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Ram is a well known American truck brand that has established a place for itself in a crowded market. This wasn’t always the case, however. Just a few short years ago, the Ram was just one single truck that was part of another brand. So how did it manage to rise to such prominence that it became a brand in its own right?

The first Ram appeared on the scene in the 1980s

The ’80s was a good decade for music, movies, and of course, cars. It was during this era that we were treated to the first ever Dodge Ram. Miracle Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram reports that the first ever Dodge Ram made its way onto the scene in 1981, and the first generation ran until 1993. 

Lee Iacocca, Chrysler’s President and CEO during that time period, decided to go all in on the Ram, and make it a mascot. Dodge did this by adding a ram’s head hood ornament that quickly became iconic, and perhaps later aided with the push to help Ram branch out on its own.

The original model quickly became well known for its powerful engines. There were three in total, ranging from a slant six 3.7-liter 95 hp, a 5.2-liter V8 engine with 140 hp, and a slightly more powerful 5.9-liter V8 with 170 hp. 

It was easy to tell which truck had which engine due to the names. There was the half-ton, three-quarter ton, and one-ton. The Dodge Ram was available as both two and four-wheel drive. 

The Dodge Ram quickly began to evolve

In 1988, Dodge decided to shake things up by adding new engine options. The 5.2-liter V8 engine was released with electronic fuel injection. The next year, more engines were allowed to have the updated fuel injection. This was a huge deal for the Dodge Ram, because the changes gave it a superior performance when compared to previous models, and consumers took notice.

In 1994, Dodge once again shook things up in the truck world, using the Ram as its muse. The exterior looks got more rugged in appearance, but the interior was based on that of a car. This allowed consumers to have a very tough looking truck that was actually comfortable to ride in.

Ram also changed the names of the truck models. The half-ton became the 1500, the three-quarter ton the 2500, and one-ton the 3500.

Ram is now its own brand

Things seemed to be going well until 2009. The Dodge Ram was continuing to bring in stellar sales numbers, and everything was looking up. Then came the announcement that changed everything.

Dodge and Ram released a statement about how the brand would be officially splitting up. It was the break-up heard around the world, and may have been bigger than when Brad and Angelina ended their marriage. Many fans feared this would be detrimental to both brands, but as time would tell, it was a good cause.

So why did the two brands split? When Chrysler and Fiat Automotive were combined to become the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, the new company was quick to recognize that Dodge and Ram were already two different brands even though both continued to use the name Dodge. Ram focused on trucks. Dodge, on the other hand, was all about powerful SUVs and stunning muscle cars.

Now days, Dodge and Ram both are owned by Stellantis. Many people who still remember the original Ram continue to refer to it as Dodge Ram, and may not even realize they are two separate companies. In spite of this, Ram continues to grow and evolve as a truck company, and has proven it is more than capable of standing on its own.


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