By on March 16, 2020

Domestic automakers are enamored with the full-sized pickup segment because it’s a reliable way of securing hundreds of thousands of sales in North America on an annual basis. Here, Ford’s F-Series reigns supreme. That might not always be the case, however, especially with younger buyers opting to purchase their pickups at competing brands.

Last month, Edmunds released a study claiming Ram is leading the charge with buyers under 35 — saying the brand had won over “the most coveted section of the market.” 

Using data from IHS Markit, the group reported that Ram sold 43,282 new vehicles to people under 35 in 2019. That’s more than Ford’s F-Series (40,968 deliveries)  or Chevy’s Silverado (39,181) could manage. In fact, Ford seemed to give its market share over to Ram, which gained 10 percent vs 2018 while Ford lost about 14 percent. The metrics used prohibit a direct, one-to-one comparison, unfortunately.

By selling the older-generation Ram (dubbed the Classic) alongside the new model, Fiat Chrysler has managed to stack the deck in its favor. FCA can effectively count two separate models as one when reporting sales, with the cheaper Ram Classic making an appetizing dish for subprime and commercial buyers.

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock_1

Speaking with Edmunds this week, Automotive News noted the major price difference between the typical transaction price of new Ram models ($48,753) and the Classic ($39,121). But the distance doesn’t prohibit trim levels or special equipment packages, something which Ram has in spades (see the above Ram Classic Warlock Edition). That makes it a nice, big alternative to midsize trucks the brand lacks, but Ford and GM will be happy to sell you.

From Automotive News:

Ram Classic buyers, on average, pay the highest interest rates in the segment and roll more negative equity into their loans than buyers of any other full-size pickup, Edmunds said.

“I think having more options at different price points worked well for them, particularly because they have a flagship product to be the halo truck and then everything else slotted underneath,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights for Edmunds.

Ram doesn’t offer a midsize pickup, so the Classic effectively is filling that space, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions. The Classic is a “premium alternative to the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma, appealing to younger buyers on size and price,” he said.

Keeping that in mind makes it harder to decide whether or not Ram is actually winning the pickup war, though it certainly doesn’t appear to be losing it. Maintaining the old full-size model didn’t require any development expenditures and seems to be working to usurp younger customers from rival nameplates. Still, we might as well count Silverado and Sierra as one vehicle if the Ram and Ram Classic get to add their sales scores.

The moves FCA’s truck division seems to be making with younger buyers should bode well for future sales. Statistics certainly back that up; we’ve amassed anecdotal data from readers, friends and family that’s anything but contradictory. While Ram may not be able to depend on the older pickup indefinitely, its current strategy had done wonders to broaden appeal. It has the new 1500 competing rather well against the latest and greatest full-sized pickups while the vintage model scoops up cash-strapped individuals who don’t want to settle for something smaller.

Turns out Americans still like a good bargain — and have a tendency to notice when one is being offered.

[Images: FCA]

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29 Comments on “Study: Ram No. 1 on Young Truck Shoppers’ Lists...”


  • avatar
    3800FAN

    These are Dad trucks. Bought by guys who see it as more fun alternative to a Honda Pilot. I see them all the time at my kids school and after school activities. With the etorque v6 getting the same mpg as a pilot and transaction prices of a crew cab bighorn being in the mid 30s who can blame them. F150 2.7 xlt crewcab is the #2 dad truck.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    To me the story is once again how few young people are buying vehicles.

    Ram sold 633,694 units in 2019. 43,282 is less than 7% of that total.

    The equivalent in F series figures is 4.5%.

    Approximately 1/4 of the population is 18-34 years old. Obviously they won’t be buying at the same rate as older people, but I would have thought it was more than that.

    • 0 avatar
      s_a_p

      Or maybe how few young people can afford a 40-50k vehicle. Ram has built a pickup that my 18 year old loves( his graduation gift) and my 77 year old father in law also likes. Anecdotal evidence aside I don’t know that there are many vehicles that fit that criteria.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    So young people are smarter than older people?

    I mean this truck should be on top of every truck buyers list. It’s simply the best truck by a very large margin sold today. On top of that it’s not priced into the stratosphere like the Fords are.

    Look at what the same money gets you in a Ram versus a Ford. The Ford is stripped down and offers nothing:

    Ram:
    https://www.jeffbelzer.com/new-Lakeville-2020-RAM-1500-Big+HornLone+Star-1C6SRFFT7LN265676

    Ford:
    https://www.jeffbelzer.com/new-Lakeville-2020-Ford-F+150-XL-1FTEW1E43LKD61155

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I disagree that it’s the best truck. I believe it’s the best car of the three. That’s what sells the most today, and the well equipped trucks are also the most profitable. It’s smart for them to follow the market in that regard. If I was buying a truck to use primarily as a daily driver, with little use of the bed, it would be hard to top the Ram. If you’re buying mostly to do work, I believe the GM twins are better setup, with the Ford being a decent compromise in between.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Did you even look at the window sticker? The F-150 XL (in the comparo) is better equipped plus a lower sticker than the Big Horn Lone Star (new gen) Ram.

