One of the newest brands on the market today, the Ram brand is also (indirectly) one of the oldest. The truck division of Dodge was split off into a separate brand in 2010 to become the Ram division of the Chrysler Group LLC.
Thus the history of Ram is, in many ways, the history of Dodge.
The “Ram” name, first coined in 1981, was instituted to lend an air of toughness. One bright spot during this period was the introduction of Cummins turbodiesel engines to the lineup. This attracted the attention of buyers who needed to tow equipment and haul heavy loads. By the way, the Ram was picked up from the hood ornament the Dodge brothers had used on their cars.
What gained Dodge Ram pickups the most notoriety was the application of “big rig” styling in 1994. For the first time, a pickup truck adopted the long-nose styling of the Peterbilt tractors. This, combined with a new interior treatment and a prominent placement on the TV show “Walker, Texas Ranger” drew considerable attention to the revised Dodge Ram vehicles.
The 2002 redesign of Ram trucks refined the big rig look and folded in more creature comforts. These trucks were smooth riding, powerful and good-looking. They were also sized to slot in between full and medium-sized pickups, which gave them a unique position in the marketplace. The powerful 5.7-liter Hemi engine fitted to the 2002 Ram trucks helped a lot too. Model year 2009 saw the advent of a coil spring rear suspension system, which greatly improved both ride and handling.
For model year 2010, Ram was split off from Dodge to stand alone as its own brand, ostensibly to focus on “real truck buyers”. Chrysler had been purchased by the Italian automaker Fiat. Part of the new marketing strategy for Dodge was to reposition it with young, hip, urban buyers. There was concern having a line of trucks badged “Dodge” would be counterproductive to this.
The change also gave the truck division an opportunity to market itself as rugged, rural, and Middle American. According to former Ram Division president Fred Diaz; "We needed to market as Ram so Dodge could have a different brand identity: hip, cool, young, and energetic. That would not fit the campaign for truck buyers, so it was decided the two should have distinct themes."
Thus, while used Ram trucks have only been around for a couple of years, there are a lot of Ram trucks for sale out there with the Dodge name on them too.