As the No. 2 bestselling truck in America, the Chevrolet Silverado is clinging to its shrinking sales lead over Ram 1500 in a high-stakes fight that few anticipated.
This is not just about prestige and tradition. This is about money. Trucks generate crazy profits for automobile companies.
“Something better change,” said Karl Brauer, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book. “I think people would be surprised to see the market share split between Ram and Silverado. They’ve already moved more than most people would’ve ever believed. That’s not a good trend line for Chevrolet.”
He continued, “Ford F-Series has managed to stay stable and Ram has managed to climb mostly at the expense of Chevy.”
Fiat Chrysler's Ram closed the gap dramatically on Silverado from 2017 to 2018, according to Kelley Blue Book:
Ram sold 22% of pickups purchased, climbing to 536,980 from 500,723.
Chevy sold 24% of pickups purchased, holding steady at 585,581 compared with 585,864.
The disappeared in the first quarter of 2019, with Ram selling 120,026 trucks versus 114,313 Silverados sold during the period, according to company filings.
Ali Reda, one of the top selling car salesmen in the United States, says he feels the pain every week at Les Stanford Chevrolet Cadillac in Dearborn.
“It’s a regular thing,” he told the Free Press. “We struggle with this on a daily basis. The new Silverado is generating some traffic and buzz, mostly with males 25 to 50, because it’s beautiful. But we just can’t compete.”
“They leave and go get a Ram. While people love the aggressive design and stylish look of Silverado, prices are scaring them away. Chrysler is far more aggressive at incentivizing their Ram.”
Brand loyalty goes only so far, he said. “A $200 payment difference every month is too much to overcome. Then we have a very hard time getting those people back once you lose them. We spend millions of dollars getting a customer to walk in the door. All you need to do is a better job of keeping them.”
Ford is “very good at retaining customers once they capture them,” said Reda, who often refers Ford buyers and Ram buyers to friends in other dealerships.