      It’s what’s called the STX Package (not a model) and includes a 3.55 locking diff. The EB 3.5 is an upgrade too, and I’d take the 5.0 V8 for a $1K less.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Yep. Ram has much more content and is better looking for the same price as the F150.

        The F150 is stripped down compared to the Ram

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          What content are you referring to? The double cowboy fetish Ram doesn’t even have a rear locker. The XL that Ram dealer is comparing has about every possible XL/STX option and still priced thousands less. No need for long winded and apparently expensive badging.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “What content are you referring to? The double cowboy fetish Ram doesn’t even have a rear locker. The XL that Ram dealer is comparing has about every possible XL/STX option and still priced thousands less. No need for long winded and apparently expensive badging.”

            You must have trouble reading so I’ll spoon feed it to you. Here is where the Ram destroys the Ford:

            -Heated Seats
            -Heated Steering Wheel
            -Front park sensors (both have rear) but Ram adds auto stop
            -Auto climate control
            -Upgraded stereo with sub
            -LED head/tail/turn/fog lights
            -Skid plates
            -Dampened tailgate
            -2 115V outlets
            -Power lumbar
            -Adjustable pedals
            -Power fold mirrors
            -Rear deforster
            -Homelink
            -Pushbutton start

            All for the same price as a XL F-150.

            And that is before you add in the immensely better interior, far better ride, a proper V8 (that only cost $1,495 versus $2,595 for the high strung V6), and a FAR better transmission (ZF-8 speed is consistently rated higher than the 10-Speed) Also the Ram does have a locking diff.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What part of STX don’t you understand? Anyway the features you listed are “Available Options” to the Big Horn Lone Star and don’t appear under Big Horn Lone Star “Features”.

            Try the “Quick Order Package 25Z” under the “Available Options” heading of the Big Horn Lone Star. It’s your link, read it.

            Except there’s no realistic reason not compare the Big Horn Lone Star to the F-150 Lariat crew cab 4X4 that’s better equipped than any LX/STX or Big Horn Lone Star and just $400 more than the Big Horn Lone Star (MSRP) and includes the Coyote V8 at that price.

            I don’t want to get into all the specifics but it’s no surprise the goofy comparison was set up by none other than a Ram Dealer.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            You’ve seriously lost the ability to comprehend anything written. I’ll break it down for you one more time and then I’m done.

            My original point is that you are able to get a FAR better equipped truck for the same amount of gas as compared to a F150.

            The evidence I used to assert that fact is by linking two window stickers from a local dealership network showing that for about $36.5k you get a far better truck in the Ram.

            There was no dealer setup or dealer comparison. Just a consumer who goes on the website with a price in mind seeing who offers the most for the money.

            You want to order semantics and say this is an option not a feature blah blah blah completely misses the point (not surprising). The fact is your $36k gets you a far better looking and far better equipped truck with Ram than it does Ford. And buyers look at that stuff.

            Now show us how you failed to comprehend any of that.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The $50K XL F-150 is a unicorn. Absolutely. No wonder it was used for the pointless comparison to the Big Horn Lone Star Ram.

            Except the Big Horn Lone Star isn’t equipped “standard”, as you though. Oops!

            But it shows the wild flexibility Ford offers. “Base” XL truck (crew 4X4), but equipped to high levels, STX, 20″ wheels, Sync, Nav, etc, if that’s what you prefer. Except don’t expect the greatest of discounts/rebates with that.

            But it’s clear the “Lariat” at just $42K base MSRP is the “sweet spot” for max gadgetry, if that’s what you’re into. no elaborate cowboy fetish titles necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “The Big Horn Lone Star” is just a very long name for a mid-range truck.

            Ford just says: “XLT?”, “All agreed?”, “Boom, done, lets break for lunch!”.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Yep. Right over your head again. Amazing

            Find me an F150 with the same or more feature content for the same price.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Just admit you’re “Silvy Z71”. No big deal, We all know it, and posing as a Mopar/Ram fanboy does’t work. You don’t even know your Long Horn from a Big Horn.

            He was banned the exact moment you showed up. Ford hater extraordinaire.

            Anyway, you’re completely right.. The F-150 Lariat 4X4 crew, with the V8 and way better equipped (base) than the “Long Horn Lone Star” base (XLT equivalent, no kidding) is just $450 more, MSRP.

            Wow you really got me there Silvy!

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Exactly as I thought. You can’t provide any proof of what you are saying.

            Nice deflection arguments though.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Thanks Silvy, the Lariat crew 4×4 V8 is $51,875 with leather, Sync 3, etc. and endless gadgetry included.

            The Big Horn Lone Star is $52,140 with cloth seats, same configuration.

            “Ram.com” is moronic and doesn’t give a “Lone Star” option. Maybe you’re looking at the “Classic”? Also the link you provided doesn’t show the Ram’s window sticker.

