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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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).

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.
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