It's been a long time since the rankings have changed on the monthly sales leaderboard for the full-size pickup segment, but it's also been a long time since there's been a truck like the 2014 RAM 1500. And now, after winning a slew of awards for its current-generation models, Ram has cashed in by outselling the Chevy Silverado last month—marking the first time in almost 15 years that the Chrysler Group's full-size pickup entry had claimed the No. 2 spot in a monthly sales race.
As a result, the March sales leaderboard for the segment looked like this:
- Ford F-Series—70,940 sales, up 5.1 percent
- Ram—42,532 sales, up 25.7 sales
- Chevy Silverado—42,247 sales, up 6.8 percent
- GMC Sierra—16,832 sales, up 22 percent
- Toyota Tundra—11,589 sales, up 29.8 percent
- Nissan Titan—1,314 sales, down 36.9 percent
True, the Ram advantage was a razor-thin 285 units, and its March total was still a hefty 28,408 behind the long-time best-seller from Ford. Yet the Bowtie brand, at least, must be feeling some serious pressure right now. Despite launching as an all-new model late last year, the new Silverado has struggled to find any kind of sustainable sales momentum, and it's about to face some new challenges.
First off, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel model started reaching dealerships late last month, boasting a truly unique powertrain that delivers 240 hp, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and EPA grades of 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway/23 mpg combined. That gives Ram the only light-duty full-size pickup with a diesel engine, and that 3.0-liter V6 provides true pickup specs, including a max tow rating of 9,200 lbs. Then, the Blue Oval is prepping its next-gen F-150, which will shed about 700 lbs. of curbweight thanks to the extensive use of aluminum in the truck. Needless to say, that should lead to some substantial capabilities improvements for the Ford, although the automaker hasn't provided any details at this point.
There are some more details about Ram sales, however. In addition to the ongoing success of the 2014 Ram 1500, the brand's heavy-duty pickups pitched in with a 28 percent jump in sales, while the RAM Cargo Van sold 841 units in March, marking a 19 percent gain, and the Ram ProMaster compact van was responsible for 1,106 sales in its first March on the market.
The bottom line for the Ram brand as a whole: 44,479 sales, up 29 percent.