            But when the 4×4 crew “Laramie Longhorn” starts at just $51,390 (Lariat level), the “Big Horn Lone Star” sounds like a bad idea, especially since you’re absolute nutz for gadgetry (so was Silvy Z71!)

            shop.ford.com/build/f150/?intcmp=hp-rvv-bpbuild-f-150&hptid=fv-2749-hp:rvv:na:na:Ford%20F-150#/config/Config%5B%7CFord%7CF-150%7C2020%7C1%7C1.%7C500A.W1E…..LAR.AWD.995.CCAB.RETAIL.SS5.%5D

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            God you’re bad at this.

            And both links have the window sticker available. That’s where I pulled all the info showing how Ram CRUSHES the f150 in content for price.

            Dude just let it go. You lost. It’s ok to admit when you’re wrong. Heck you don’t even have to do that just admit that the for the same amount of money, you can get a much better equipped Ram over a stripped XL Ford.

            Try again. And whats silvy?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It takes a Big Horn Lone Star to beat a base F-150? Think about that for a moment.

            At the same time, a $50 XL is rare on the street, rare anywhere. Stupid comparison, obviously slanted.

            Write this down: The crew 4X4, leather, sunroof Lariat is just $52 and equipped much better than the Big Horn Lone Star for the same money.

            Geeze!

            Of course it’s a 4X4 crew “STX” loaded to the gills in the silly comparison you chose.

            The STX can be had with most some popular options, fully “ala carte”, nut mostly visual stuff, with not so many gadgets. Like 20″ wheels, running boards, fog lights, running boards, rear slider window, limo tint, color-key trim, locking axle, 3.5 EB, console, adjustable pedals, rear AC, cruise, power group, Sync 3, steering wheel radio controls, etc.

            The reason for the “STX” is for a “work truck” to blend into nice neighborhoods and not stick out like a cheap “blue collar” service vehicle.

            Of course it’s totally goofy to option an STX up to $50K, but it is the better looking of the mid-trim trucks. It’s mostly about the visual impact.

            Many pickup buyers care very little of excessive gadgetry, which the STX avoids. It looks a lot more expensive than it really is.

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          I’m not a RAM dealer and I came to the same conclusion.

          My next vehicle will be a pickup. I have two Grand Cherokees now and my daughter will be getting one of them when she gets her driver’s license soon.

          My brother in law has an F-150 – beautiful truck – but priced into the stratosphere.

          Looking at the new RAM, real world pricing consistently is $5k to $8k lower than a comparable F-150.

          My BIL says he would never buy a RAM – but having owned two FCA products that I like – why not a third?

          Ford and GM are trading on their reputations – fair enough, but at the end of the day the price difference between them and RAM is significant.

    • 0 avatar
      TStew78

      What I am seeing is that the ram is dropping the price nearly 15k from MSRP vs the Ford dropping $10k. If the ram was flying out the door, the discounts would not have to be $5000 more to make the movement. Ford’s includes a $2000 pkg discount.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    FCA’s pickup and Jeep game has been strong for some years now. Lots of good decisions and money well-invested.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Turns out Americans still like a good bargain <<

    I'd bet the "bargain" truck still has close to $10k profit for them

    a real bargain is when price competition whittles that down to $500 or less

  • avatar
    redapple

    RAM (new) is best for another reason.
    Not assembled en Hencho. (not including classic and HD)
    Made right there on 53 between 16 and 17 mile = the old 200 plant.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    No matter how you slice the numbers, GM puts out an inferior pickup. Also the IsuzuMax diesel is good enough for the weekend adventurer, but the 200K mile rebuild cycle won’t cut it for commercial use.

    Enterprise sells a hotshot lease, but sorry the GM twins are NA. Ford/Ram only.

    My friend has a 2019 GMC loaded diesel thanks to his poor credit and wive’s upsidedown 2017 Maxima that only GM would take in trade.

    Having more dealers to stumble upon, GMC is a second chance to sell you a “Chevy”. Different lipstick, same pig. But as crazy as it sounds, market research shows many GMC faithful buyers would never own a damn Chevy.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      That’s probably because they have eyes.

      GMC has become a way for GM truck loyalists to get a truck that isn’t quite so hideous. Oh and by the way, pay handsomely for the privilege.

      I have to take my hat off to GM for the unexpectedly good marketing strategy.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Give it to FCA for figuring out how to build a competent pickup truck – something that GM has failed to do in the last twenty years and what Nissan and Toyoduh have never done in this segment. And the Honduh Ridgeline is merely a covered catbox carrier with four doors.

    Ford wins on repeat buyers – I hope that they are not doing what Honduh and Toyoduh have done with their cars and decided to let their reputation sell cars without doing any serious work on improving them.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    This doesn’t seem like a big surprise. I’m “young” (under 40) and think the Dodge (even the classic) is the best design of the 3. To me the Ford looks geriatric with the slab sides and unattractive rear end design. The GM’s don’t seem to look “young” or “old” but just bad. Kudos to GM for grasping the market of bad taste regardless of age.

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