Make Ram Trucks Fly

Ram or Dodge: blowing up truck names.

My neighbor is confused. He has a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 and loves his truck. However, he hopes to change it early next year and decides that the Cummins diesel suits his needs better than the beefy gas-powered truck he now drives.

RAM Brand

His confusion has nothing to do with the truck he wants to buy, but with the brand: Long a loyal Dodge owner (cars, trucks, and minivans), he finds himself looking at Ram, minus Dodge. Yes, the Chrysler Group, which owns Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge, decided to separate its trucks from its regular passenger vehicles beginning with the 2010 model year, selling these vehicles under pull apart marks

The Dodge Ram 1500 is now the Ram 1500. The Dodge Dakota is now the Ram Dakota. Whatever other trucks eventually appear, and possibly SUVs, these vehicles will be sold as Ram, not Dodge.

name changes

In the grand scheme of things, these changes are not that dramatic. But they do offer a glimpse into how people identify their vehicles: The Dodge Ram has long been the make/model of choice for the Ram faithful. Heck, the two words go together: I don’t know anyone who called their truck a Ram 1500 (or 2500 or 3500) before the change. If they did, Dodge was mentioned before the model and submodel name as in Dodge Ram 1500.

It is not known how these changes will affect sales. The Ram faithful love their trucks and will likely continue to buy them for what they are and what they have to offer more than anything else. My friend is in love with the Cummins diesel and reckons the beefy six-cylinder engine has all the torque and power he needs to tow his powerboat or RV.


Fiat is likely to be the game changer behind the split between Dodge and Ram. Following Chrysler’s bankruptcy and reorganization in 2009, Fiat gained a 20 percent stake in Chrysler. Dodge and Jeep are the strongest brands, but Fiat apparently wants to make sure Ram can do it just in case Dodge doesn’t survive.

Ultimately, we could see Fiat running Jeep and Ram, leaving Dodge and Chrysler to die if things get dire in the years to come. It is better to manage two healthy brands than to allow two challenged brands to drag everyone and everything else down with them.

Discovering Ram

If Fiat does everything right, it will overcome whatever difficulties people have with Ram splitting with Dodge. Dodge may even survive, perhaps thrive, if the market improves and if the next new product offers the kind of appeal Dodge needs. Splitting Ram up to create four brands instead of three seems like an odd approach, but judging by 2010 Ram truck sales figures, it was a move that didn’t hurt the Chrysler Group or its Italian masters.

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