The numbers for truck sales in the month of March were just released, but the one that seemed to jump off the page was the 42,532 units Ram Truck sold. Ram still trails the Ford F-Series (173,358) and Chevrolet Silverado (107,757) with 96,906 units sold to date in 2014, but according to the monthly numbers Ram outsold the Silverado by 285 units last month.
But before you get too excited there are a few factors at play here. For starters, the Ram Truck category includes its Class 4 and 5 chassis cab models in the total, as well as any 3500 fleet models ordered in the chassis cab configuration. And for 2014 they are now available with a Hemi 6.4-liter V-8 option as well, making them more popular with more businesses replacing their aging fleets. Also worth noting, Ford does the same thing with its F-450 and F-550 sales, but since GM does not offer any vehicles in this category, some could argue the numbers are not directly comparable.
In fact, every truck counted in GM's monthly sales numbers is either a dedicated personal-use, fleet or commercial 1500, 2500, or 3500 pickup truck. GM doesn't have a medium-duty truck any more—although it used to have the Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick that is rumored to be possibly making a come back. Simply put, the GM numbers reflect a cleaner retail and/or fleet pickup truck sales.
It’s worth celebrating either way as the Ram Truck guys are obviously excited about the March milestone, but it’s also true that sheer numbers aren't really what they're working for. A truer reflection of how much Ram is gaining on Chevy is probably better seen in the 2013 numbers where Ram sold more 3/4-ton pickups by a narrow margin and many more one-ton trucks than Chevy. They're also gaining traction in the half-ton segment as well.
In March, monthly sales for Ford we’re up 5.1 percent compared to its March 2013 with 70,940 units sold. For Chevrolet Silverado its month-to-month comparison was a 6.8 percent increase with 42,247 units. And Ram finished with its March totals at 42,532, which earned them a 25.7 percent increase when compared to March 2013.
Things are definitely changing, and they're changing because some truckmakers are taking risks and clawing for every sale they can make. Last year was like that, and it’s a safe bet that 2014 will be that way as well.