RAM outsells Silverado in March. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 3, 2017 2017 RAM 2500 HD – $36,795 as listed while equipped with the 6.4L V8 including a 4-cyl. deactivating Displacement on Demand mated to a 6-speed AT. TrueCar is showing an easy $5k discount and surely more with local advertising with even more off. EPA efficiency is not provided given the HD's GVWR is beyond EPA efficiency requirements. Later this month I will be attending the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit and to get there, I will be transporting a 2017 RAM 2500 HD with the 6.4L V8 between San Diego and Denver as it is needed for the Colorado and surrounding states based Journalists hands. Remember our last drive of a RAM HD occurred during the summer of 2016 from behind the wheel of a 2500 HD w/ the 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel. Like all our recent LD and HD RAM Truck drives, the brand has not let us down on the segment efficiency front. The 3.6L V6 Pentastar (Ram Goes To War And Lets Loose A NUKE – As in 25 mpgUS highway! and 2013 RAM 1500 HFE Arrives Soon), 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel (2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Heads West), and of course 6.7L Cummins I6 (RAM HD with the Cummins Targets Death Valley) proved the various drivetrains were segment leading in this key attribute. The 6.4L V8 with its own brand of efficiency measures may shine too despite not being a Cummins Turbo Diesel. We shall see. Let us also hope that this drive does not involve saving anyone like last year’s 2500 HD did, (RAM Trucks Finest Hour), but if necessary, it will surely be up to the task. 2017 RAM 2500 HD Preview A RAM 2500 HD ready to tow a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Float in NY City. With a 2017 4WD Nissan Titan and its 5.6L Advance V8 gas engine mated to a 7-speed AT currently in the drive, the 2017 RAM 2500 HD in RWD format should be a good comparison. Of course the RAM is a much more durable HD work platform given its 3/4-Ton underpinnings allowing 7,090 lbs. more towing cap. The RAM 2500 HD we will be driving is the same truck that took part in the PUTC shootout a few weeks ago. Our efficiency numbers and accuracy should be a better comparison although their Nissan Titan was the XD variant with the 5.6L V8 mated to a 7-speed AT under the hood and cab during the PUTC testing. A good write-up by Mark Williams nonetheless. 2017 Ford Super Duty ¾ Ton Work Truck Challenge, Bests RAM, Chevrolet, and Nissan Given PUTCs use of the RAM 2500 HD loaded and unloaded over a short 111 mile highway stint, I will derive a more accurate aFCD offset and surely achieve much higher results over the two day, 1,100 mile drive from just over sea level to over 11,158’ ASL elevation at the Eisenhower Tunnel and then finish over a mile high near the Denver airport. Before leaving however, I will complete the steady states and use the offset from the actual drive to graph it after the fact. It should be a good comparison to the 3.93 rear end equipped 2017 Titan with the 5.6L Advanced engine in the std. cab 1/2 ton. On the efficiency front that is. Since we are talking 3/4-ton, the 2500 HD frame uses high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate roll-formed cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength, rigidity, and low mass. The rear of the frame includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches. Body-to-frame hydro-mounts help to improve ride quality. RAM 2500 Drivetrain in Detail The RAM 2500 HD equipped w/ the 410 hp and 429 lb.-ft. of torque 6.4L Hemi mated to the std. HD 6-speed AT and 4.10 rear end is a segment leader in a number of areas. Its Payload and Towing cap of 3,990 and 16,320 lbs. respectively are simply over the top within the 3/4 Ton class. The Ram 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi V8 gas engine can also be equipped with a dual-alternator system which combines a 220 and base 160-amp unit for 380 amps of total output. Our truck is equipped with an upgraded but single 180-amp unit. The 2017 Ram HD also features the Ram Active Air intake system. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle. It also engages at high altitudes - the 11,158 ft elevation of the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 we will be passing though comes to mind - for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water. And finally, because of the RAM 2500 HD's 6.4L V8 includes 4-cylinder deactivation technology, it should help with the drive uphill between San Diego and Denver although the optional and installed on this RAM HDs 4.10 rear ratio will probably hurt the overall somewhat. With the optional on our truck P275/70R18s, the 4.10 rear end still allows a reasonable 1574 RPMs (calculated) at 60 mph. We will see soon enough. Another super truck meant to complete a lot of real work. Watch this space for more… #RamTrip 2017 RAM 2500 HD Reg. Cab RWD Tradesman with the 8' Bed and 6.4L Hemi V8 Monroney Once in Denver, I hop on a plane to Midway in Chicago, pick up a 2017 Toyota Prius Two Eco for the final driving stint to the Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit. FCA March 2017 Sales Overview FCA reported March U.S. sales of 190,254 vehicles, down 4.6 percent beneath the 199,467 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 510,798 are off a bit more onerous 8.5 percent compared to the 558,137 sold through the same period of 2016. FCA March fleet sales of 43,992 vehicles was down 15 percent as FCA like GM continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the rental fleets. Fleet sales represented 23 percent of total FCA US sales in March. FCA US retail sales of 146,262 units were down 1 percent for the month, and represented 77 percent of total March sales. Ram pickup truck sales reached 46,384, up 6.3 percent over the 43,647 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 119,199 are up 5.2 percent over the 113,298 sold through the same period of 2016. Jeep Grand Cherokee achieved sales of 20,374 vehicles in March, up 22.1 percent over the 16,693 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 56,600 are up 18.8 percent over the 47,658 sold through the same period of 2016. FIAT 500 sales were up 12 percent in March compared with March of 2016. Items of Note: In January and now March, the Fusion Hybrid outsold Prius. YTD sales of the Prius (15,769) are still ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (15,660) by just 109 vehicles. This is turning out to be quite the horse race with both jockeying back and forth for the monthly sales lead. The Prius has not felt this kind of sales pressure ever. The Kia Niro, now in its second full month of sales reached 2,704 new owners and continues to be the 4th bestselling hybrid in the country. The sales totals appear to be accelerating over and above the 2,143 sold last month and I suspect it will top out near 3 to 3.5k/month mark with incentives beginning to be offered in earnest and for the first time in March. Ioniq is just now reaching Hyundai dealerships so we will be watching that one closely with April being its first full month of sales. U.S. March 2017 Sales vs. March 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers GM March 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 256,224 Vehicles sold Ford March 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 236,250 Vehicles sold Toyota March 2017 Sales Down 2.1% with 215,224 Vehicles sold FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold Nissan March 2017 Sales Up 3.2% with 168,832 Vehicles sold Honda March 2017 Sales Down 0.7% with 137,227 Vehicles sold Hyundai March 2017 Sales were down 8.0% with 69,265 Vehicles sold Subaru March 2017 Sales Up 11.3% with 54,871 Vehicles sold Kia March 2017 Sales Down 15.2% with 49,429 Vehicles Sold BMW March 2017 Sales Up 3.5% with 36,002 Vehicles sold Mercedes-Benz March 2017 Sales Up 2.0% with 32,352 Vehicles Sold VW March 2017 Sales Up 2.7% with 27,635 Vehicles sold Mazda March 2017 Sales Up 4.9% with 24,549 Vehicles sold Audi March 2017 Sales Up 1.7% with 18,705 Vehicles sold Jaguar/Land Rover March 2017 Sales Up 18.9% with 12,918 Vehicles sold Mitsubishi March 2017 Sales Up 6.2% with 11,766 Vehicles sold Volvo March 2017 Sales Down 21.9% with 5,356 Vehicles sold Porsche March 2017 Sales Up 3.6% with 4,479 Vehicles sold In March, BMW moved up two spots to 10th ahead of both VW and MB. Jaguar/Land Rover moved ahead of Mitsubishi to take the 15th spot. In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in March with a 0.9 percent gain over March of 2016. FCA was down 1.0 percent, Nissan was up 0.7 percent. Regarding segment sales totals, F-Series outsold GM’s Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon combined. Ram also outsold Silverado. March light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) was 14 million in March although March 2017 sales (1.54 million) were off 0.05 million vs. March of 2016 sales (1.59 million). The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 14.0 million vehicles. YTD industry sales of 4.00 million is down 0.05 million form the 4.05 million sold through the same period of 2016 with the same number of selling days. It is clear that short term sales have peaked. With incentives piling on across the industry, where we go from here is anyone’s guess.