Ram's Not Just Gaining Ground in the U.S.

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
rams not just gaining ground in the u s

Many stories can be told of the events of 2019, but one of the headliners should be Fiat Chrysler’s growing presence in the full-size truck segment. Not domination of it, obviously — that role continues to be reserved for Ford Motor Company and its F-Series pickups. Still, the past year did see the Ram brand relegate Chevrolet to the third-place spot in U.S. sales.

North of the border, where people love big trucks just as much as Americans (regardless of what virtues are signalled on the world stage), it’s a similar story. Let’s see how the Detroit Three are faring in the snowy full-size segment up yonder.

Thanks to the research of JATO Dynamics, we have a market share breakdown for the denizens of the Canadian big-truck segment. And wouldn’t you know it, Ram’s new-for-2019 1500 and Heavy Duty models made an impact.

Through the end of October, Ram holds 26.1 percent of the full-size pie — up from 23.6 percent a year earlier. The brand’s gain comes at the expense of both the class-leading F-Series, whose market share shrunk slightly from 40.6 to 40.2 percent, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra lines.

At GM, the bowtie brand saw its full-size take hit 14.9 percent (down from 15.4 percent in 2018), while GMC’s offerings garnered 15.4 percent of full-size sales. That’s down slightly from 15.6 percent. Both Ram and GM debuted all-new full-size and heavy-duty trucks for the 2019 model year, leaving perennial frontrunner Ford with the oldest stock. That scenario flips come 2020, with a new Super Duty line and revamped half-ton appearing to tempt buyers north of the 49th Parallel.

For those who buck trends and go their own way, there was bad news for Japanese full-size pickups. The Nissan Titan and Titan XD’s year-to-date sales amounted to just 0.8 percent of the segment’s Canadian volume, down from 1.5 percent in 2018. The ancient Toyota Tundra saw its share drop from 3.3 to 2.6 percent. You’re an individualist to drive one of these two pickups up north, just as you are down south.

Ram came to market with its new 1500 line before GM, giving it a sales edge as various build configurations came online; GM credits the beginning of extended cab production and extra crew cab assembly for an uptick in sales for the third quarter. The automaker’s HD trucks were on offer by then, too (looking just as polarizing as their half-ton brethren).

Still, the GM buoyancy didn’t reach across the border. The GMC Sierra line sank 2.7 percent in Q3 2019 in Canada, down 6.6 percent through September. Chevy saw its Silverado line fall 2.5 percent in Q3 and 6.9 percent for the year. In contrast, Ram pickup sales rose 47 percent in the third quarter; its year-to-date tally at the end of September was up 11 percent.

Meanwhile, as buyers wait to see what the Blue Oval brand has in store for them in 2020, Ford’s F-Series has a selling power that knows few bounds. While the model may have sunk somewhat in the U.S. (it’s down 2.4 percent through September), Canadians saw fit to eke out a 1-percent YTD sales gain for the brand’s large trucks.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors]

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  • Akear Akear on Dec 12, 2019

    The GM competition is getting weaker and RAM is getting stronger. It is just a matter of the RAM's superior quality. The same quality issues GM has had in their cars for years is now manifesting itself into their trucks. I think this is one of the primary reasons people are complaining about GM's cheap truck and SUV interiors.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 12, 2019

    I can understand why. If I was shopping for a full-size pickup again from the big 2.5 (my last vehicle was a '95 F-150 that I drove for 17 years and 214,000 miles), Chevy/GM would be my last choice. First choice would be a toss-up between RAM and Ford, and first choice might be RAM (with an EcoDiesel).

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