With March sales numbers just around the corner, some are speculating how long it will take for Ram, which has been on a huge sales climb recently, to overtake the Chevrolet Silverado or, possibly, the GM twins (Chevy and the GMC Sierra combined).
According to Automotive News, although the Silverado still has a big lead over the Ram brand, the gap is closing and the momentum swing is clearly in favor of Ram. In fact, according to the most recent look at market-share numbers, only Ram and Ford are building, while both GMC and Chevrolet struggling.
Some experts say the key factor to the existing situation is that Ram is much more aggressive about offering class-unique features (i.e., MegaCab, RamBox, coil springs, eight-speed transmission, air suspension, EcoDiesel, etc.), while others say that GM engineers took a more conservative approach with the redesign for 2014 models, making it more evolutionary than revolutionary.
What Automotive News does not reference, and partially assumes, is that sales and market share are centered on the half-ton pickup-truck segment. Admittedly, most of the vehicles sold by these brands are half-ton trucks, but heavy-duty pickups, depending on the maker, typically account for one-third of total sales. This could explain why GM lost some sales momentum during the last several months, but now that its 2015 HD pickups (with numerous interior and exterior changes — not to mention a much better/smarter exhaust brake) are in full delivery mode to dealers, they could provide some much-needed sales energy.
It's also worth noting that all the truckmakers are now offering strong incentives on their half-ton trucks, with GM creating a special monthlong incentive package: March Truck Month.
How long will it be before we see Ram in the No. 2 slot of our monthly sales chart? Clearly, some think it's just around the corner, but we're guessing if it ever comes at all, several other complicating issues will have to take place (like fuel price spikes, related recalls or incentive wars). Still, with a pair of new midsize trucks coming from GM later this year (the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon), it seems reasonable to assume that some additional GM loss in half-ton market share could occur. However, that's likely to happen only in the more entry-level Silverado categories, with the more popular V-8, higher trim packages still garnering premium pricing and profit margins.