Since 1980, the Chevrolet Silverado has consistently outsold the RAM Pickup. However, the story is changing. Calendar year to date (CYTD) through May 2019, RAM has outsold the Chevrolet Silverado by more than 21,000 units.
And on CarGurus in June, we saw increased shopper interest in RAM and a dip in interest in the Chevrolet Silverado.
With June OEM sales numbers set to be released tomorrow, we expect to see the trend continue. So, what’s driving the gap? One of the main factors is the launch of the legacy RAM Classic trim.
RAM Is Winning on Affordability and Technology
Affordability has been a major issue in the pickup truck segment. For instance, the 2019 RAM 1500’s average MSRP is now above $50,000, and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s average MSRP is just below $50,000. The higher price comes with new technology, including a 5-inch Uconnect touchscreen standard for RAM and the option of a 12-inch screen, which rivals the tablet found in Tesla’s Model S.
RAM’s solution to the affordability problem is to keep its previous-generation vehicle, now called the RAM Classic, and price it lower than other new trucks. The RAM Classic trim’s average MSRP sits just above $40,000. While the Classic lacks some of the new technology, engine offerings, and towing capabilities of the new RAM, its relative affordability appeals to price-sensitive consumers who are willing to make those tradeoffs.
By making both the new RAM 1500 and the RAM Classic available, RAM addresses two different segments: those buying for technology and safety, and those buying for value.
Who Will End the Year as the Second-Best-Selling Vehicle in the US?
Looking at the historic sales seasonality of both the RAM and Silverado, both sell over 60% of their volume from June through December. However, with RAM’s 21,000-unit lead through the end of May, the Chevrolet Silverado may have a difficult time closing the gap by the end of the year. That means for the first time, the RAM 1500 will end the year as the second best-selling vehicle in the United States.