GM vs Ford vs Ram vs Toyota in big pickups

As the Sterling Heights plant slowly ramps up 2025 Ram 1500 production, the first Rams since the 1950s to have no V8 option, it’s time to look back on the first quarter sales—from the final year of Hemi-powered Ram 1500s.

2024 Ram Power Wagon

GM is generally the leader in big pickup sales, combining Chevrolet and GMC. In the first quarter, they sold 84,586 Silverado 1500s; 41,916 Silverado 2500 and 3500s; 2,424 Silverados in the 4500-and-up range; and 1,061 EVs, a number which is artificially low as the company’s first Ultium battery plant struggles to ramp up.  Overall, that’s 129,987 Silverados—up 2.4% from Q1 2023, a gain possibly mostly taken out of Ram’s hide.

Ford is boasting of its pickup dominance, with 152,943 sales; and that’s fine for brands, but not for companies. GM took Ford’s number and raised it by 46,223 GMC Sierra 1500s and 22,374 Sierra 2500-3500s, for a total of 68,597 Sierras—up 2.1%. All together, GM had 198,584 big pickup sales, which dwarf Ford quite easily.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 pickup truck

Before talking Ram, we should stop for a moment and note that, anecdotally, the aging Ram 2500 and 3500 have had quite low sales for the last few months—but both Ford and GM had big hikes in ‘heavy duty’ pickup sales (2500+3500 or 250+350). It seems Ram buyers are moving across the street.

Then there’s Ram, which couldn’t even clear six figures, selling 89,417 pickups and chassis cabs. GM sold over twice as many. That figure is down by 15%, and it isn’t due to a shortage of Hemi V8s—the 2025 Ram 1500 hadn’t even entered production yet, and the lack of a V8 was still just a rumor for nearly the entire quarter. There don’t seem to have been production shortfalls, either.

Toyota did add competition with a redesigned Tundra, styled to be imposing. Sales rose by 31% over Q1 2023, but only to 36,216. Its 9,000 or so additional sales over three months may or may not have come through disaffected Ram buyers; they may be new to the big pickup market, moving up from the Tacoma, which saw sales nosedive by 60%. If only ⅓ of the people not buying Tacomas went for the Tundra, it would explain all Toyota’s sales gain. (Indeed, Tacoma dropped by 32,025, which is close to total Tundra sales.)

Whether it’s pricing, reputation, being left out of fleet buys, or something else, Ram was hit hard in U.S. sales this quarter—harder, indeed, than any other FCA US marque. Jeep ended up ahead despite dropping the Cherokee; Chrysler was up by 9% despite losing the 300; and Dodge was down by 16%, but it dropped two of its three mainstays during that time. It’s even possible, since the Durango fell as well, that V8s are actually falling out of fashion as a luxury feature selling to people in a recession mindset (while there is no actual recession, media outlets have noticed that predictions of doom and gloom bring more ad revenue).

On the lighter side, as the Toyota Tacoma shows, it could have been far worse.

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