The Ram Classic is still proving a hit for dealers.
If you want a new-but-not-quite-new truck, you can still buy the old fourth-generation Ram 1500. In fact, many of you are doing just that, as dealers are still rocking the Classic even as the new Ram’s production is now in full swing.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is built alongside the redesigned model, and that’s proving to be a wise decision on Fiat Chrysler’s part. According to J.D. Power, the old model is still doing well, to the point where it made up nearly a third of Ram’s sales in the first quarter of 2019.
So far this year, Ram sold 120,026 pickups — a 15 percent increase over this point in 2018. At this point, the brand is the second most popular in the U.S., edging out the Chevrolet Silverado in the first quarter and gaining ground on the perennial leader, Ford’s F-Series lineup.
Of course, the main charm of the Ram Classic mainly comes down to price. While the fifth generation starts at $31,795 before destination charges, the Classic starts at $27,295 — $4,500 cheaper. While it lacks the looks and features of the new truck, those of you out there who want a less expensive option are snapping up the Ram 1500 Classic in impressive numbers. That’s also to say nothing of the generous incentives on offer for buying one.
Padding the numbers
Automotive News spoke with one particular Ram dealer in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, Glen Kelleher, who said he appreciated having the Ram 1500 Classic around. Currently, the dealership sells around 40 trucks per month. Without the Classic, that figure may drop to 30 because of the sticker shock associated with the new expensive truck. Once FCA discontinues the old generation Ram, that figure may continue to drop. “The customers coming in and buying $350 a month and are suddenly facing $475. You’re going to lose some people, [and the Ram Classic] helped us negate that.”
However, the Classic’s existence may end up cutting both ways for dealers. Depending on how long Ram keeps the old truck in production, it will continue to act as a boon for dealers. After all, there are plenty of folks out there who want an inexpensive workhorse. Since it’s built alongside the new truck, though, it limits Ram’s production capacity for the new model.
That transition, when Ram drops the Classic from the lineup, may cause a short-term lack of supply for new Ram trucks. “Sooner or later, I think the Classic will lose steam,” Kelleher said. “Our sales have picked up dramatically with the new design, and they’re dropping off on the Classic.”
Currently, Ram executives have not announced when the production run for the Ram Classic will end. While it has bolstered the brand’s sales in the first quarter, those figures may slow down by the end of 2019.