We still hear them called Dodge pick-ups occasionally, but the Ram Truck was launched a decade ago as a stand-alone division among the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Brand execs celebrated the 10th anniversary with accomplishments that include holding the title in being the most-awarded light-duty truck in America and maintaining the highest owner loyalty in the half-ton segment.
The Ram 1500 is the first full-size pickup truck to be named a Top Safety Pick+, the highest rating given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Big news for 2020 is Ram’s all-new third generation EcoDiesel engine offered as an option with every 500 configuration, including Ram Rebel—the off-road beast in the 1500 corral. The EcoDiesel represents a $4,995 premium over the base V6 and costs $3,000 more than the Hemi V8. It raises the bar for 3.0 liter engines with torque at 480 lb.-ft. and towing at 12,560 lbs.
Out-powering, out-towing and out-hauling the competition are the milestones for the Heavy Duty segment. Here, the Ram 3500 ranks highest in towing capacity at 35,100 pounds and heaviest payload at 7,800 pounds and boasts the most powerful engine with 1,000 lb. ft. of torque with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. The 2500-based Power Wagon is a vehicle in a class unto itself, exhibiting extreme off-road capability in a full size pickup. Adding Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Steering as a standard across all trim levels in Heavy Duty Ram trucks and making Blind-Spot Monitoring available as well as dual auxiliary camera capability for the model year 2020 are moves that some would call bells and whistles, but certainly make a lot of sense in this segment. And Ram can be attributed with proving that Heavy Duty purchasers will opt for high trim levels and special options, just like their buyers in other segments.
While their trucks are supremely capable in all things that a truck buyer would expect, Ram’s quest to set the bar for the industry also extends to good looks, great ride and handling, easy-to use features, and thoughtful conveniences (like a 1,000 mile tank on new Eco Diesels). Inside, the Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen sets a new bar in luxury, and the Mega Cab offers unmatched interior space, but even the lower trim levels are pretty darn nice—overall, what was premium level yesterday seems to be standard level today. On the fashion side of the truck runway, monochromatic Ram Black Editions are the hot news; these include new Night Editions on the Big Horn, Longhorn and Laramie models, the return of the Ram Rebel Black Appearance Group, and a new black wheel option for the Ram Power Wagon.
A renewed commitment to set new benchmarks to outperform the competition with an emphasis on durability, strength, technology and efficiency, has paid off handsomely for Ram. It has proven the capabilities of its brand across its full lineup of trucks as well as commercial vehicles. Just like in the home building industry, sales success and increased market share come from developing and launching new models targeted to specific buyer needs.