The race to be America's top-selling pickup has never been much of a race: the Ford F-Series, starring the super-popular F-150, has dominated the field for decades.
But the battle for second place has become much more interesting in recent weeks. The perennial third-place finisher, Ram, has momentarily pulled ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado, leaving many to wonder if the bowtie brand can keep up.
To be clear, the Silverado is still in second place in year-to-date sales. Chevy has moved 128,467 pickups since the start of 2017, compared to Ram's 119,199. That's a difference of 9,268 units.
However, Fiat Chrysler has been aggressively promoting the Ram in recent weeks, and as a result, March sales were 6.3 percent higher than they were in March 2016, and the model is up 5.2 percent for the year.
Meanwhile, the Silverado's sales have begun to fall. In March, sales were off 11.6 percent from March of last year, and they're down 0.4 percent year-to-date. That might seem like a modest year-over-year drop, but in the red-hot truck market, it's surprising--and maybe a bit alarming.
Unfortunately, Chevrolet may not have too many tricks up its sleeve to drive consideration among pickup fans. The current Silverado debuted in the 2014 model year, meaning that it's about halfway through the typical seven-year cycle. It's due for a mid-generation refresh, but unless the spruce-up is substantial, the Ram could pull focus.
That's because the current Ram rolled out in the 2009 model year, making it well overdue for a total makeover. The next-gen Ram is expected to debut in early 2018, and given FCA's current focus on SUVs, it may be accompanied by a new SUV. Whether or not that hypothetical vehicle would be branded as a Ram, a Dodge, or Jeep remains to be seen.