The RAM pickup truck was produced in 1981 and was originally a part of the Dodge lineup of light-duty trucks. In fact, “RAM” was used as a model name for Dodge trucks from 1932-1954, as well as in 1981.
A full-size pickup truck, the RAM was preceded by the Dodge D Series and has gone on to win a multitude of “Best Truck” awards throughout the decades.
Before 1970 Dodge had utilized a completely different marque for its Fargo trucks, which were primarily sold outside the United States. After 1970, Dodge marque trucks were singularly produced by Chrysler.
In more recent times, RAM trucks have been established as a division of Chrysler - essentially a spin-off from Dodge branding, using the namesake of the wildly popular Dodge RAM fleet of heavy-duty pickup trucks. Strengthening the marketing effort was a statement given by Chrysler that the line of trucks would focus on “real truck” customers as opposed to the casual buyers of pickup trucks for the purposes of personal style and image.
Read on below to learn more about RAM trucks, its history, and their current position in the truck market.
In 2009, the RAM line of trucks was conceived after Chrysler’s acquiring of Fiat Automobiles S.p.A, with the intention of converting Dodge’s lineup to solely car-based automobiles. Meanwhile, all pickups and heavy-duty trucks would be made manufactured by Chrysler and sold under the RAM brand.
Interestingly, Fiat’s Ducato van was adopted and sold in the United States by Chrysler as the RAM ProMaster, essentially filling the void left by the demise of the Dodge Sprinter model in 2008. Adopting the Ducato was a strategy that Chrysler executives hopes would increase overall truck sales from 280,000 to a robu7 415,000 in five short years.
Diversifying the RAM Lineup
Chrysler’s endeavor to successfully compete in the semi-trailer truck market was in large part pinned on the strategic marketing of a concept RAM model, strengthened by a large population of Dodge dealers throughout the nation.
All though RAM trucks are marketed distinctly to their Dodge branded counterparts, former Division President Fred Diaz stated that “RAM trucks will always and forever be Dodge’s.” Bolstering Diaz’s statement is the fact that all RAMS have an interior Dodge emblem and have vehicle identification numbers that are associated with the Dodge brand.
Comprehensive efforts to intertwine Dodge and RAM were strategic in nature, designed to be specifically thematic; appealing to a young, energetic, and hip populace, and distinct from the campaigning efforts geared towards serious heavy-duty truck buyers.
RAM’s Marketing Strategy
RAM remains distinct with its affordable pricing rendering its lineup of trucks attainable to a wide spectrum of buyers. While other automakers have increased their prices, RAM trucks have yet to charge even close to six figures for any of their vehicles, despite being on the forefront of the luxury truck market.
In fact, RAM’s staunch deviation to distinguish itself both stylistically and in terms of pricing have roots in its storied past. In earlier years when trucks like the Chevrolet High Counter were at the top in terms of popularity, other truck manufacturers such as GMC and Ford attempted to compete by adding leather touches, stylized grills, and hokey touches such as southwestern style saddle bags.
In contrast, RAM focused on an all-encompassing campaign to lure buyers by focusing on augmenting an already expansive array of luxury touches, ramping up convenience elements, and offering plenty of unique styling, along with incorporating smooth-ride coils and a performance air suspension.
RAM’s strategy proved to pay off handsomely, with a vastly increased market share of truck sales that continued to increase with each passing year.
RAM: Historical Timeline
Dodge uses the term “RAM” as a name for their pickup truck models.
1981: The RAM and Power RAM trucks are introduced to the consumer market.
1982: The Dodge D Series truck and B Series van are both rebadged with the RAM name.
1985: “Shift on The Fly” Transfer Case added
1988: 5.2-liter truck receives fuel injection
1989: Rear anti-lock brakes become standard equipment
1994: Second generation RAM pickup truck is named Motor Trend’s Truck of Year (first award)
1994: Semi-truck front-end redesign
2003: Third generation RAM Heavy Duty pickup truck is named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year (second award)
2003: Introduction of the Dodge SRT-10, the “fastest pickup truck on earth.”
2006 Front fascia redesign
2006: RAM Mega Cab introduced
2010: Fourth generation RAM heavy-duty pickup truck is named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year (third award)
2010 to present
2011: Made the transition from being marketed by Chrysler Group LLC to direct marketing under RAM trucks.
2013: Current RAM 1500 heavy-duty pickup truck is named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year (fourth award)
2014: Current RAM 1500 heavy-duty pickup truck is named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year (fifth award)
Chrysler Corporation (1981–1998)
Chrysler LLC (2007–2009)
Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014)
FCA US LLC (2014–present)
2015-2018 RAM Models
RAM 700 (Mexico only)
RAM 1200 (Middle East only)
RAM ProMaster Van 1500
RAM ProMaster Van 2500
RAM ProMaster Van 3500
RAM ProMaster Van with Chassis / Cutaway Cab
RAM ProMaster City
RAM ProMaster Rapid (Mexico only)
Popular RAM Trucks
RAM 1500 Pickup
The RAM 1500 is a legendary pickup truck that has received countless accolades in markets all across the globe. Its exceptional level of capability, an assemblage of user-friendly elements, and workhorse performance has rendered the RAM 1500 one of the best-selling pickup trucks of all time.
The all-new 2019 RAM 1500 features a 3.6-liter V6 with two hundred and sixty-nine pounds of torque or a slightly higher priced 5.7-liter Hemi-style V8 with four hundred and ten pounds of torque - both of which come in an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Additionally, buyers can opt for the brand new forty-eight-volt hybrid system to boost overall efficiency and torque.
