Nation & World

Ram sees booming pickup truck sales

Fiat Chrysler surpasses Chevrolet in first six months

Reuters

A 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck is on display in front of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Reuters A 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck is on display in front of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Not long ago, the thought of perennially third-ranked Fiat Chrysler Automobiles passing Chevrolet in full-size pickup sales was unthinkable.

But it happened in the first half after of 2019 several years of steady market share gains by Ram.

General Motors still has more total truck sales because of its GMC brand, but Fiat Chrysler is closing in. Just ask pickup king Ford, which referred to a “very competitive” pickup market when it reported slippage in F-Series sales Wednesday.

“Ram has really come up,” said Jim Hardick, a co-owner of the Moritz group of dealerships that sells both brands in Fort Worth, Texas, the heart of pickup country.

“Our sales of Silverado are dead-even with last year, but with Ram I’m up about 25 percent.”

Pickups are the lifeblood of Detroit. It’s the one segment where the inroads Asian automakers have made are minuscule, despite the likes of Toyota and Nissan investing billions in engineering and U.S. production.

Light-duty trucks make an estimated $10,000 in profit each, according to Morningstar, compared with about $3,000 for a small crossover SUV.

With 2.4 million sold in the United States last year, that’s almost $24 billion in pretax profit coming Detroit’s way.

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