Why 2019 Will Go Down as a Year that Chevrolet Wants to Forget

When you look at the automotive sales figures for 2019, it’s no surprise that the Ford F-Series pickups are still in the No. 1 spot. What surprises people is the No. 2 slot. Where we used to see the Chevrolet Silverado sitting right behind the F-Series trucks, it’s no longer there.

Instead, we see another pickup residing in its place. The Ram truck pushed the Silverado aside and is now sitting in the second slot for sales. What knocked the Silverado from its prominent place? The Detroit Free Press helps explain some of the reasons why.

The 2019 sales figures for the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500

A man looks at a Chevrolet Silverado truck at the auto trade show, AutoMobility LA, at the Los Angeles Convention Center
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | David McNew/Getty Images

It’s important to note that they didn’t just squeeze out more purchases though. The Ram truck ended 2019 with almost 60,000 more sales than the Silverado. They sold approximately 10.1 percent more trucks than Chevy did last year. What caused that? Was the Ram truck simply a better option, or did Chevy produce a failure of a truck?

Looking at last year’s sales, Chevy’s only down about 10,000 purchases from the previous year. Not bad, considering General Motors had a bit of a tough year in 2019. With the 40-day strike it experienced in Fall 2019, things slowed down a bit. But it doesn’t look like it had too much of an effect on their average yearly sales. The key factor here is the increase in Ram’s popularity because they saw almost 100,000 more sales than in 2018.

What made the Ram 1500 so popular in 2019?

The Ram 1500 saw almost ten years of very little changes to its truck. When the 2019 model year came around, FCA finally revamped the Ram to make it more challenging for the Silverado and the F-Series trucks to compete against it. By adding a few touches, the new Ram 1500 turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. The interior has more quality features, more technology, and even better fuel economy.

FCA did something right with the redesign because MotorTrend named it the Truck of the Year for 2019. Even Business Insider got in on it by calling it their Car of the Year and reported that it was the first truck to gain that honor. The Ram 1500 offers more power under the hood and the largest infotainment display screen available, which is a whopping 12 inches.

Can the Chevrolet Silverado gain that ground back, or is it too late? 

Despite the setback of the 40-day strike, GM still pulled out a pretty good year. The fourth quarter was their worst, and we all know it’s hard to make a comeback in the last quarter in anything – even in football. The Silverado still rocked it with only a decline of about 2.3 percent of pickup sales. The rest of the year, they stayed above water, which is what saved them when it came to the end of the year purchases.

GM doesn’t appear to be giving up, though. With some redesigns for the coming year scheduled, they plan to bring their best for the 2020 model year. The Ram 1500 redesign already made its debut, so only time will tell how well it stands up to the restructuring General Motors plans to bring for the new generation of SUVs and pickup trucks.

2019 will always be the one Chevy will want to forget. However, they’re not giving up. This coming year will see an automaker pulling out the stops and giving Ram a run for their money to reclaim their coveted spot at No. 2 in sales.