The pickup war escalates when Ram Silverado hits for the first time



Oh, it starts.

The pickup war escalated on Friday when General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported sales in the fourth quarter and year-end, and the ram pickup sold the Chevrolet Silverado for the year for the first time – 10.1%.

"This is quite a shock, and it's new territory for the Ram because it has never been number 2," said Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst at Edmunds in Santa Monica, California, just behind the best-selling Ford F-150. "It would be like the Chevy Malibu overtaking the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry sedans."

Ford Motor Co. reports its sale Monday. Expect a bloody brawl this year. Edmunds forecasts strong auto sales in the first quarter, and Acevedo said GM and FCA are likely to take advantage of the attractive financing terms to sell more vehicles.

As for the Ram that surpasses the Silverado, GM remains unwavering. A GM spokesman said a year was not a trend, especially given the six-week layoff caused by the UAW strike across the country, which reduced full-size Silverado high-performance pickup sales and resulted in a lean pickup stock. In addition, GM will launch its revised full-size SUVs later this year to boost sales.

Interesting event ahead

GM reported that fourth quarter deliveries decreased 6.3% to 735,909 vehicles, in line with analyst expectations. GM delivered a total of 2.9 million vehicles for the full year, a decrease of 2.3%.

GM's North American wholesale business was down about 25% year-on-year. The revised Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups fell 17% during strike-hit times, GM said.

On September 16, around 48,000 trade unionists in GM factories across the country went on strike. The strike ended when members ratified a four-year contract on October 25. Aside from falling sales, GM accused the strike of a significant shortage of parts, which has left many customers waiting for repairs to their GM vehicles.

But GM had the best year ever for small SUV sales, selling 1.2 million compact and small SUVs for the year, up 12.7% compared to 2018.

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FCA recorded a 2% decrease in sales to 542,519 in the fourth quarter. In the year under review, the FCA decreased by 1% to 2.2 million vehicles sold.

In a year when the SUV was king, sales of jeeps fell 5% to 923,291 for the full year. Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader in Detroit, said that "cheap jeeps like the Compass, Renegade and Cherokee, which appeal to younger audiences with higher credit risk, have seen subprime car loan rates rise despite the lower Fed rate."

The Grand Cherokee rose 8% to 242,969 over the course of the year, although it was an "aged" model that was soon to be replaced. The new Gladiator gave Jeep a push and sold 40,047 units for the year.

However, FCA's other brands posted weak sales. Chrysler's two products – minivans and the 300 sedan – declined by 23%. All Chrysler models and some Dodge models are made in Canada, where union negotiations are taking place this year. This is "another interesting event," said Krebs.

Ram vs. Silverado

When comparing the Silverado with the Ram, however, there were increases in sales.

  • Fourth quarter: According to GM, Silverado sales rose 1% to 163,341.
  • Fourth quarter: Ram sales rose 7% to 172,579.
  • For the year: Silverado sales decreased 2% to 575,600.
  • For the year: Ram sales rose 18% to a record 633,694.

Right, ram sales exceeded Silverado 2019 by 10.1%.

Acevedo said it doesn't look like GM or FCA's pickup results are "great enough" to take the F-150 off the top when Ford reports its results on Monday.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel Pickup

Combining GM's Silverado and Sierra sales, GM sold 807,923 full-size pickups for the year, exceeding RAM sales, said Rebecca Lindland, founder of in Greenwich.

According to Lindland, GM is the only brand that sells two full-size pickups.

"This will allow GM to sell more pickups," said Lindland. "But if you look at it brand by brand, Ram definitely surpassed Silverado. It's a significant achievement for Ram because they haven't even come close in years."

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In 2017, Ram sold 500,723 pickups for the year and Silverado sold 585,864, Krebs said. As a result, ram sales have increased as Silverado sales have remained largely unchanged.

Old models, big discounts

A spokesman for the FCA declined to split the sales of the heavy-duty, light-duty or Classic Ram models. The Classic is the previous model year that Ram sold with significant discounts when he released the revised new Ram pickups.

"GM will say:" Yes, they sell the classics and they are old and not so profitable. "But it doesn't matter. It's still a sale," said Lindland. "It is known that GM also sells earlier versions of pickups."

Edmunds & # 39; Acevedo added that automakers are making "huge" profits from pickup sales, even with a big discount, so "there's a lot of meat on the bones".

The pickup segment is also notorious for its loyal buyers. In general, 70% of pickup buyers are loyal to their brands, Krebs said.

The ram helps attract younger buyers, Acevedo said. "So if you think about the number of people who could stay with this brand, you have to make hard cash now, but that could pay off later if customers stick with these products," he said.

More fights

GM will launch all of its revised Chevrolet and GMC large SUV models later this year. Ram ends production of the previous generation pickup and promises to continue the brawl between the two.

GM spokesman Tom Henderson said Ram outdoing the Silverado was an anomaly.

"Our focus is on retail, not rental," said Henderson. "Silverado's market share in retail has held up fairly well over the year, although the market launch has been shortened and a 40-day strike and an upswing for Silverado Heavy Dutys are just around the corner. Silverado also sold well with lean inventory versus stocking up with stocks of unsold vehicles. We think this is a smarter approach to doing business. One year doesn't make a trend – we're in the truck business in the long run. "

In an email to the Freie Presse, the FCA announced that Ram had an "outstanding year 2019" behind it.

"Our pickup sales speak for themselves," said Reid Bigland, head of US sales. "With the Ram 1500, the Ram 1500 Classic and our heavy-duty portfolio, we have offered consumers more technology, more interior and more choice. We look forward to another solid year in 2020."

According to a study by Cox Automotive, the consumer found the interior of the Ram with its large screen the most appealing.

Greetings, Mary

While the 40-day strike detracted from GM's fourth quarter and full year results, analysts said it could have been much worse and GM could hold its own.

"We thought this was going to be a bad year, but the fact that they have weathered a tough year, including a 40-day strike and shutting down their car line – there have been many transitions for the brands," said Acevedo. "All in all, GM came from 2019 as much as possible."

Lindland said the fact that GM's sales "only" fell 2.3% for the year is impressive as work ceased at the end of the year.

"Anyone familiar with sports knows that unless you are the New England Patriot, it will be difficult to recover unless you are clear in the fourth quarter," said Lindland, referring later Super Bowl 2017 The Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit against the Atlanta Falcons and won their fifth Super Bowl title. "GM is the New England patriot of the auto industry here."

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