Competitors to the RAM 1500 are in large part favoring a modern, sporty, squared off facade, RAM departs from the trend by fashioning its 2019 model in an elegantly refined styling that has both a contemporary appeal and a timeless aesthetic.
Powered by either the V6 or V8 options, the RAM 1500 is known throughout the automotive industry as having “Canada’s best-selling engines.” Adding to the RAM 1500’s immense popularity is an “award-winning interior experience,” that is replete with a bevy of user-friendly elements.
RAM 2500 Pickup
The RAM 2500 is comfortable, capacious and full of brawny performance elements. Buyers can opt for an array of options for the RAM 2500, to create either a no-frills workhorse truck or a lavish heavy-duty pickup truck replete with sumptuous details.
Pre-outfitted RAM 2500 configurations range from the base model Tradesman truck to the well-appointed Power Wagon Laramie, both of which are capable of towing up to 17,900 pounds with a payload of 3160 pounds.
Under the hood, buyers can choose from the spirited V6 engine or three powerful V8 options. The RAM 2500 V8 engine comes in either a four-hundred-pound 5.7-liter model or a four hundred and twenty-nine pound 6.4-liter model.
For buyers looking for paramount performance ability, there is also an option for a turbo-powered 6.7-liter diesel in either automatic or six-speed manual transmissions. Notably, the turbo-powered diesel offers an incredible eight hundred pounds of torque with the automatic transmission option.
RAM 3500 Pickup
The RAM 3500 is a true behemoth pickup truck and has been praised by an international collective as the “hardest-working pickup truck on Earth.” For consumers who require top-notch towing capacity, the RAM 3500 doesn’t disappoint; its tremendous 31,120 towing capacity easily transports the heaviest cargo, from lumber, concrete, sheetrock, and more.
Buyers can opt for an array of engine styles ranging from a three hundred and eighty-three horsepower 5.7 liter V8 or a four hundred and ten horsepower 6.4 liter V8, a three hundred and seventy horsepower 6.4 liter Mega Cab option or a 6.7 liter turbo-diesel V6 ranging from three hundred and fifty to three hundred and eighty five horsepower.
In addition to the multitude of engine options available, the RAM 3500 can be outfitted with as many modern and luxurious components desired (or conversely as few.) Pre-configured RAM 2500 models start with the base model Tradesman and range to the fully-loaded Longhorn Limited.
RAM Trucks in Contemporary Media
Car and Driver - Prominent auto enthusiast magazine Car and Driver has heaped praise on RAM trucks since their earliest beginnings. According to the publication, the RAM 1500 is a “truck that rides like a car,” and is beset with an assemblage of plush elements that create a luxury feel all throughout.
Car and Driver describes in detail how the RAM is just as popular with consumers with heavy-duty truck needs in addition to more casual requirements while acquiring an extensive fan base comprised of consumers desiring a top-quality pickup truck with a multitude of possibilities.
Ubiquitously put to use by contractors, painters, machinists, farmers and far more, RAM trucks are heralded by users as the perennially perfect truck combining ability, performance, endurance, and reliability, all at an attractive price point.
Legions of RAM trucks buyers will never fill their truck beds with stacks of sheetrock, timber, or tools but rather groceries and small items that suggest more causal truck ownership. Nevertheless, RAM truck buyers as a collective whole readily appreciate the limitless abilities offered by RAM, in addition to the array of user-friendly touches that create a fantastic truck driving experience.
US News Rankings and Research - The widely respected US News publication ranks the 2019 RAM 1500 truck as their #1 choice for full-size pickup trucks, with a score of 9 out of 10 based on a thirteen-point research methodology.
RAM Trucks in Film and Television
RAM pickup trucks have made countless appearances in movies and television. Featured in the February 2018 Super Bowl, RAM’s commercial incorporated Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous sermon “The Drum Major Instinct,” which ultimately failed to resonate with audiences en masse.
Rather than trumpeting up the value of RAM, the commercial’s overall failure to connect RAM to Martin Luther King’s heralded speech, left many viewers confused, with many mocking the commercials lack of decorum and overall taste.
Of particular concern to many viewers was the audacity of an automobile manufacturer making use of a speech by a celebrated historical figure with the intent of selling more vehicles.
Despite RAM’s failure in connecting with viewership, the brand succeeded in creating a memorable moment emblazoned upon consumer’s minds - evidenced by the fact that overall sales slightly increased after that infamous day.
Read on to view snapshots of RAM Trucks used in contemporary film and television
Polished, Forged, Chrome, and Black Aluminum Styles in addition to many designs and spoke choices.
Exterior Paint Colors
Classic black, a range of taupe and other neutrals, vivid blues, striking red, and a sexy burgundy
Seat Color, Fabric, and Trim Combinations
Check out the wide range of classic color combos featuring elegantly subdued neutrals with tasteful contrast accents.
RAM vehicles are among the top-selling pickup and heavy-duty trucks in the automotive market. From its early beginnings in 1981 as a Dodge vehicle to its transformation through Chrysler's ownership, RAM is a brand that has steadily evolved throughout the decades.
Despite experiencing many changes in branding, RAM has remained a perennial favorite amongst pickup truck buyers. In sharp contrast to its counterparts, RAM trucks offer consumers a wide range of powerful trucks with an array of engine options from a peppy V6 to incredibly powerful V8 options.
Fully customizable, RAM trucks remain attractive in the consumer market due to the extensive lineup of custom elements that can be chosen from to create a truck that perfectly fits a buyer’s needs and budget. From an array of basic options to a wealth of luxury components, consumers can fashion an ideal truck for their lifestyle and worthy of their hard-earned dollars.
Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions, Your Digital Automotive Company.You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office