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In 1981, Dodge named its pickup truck lineup the Dodge Ram. Then, in 2009, its parent company split Dodge and Ram into parallel brands. Ram trucks share lots of Dodge technology but are not Dodge vehicles.

Is Dodge owned by Ram?

Dodge has never owned Ram trucks. When Dodge and Ram split into separate brands in 2009, they were both owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Today, Dodge and Ram are both brands owned by one of the world’s largest auto manufacturing conglomerates: Stellantis, the result of a merger between FCA and Peugeot.

Old red pickup truck parked at a gasoline station.
Red Dodge Pickup truck | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Does Dodge make Ram engines?

No. Ram builds its own 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and 6.4-liter (392) engines at the Ram plant in Saltillo, Mexico. In addition, Ram builds Dodge engines for Dodge muscle cars and SUVs in Saltillo. Some of Ram and Dodge’s Pentastar V6 engines come from a shared plant in Trenton, Michigan. The rest come from Saltillo. Ram does buy engines manufactured by Cummins for some of its heavy-duty pickup trucks, but it does not source any engines from Dodge factories.

White Dodge Truck Centre sign outside a dealership from when Dodge and Ram were the same brand.
Dodge truck centre sign | Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Does Dodge make Ram transmissions?

Ram’s transmissions are not built in a Dodge factory. The Ram 1500’s eight-speed transmission is built under contract by ZF manufacturing in Kokomo, Indiana. Heavy-duty Ram 3500 pickup trucks with a high-output Cummins I6 engine come with a six-speed automatic transmission built by Aisin.

A row of Ram trucks at a Dodge dealership.
Ram pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership | Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Is Ram American made?

Ram assembles its Ram 1500, full-size half-ton pickup truck in Michigan. It also assembles some of its bare-bones Ram 1500 Classic pickup trucks in Michigan. But it assembles the rest of its Ram Classics, and all of its heavy-duty Ram trucks and vans at its Saltillo, Mexico plant. In addition to assembling Rams, the Saltillo plant builds many Ram engines and stamps body panels.

2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck ad
2009 Dodge Ram | Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Why did Ram leave Dodge?

The 2008 recession hit Chrysler Corporation hard, so it merged with Fiat to create Fiat Chrysler Automotive for the 2009 model year. The new corporation took inventory of all its brands. Then it decided to split up Dodge cars/SUVs and the Dodge Ram trucks division apart so each could focus on its own products and marketing to its unique demographic.

2022 Ram 3500 Dually powered by the incredible Cummins diesel engine.
2022 Ram 3500 Dually | Stellantis

The result has been a surge in Ram truck sales. According to Hedges & Company, the Ram 1500’s sales numbers have overtaken every pickup truck besides the Ford F-150. The average Ram buyer is younger than the average F-150 or Silverado buyer. The average Ram owner is also more likely to live in a rural area than the average F-150 or Silverado buyer. Finally, Ram has more female customers than any other full-size truck, with nearly 1 in 5 Ram buyers being women.

Ram took some decisive steps to build its current market share. For example, once it split from Dodge it began hosting the Ram Jam country music festival headlined by brand ambassadors such as Miranda Lambert. Ram and Lambert even produced a music video/advertisment together. The result is an explosion of interest in Ram trucks. Learn more about the rise of Ram in the CNBC video below:


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