Study: Ram No. 1 on Young Truck Shoppers’ Lists
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.
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.