For the third quarter in a row, Ram trucks beat Chevy’s Silverado trucks for second place in overall sales. Ford and its juggernaut F150 still hold the lead, but it’s slipping. Ford is still solidly in first with sales falling 6% to 214,176. Ram’s second place came with a 14% increase to 161,635, followed in third by Chevy with a 16% increase to 155,482. When combined with GMC trucks GM solidly outsells Ford and Ram.
Will UAW Strike Kill GM Truck Sales?
The thing to watch for now is how the UAW strike at GM will affect dealers’ truck supplies. If sales dwindle from lack of trucks then GM will be in worse shape while giving Ram a fantastic marketing tool to claim a solid second place for the entire year. This could further drop Chevy and GMC truck sales during the time of year when sales are strongest.
GM ramped up truck production leading up to the strike deadline in September, and according to Motor Intelligence have a 75-day supply as of the beginning of October, which is good.
GM Cries Foul
In the past GM has cried foul concerning Ram’s sales lead. At mid-year when it was apparent Ram would be leading Chevy, a GM spokesperson was quoted in the Detroit Free Press saying, “The Ram pickup’s first-quarter sales victory over Silverado amounted to a hollow bunny because FCA has been pulling out all the stops to win sales.”
Here’s What GM Thinks Ram Is Doing
- Paying $8,500 bonuses to dealers if they get Ram Classics into courtesy transportation fleets. While these are chalked up as sales, these vehicles ultimately get sold as used vehicles after a short service.
- Stacking discounts for Ram Classic of more than $18,000, especially in Texas.
- Pushing short-term leases for FCA employees and families in the Detroit area.
While GM only sees these sales tactics applied to the Ram Classic only, Jeremy Acevedo manager of industry analysis for Edmunds told the Detroit Free Press FCA is also doing this with the new Ram. “It’s aggressive, and kind of unprecedented,” he says. “You usually don’t see new product hitting the market with these incentives right away.”
For its part FCA is keeping things upbeat as one would expect. In a statement it said, “FCA is committed to providing competitive products at competitive prices in the marketplace. Our incentives constantly change, and vehicle prices can vary by dealership.”
Ram Thinks Customers Priced Out of Trucks
FCA has said in the past it feels customers are being priced out of the market. Autotrader notes that the two companies are just following different strategies. Would GM trade profits for a second-place sales position?
“Ram Beat Silverado, Period”
“The fact of the matter is that Ram beat Chevy Silverado, period,” says Autotrader’s Michelle Krebs. “GM is focussed on profits and has been very restrained on incentives. Ram has been aggressive on incentives. And why not? There’s good money to be made. General Motors has used the same tricks in the past. They’ve all done this at one time or another.”
Chevy has this last quarter to keep Ram from being the second place sales champion right behind Ford. As it ramps up production of its new pickup it will be interesting to see if it can overtake Ram.