Ram pickup sales increased by 56 percent in June to more than 68,000 trucks so far this year.
GM has yet to reach full production of its all-new Silverado, so the sales dip is probably temporary.
According to pickup folklore, it's a dark day when a Dodge beats a Chevy. In year-to-date sales through June, the Ram outsold the Chevrolet Silverado by 42,703 trucks. That small margin is a big deal for two reasons: Chevy usually holds down the number-two spot in U.S. truck sales, and the 2019 Ram is an absolutely spectacular pickup that is rewriting how giant body-on-frame beasts can ride, drive, and feel inside.
So far, Ram sales, including all heavy-duty versions and the new-old Ram 1500 Classic, totaled 299,480 through June compared to 256,777 for the Silverado. In June alone, the mighty Ram surged 56 percent year over year to 68,098 sales, whereas the Silverado slipped 12 percent to 47,089 sales. Neither brand can dent Ford, which was flat in June with 79,426 F-series pickups (excluding the enormous F-650/F-750 models) and all year at 448,398. Add in the Silverado's twin, the GMC Sierra, and GM as a whole outsold Ram through June by more than 54,000. But technically, Ram is winning and Chevy is losing the full-size truck wars—at least right now. Why?
For one, just as Ram last year began introducing the new-gen 1500 in small waves and its heavy-duty trucks this January, GM is doing the same with Silverado. Initially, Chevy dealers only had crew-cab models available until production of the more affordable single- and double-cab pickups started in March. The Silverado HD (2500 and 3500) only started arriving to dealerships a couple of weeks ago, and they won't reach sizable inventories until the fall.
In other words, the Silverado sales slide could be the typical result of any manufacturer's product cadence when it phases out a less popular current model and slowly ramps up production of brand-new models. In the pickup-truck class where the available trims run into the dozens, it takes a lot more time for the new model to gain full steam.
Other explanations involve the Ram having a super-quiet, luxury-car ride with its independent suspension and optional air springs, the Ram's class-leading 12-inch infotainment screen, its 48-volt mild hybrid system, and the sheer quality (and, on Laramie models, utter pampering) of its interior design. That's on top of how well the Ram tows, pulls, and pulverizes whatever is in its path. The Silverado's interior quality is hardly improved from the previous generation, the HD variants have weirdish front-end styling, and its new four-cylinder engine is still a four-cylinder engine that many buyers won't accept.
The year is long ,and there is choice aplenty for people dropping 50 grand on fancy pickups. The Silverado-Ram race could play out in any number of ways by the time we're cold and shivering this winter.
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