For a long time, the Ford F-150 has been the dominant full-size truck in America. Stereotypes aside, the numbers back up that idea, as the F-150 is the best selling car in America, truck or no truck. That said, Ford isn’t invincible, and Ram is beating Ford in terms of appealing to the youth.
A look at the iconic Ford F-150
Ford’s dominance in the American car market is no surprise, since Ford created some of the first and most popular cars and trucks in American history. This trailblazing and trendsetting style that Ford had allowed it to become known as the stereotypical American car company, much to the dismay of General Motors.
But, Ford’s dominance hasn’t been forever, and slowly but surely, other automakers have been catching up to Ford and beating them in different ways. For example, while the Toyota Tundra isn’t nearly as popular as the F-150 is, the Tundra dominates NASCAR, which few people would’ve expected back in the day.
Similarly, Ford’s usual competitors, GM and Ram, upgrade their trucks very often, and in many ways, the Silverado and the Ram 1500 are better than the F-150. For instance, the Silverado offers a very high towing capacity, while the Ram 1500 offers an impressive interior for a truck. While these improvements have helped boost sales, Ram only recently overtook Ford in one significant market segment: the youth.
Ram is more popular with the younger crowd
Like Ford Authority wrote, sure, the F-150 is still the best-selling car in America with almost 900,000 units sold in 2019, but Ram is quickly catching up. Ram sold 630,000 Ram 1500s in 2019, and it overtook the Silverado to become the second best-selling car in America. That said, what’s more startling is their differences in growth.
The Ram 1500 sold 18% better than the year before, while the F-150 actually sold 1.4% worse than the year before. If Ram continues this massive growth, then the Ram 1500 may overtake the F-150 soon enough. One of the reasons why the Ram 1500’s sales has been growing so much compared to its competitors has been because the Ram 1500 is simply more popular with people under 35.
Ford Authority said that, in terms of people under 35, Ram sold 43,000 trucks to them, while Ford only sold about 41,000 trucks to them in 2019. Their growth rates are also more startling, since, compared to the year before, Ford sold 10% less trucks to people under 35, while Ram sold 14% more trucks to people under 35. This means that Ram is well on its way to dominating the under 35 crowd in terms of trucks.
Why this matters for automakers
Ford Authority said that Ram is winning this segment by using smart marketing strategies, but it’s more than that. Ram simply makes a good truck for a fair price, and at the end of the day, that’s what most customers want.
By capturing this segment, Ram is essentially investing in the future. Brand loyalty is a big deal when it comes to trucks, and that loyalty starts early. People who have a good experience with a car or truck will more than likely consider buying that same brand when it’s time to get a new car.
As a result, since Ram makes good trucks and since young people like Rams, those same people will more than likely continue buying Rams as they grow up. In comparison, Ford may end up getting less and less sales as fewer and fewer people become Ford fans. Obviously though, time will tell how things shake out, but as they are now, Ram is simply crushing Ford and GM in this segment.