups on price. They have no choice.

    Thank God they have Denali, which was a great idea, well executed. Those guys should move to Cadillac, where they could do some good.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “They will inevitably go back to selling pickups on price. They have no choice. ”

      GM dealers are pretty much doing that now. Or at least some try to.

      When accompanying my best friend in his current quest to buy a new halfton 4dr pickup truck, I have noticed that the GM salesperson and the salesmanager got pretty squirrelly when he declined their out-the-door price.

      In a nut shell, he asks them what the dealership needed to sell the truck for, out the door, so he can decide to either buy it or not.

      So they give him the out-the-door price, including everything, he does a little figuring, and declines because it is more than other dealerships like Mission, Bravo and Galles are selling the same truck for.

      Those three have both the greater selection AND sales volume, so smaller dealers are in a squeeze, right off the bat.

      Then the salesmanager pops off and says, maybe I can do a little better. And my friend says, “I’m fine with your price. I asked you how much the store needs to sell it for. And I respect that.”

      So the salesmanager comes back and knocked another $700+ off the initial figure.

      My buddy tells them, “Right in the ballpark! This is the price you should have given me to begin with, but you wanted to dance. Now I don’t believe that this is what the store needs to sell this truck for.”

      True story. I was there.

      A lot more was said, to the credit of the salesmanager, but no sale was made to my friend. The search goes on.

      Then we went to lunch at Si Senor. The food was great!

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Same thing happened to me when I bought my Ram way back when. The second dealer, after wasting my time and trying to screw me, ended up offering me the truck for 100 dollars less than the first dealer who had been straight with me from the beginning. I went back and bought from the first dealer.

  • avatar
    Avanti!

    I won’t be in the market for a truck for another 5 years. Funny enough, but if FCA goes full Grand Caravan on the 1500 Classic and keeps churning them out at that point, that’s probably what I’ll buy. Unlikely, though.


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