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Is Ram’s Astonishing Pickup Truck Dominance a Flash In the Pan, Or the New Normal?

Is Ram’s Astonishing Pickup Truck Dominance a Flash In the Pan, Or the New Normal?

Life is awash in sports metaphors. A struggling automaker might be behind the eight ball and throw a Hail Mary with a desperate product launch—which can result in a home run or getting put down for the count. (And yes, I know I’m mixing billiards, football, baseball, and boxing metaphors here.) These clichés are thrown about with such abandon that people may not even realize that sport is being referenced anymore.

But there is one sports reference that never loses its impact: three-peat.

Only true dynasties can declare such a trio of title triumphs: The Shaq and Kobe L.A. Lakers, the Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers, and the Air Jordan Chicago Bulls (who did it twice). Not even the Ruth and Gehrig New York Yankees took three in a row.

To win the title three times in a row is a feat of legend.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

With more than 30 automotive brands manufacturing more than 300 nameplates for North America, the chances of creating a streak of products better than anyone else’s new releases is a blend of art, science, diligence, stamina, and a touch of black magic.

For Truck of the Year, a handful of automakers have won back-to-back honors: Chevy in 1995 and 1996 (Blazer and Tahoe), 2001 and 2002 (Silverado HD and Avalanche), and 2015 and 2016 (Colorado and Colorado Duramax); Ford in 2017 and 2018 (Super Duty and F-150); and Ram in 2013 and 2014 (1500 and 1500 EcoDiesel).

But 2021 marks the first time an automotive brand has taken the Golden Calipers three consecutive years in any of our competitions.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX front

With the 2019 Ram 1500, 2020 Ram Heavy Duty, and 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, FCA’s truck brand has proven a dominance in the light-duty and heavy-duty pickup realms that is downright astonishing.

It all starts with a stellar platform—including the proof that a rear air suspension doesn’t detract from a truck’s ability to do trucky things while delivering a plush ride. Install the industry’s first standard hybrid powertrain (a mild hybrid 48-volt motor-generator system). Then give your designers the budget and flexibility to make the interior of a pickup more akin to a luxury vehicle than a work truck—because even gardeners and plumbers like to feel rewarded after a hard day at the office. Take these and dozens of other smart touches—RamBox, RamBins, reclining rear seats, and now, the installation of the insane 702-hp Hellcat engine, which should make F-150 Raptors quake in fear—and you have created a truck worthy of this legendary status.

Customers are noticing, too. The light-duty pickup sales race used to be a two-horse race: F-150 and Silverado, with Ram a far-distant third. And although it likely will take a comet hitting earth to dethrone Ford from the top sales spot, the Ram 1500 stole the Silverado’s lunch money in 2019, selling 633,694 units to Chevy’s 575,600. No need for a recount there. And it looks like a neck-and-neck race for the silver medal again this year.

Seen another way, while Silverado sales have stayed relatively stable in the 575,000 to 600,000 range since 2015 as overall pickup sales have increased, Ram sales have grown from 450K to last year’s record in the same time period. That’s a different form of victory: conquest.


Date: 04.12.20     Views: 115