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Entries in Ram (4)

Monday
Jun222015

Pick Up Battles Revisited

We have been mentioning for some time the continued Canadian love affair with full size pick ups. Especially pick ups from the Detroit 3 who have the lion's share of the market.

As you know today's pick ups are big, yes...really big compared to the same trucks of a few years ago. While the most popular configuration is the crew cab with the short box. Agreed these pick ups mimics full size cars of a few decades ago, especially luxury cars from back in the day.

If you have looked at pick up prices they are certainly in the luxury territory, you can get a mid size car from MerBimAu (Mercedes-BMW-Audi) for the same price. Not fair to call them them luxury vehicles, although the features are comparable to luxury cars. Its still a truck, and they still drive like a truck, they are not sport sedans.

Its also the classic layout of body on frame, a 2 speed transfer case with a low range on the 4x4 version (the majority). They can still carry a load, or pull a substantial trailer.

Although they are huge, with parking sensors, blind spot monitors (you cannot see a car on the side of the truck) and back up camera. These truck are easy to maneuver in tight spaces or park.

Fuel economy is not spectacular, but reasonable considering the size and especially the frontal area which pushes a good amount of air on the highway. Yes...the Ram has the Eco Diesel which is quite economical for a pick up. Similar to luxury cars from back in the day, the gas tanks are substantial in size.

How do pick ups from the Detroit 3 compare as of year to date May?

 

YTD May...........................2015.............2014

Ford F Series.....................46,868..........48,060

Ram................................38,297..........36,425

Silverado..........................17,526..........15,276

Sierra..............................20,998..........18,123

Total..............................123,689.........117,884   a 5% increase

Ford has been having supply challenges with the F150, yes dealers are not happy.

GM has benefitted from the Ford supply challenges.

Ram keeps on going.

Is it the presumed lower price of gas, or the expanding love affair with pick ups that encourages more sales?

What do you think?

 

 

Monday
Jun082015

It Was A Ram Photo Shoot

Our usual photo shoot location notice the wet pavementIf you are a regular reader you have certainly grasped that most of the time we do our review photo shoots at the same location(s). For some reason photo shoots work well in those locations.

Usually mid morning on a Sunday its what fits best in our agenda.

We have the Ram, mid morning Sunday does not fit in the agenda, we have other priorities.

By the time we get around to the photo shoot, its early Sunday evening which is a good time of day to take photos, except its increasingly cloudy, and and it looks as if its going to rain.

Our standard photo shoot procedure is to hand wash the vehicle (when the weather permits). Agreed there is still a "zen thing" when you hand wash a vehicle, and you notice all sorts of interesting details. Yes...there is a lot of sheet metal on a Ram, the windshield and roof are high.

This Ram has plastic wheel covers that replicate an alloy wheel, not a bad thing if a wheel gets scraped replace the cover, from the other perspective its "imitation" alloys.

We get ambitious and decide to do a photo shoot under light rain just to see the outcome. Why in the rain, just for the fun of it, to see the outcome.

Under the tree notice the pavement is dryAt our photo shoot location, the rain is subdued, the natural light is not ideal, but lets try this. We are so focused on taking photos, then we notice that the pavement on the other side is dry. "Why is the pavement dry? Simple the tree is immense." Lets go under the tree too.

Its raining, now under the tree, you could call it call it a huge truck umbrella. This photo session is turning into fun, and interesting.

Different light conditions, and the auto focus on the Samsung camera is getting an extensive work out.

Lets give the technology a work out, and have a better understanding of how it all integrates together to take a photo.

The horse farm notice the pavement is wet its rainingStill raining, might as well go to our favorite horse farm and see how we can shoot there too.

Yes...there are horses in the pasture.

What initially started out as an almost "scrubbed" photo shoot. Morphed into a fun experience, under the rain, under a tree, and at our favorite horse farm.

 

 

 

Monday
Nov102014

Pick Up Battles

There is a serious philosophical pick up battle that is preparing itself. 

Perhaps you remember when pick ups were physically much smaller, most had 8 foot boxes, a fender side was a toy truck. They were made out of steel with a wood floor in the box, the rear step bumper was always an option. 

The simplicity of a pick up (compared to a car) was a cool factor...

The 1/2 ton pick up was for light work, the 3/4 ton remains the work tool, the 1 ton was a specialized tool. In the day manual transmissions were the choice especially in a 3/4 ton. Back to the simplicity, tradition.

Pick ups have grown dramatically in size through the years.

If there is one segment in North America that has not been "cracked" by imports its pick ups. The Detroit 3 own the segment, the F150 is the best selling vehicle in Canada for longer than many folks are alive. GM upholds the tradition of a GMC and Chevrolet truck. Chrysler in the early 1990's started the "big grille" trend.

With stricter fuel economy ratings on the immediate horizon, the landscape of the battlefield is clearly defined for all the contenders.

Lets focus on 1/2 tons since a 3/4 ton due to its GVW is usually above the fuel economy ratings. 

Ram: gets the ball rolling with the Eco Diesel V6 touting compact car fuel economy on a full size pick up. Its a good strategy to have a smaller diesel available to surpass the fuel economy ratings. 

GM: the redesigned pick ups, although competent, and full of features, for one reason or another did not capture the imagination. Bold grilles, smoother lines, full complement of luxury features. The other strategy deployed by GM is to revisit/re execute the mid size pick up. Mid size, small diesel engine...

Ford: focuses on weight, if you reduce weight, need a smaller engine, gain in fuel economy. Aluminum is the old school / classic way to reduce weight. Easy...lets do an aluminum pick up. 

It will be revealing in the ensuing months to observe which strategy is the best, and most enduring.

 

 

Tuesday
Jan082013

The Love Affair Endures

1962 Lincoln If you are of a certain age, you remember the various comments that cars in North America, were huge, with monster engines, not refined, heavy, land barges, gas guzzlers, and another gazillion describers. 

Back then the difference between a luxury car (Cadillac) and a regular car (Chevrolet) was substance with most components and size being bigger on the luxury car, than the regular car. Those old school luxury cars had a size advantage, as well as a performance advantage compared to regular cars, or European cars with 4 cylinder engines. 

They had an imposing physical presence, accompanied by performance to substantiate the presence.

The best selling vehicle in Canada is a Ford F Series (a pick up), could you compare an F Series to an old school Lincoln with a 460 cubic inch engine, and suicide doors on the 4 door version. 

Is a Ram the equivalent of an Imperial with a 413 cubic inch wedge motor, or a 440? 

Is a Silverado the equivalent of an Oldsmobile 98 with a 394 V8?

Is a GMC Sierra the equivalent of a Cadillac Fleetwood with a 429?

The old Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles, Imperials would pull any kind of trailer, same as a modern pick up. The old cars easily accommodated 5 passengers, same as a modern crew cab. The trunks were positively huge, comparable to a 5 and a half foot box on a modern crew cab with a short box. The old luxury cars were from the Detroit 3, same as modern pick ups...perhaps some things never change!

The old cars were body on frame, same as a pick up. Solid rear axle, some with leaf springs same as a pick up.

The old luxury cars were physically imposing, similar to a modern pick up.

Need we mention big gas tanks...

In 2012 F150's, Rams, Silverados, Sierras are 15% of the Canadian market, back in the day Lincolns, Imperials, Buicks, and Cadillacs were 15% of the Canadian market? 

Can we conclude that the love affair endures with vehicles that have morphed from old school North American luxury cars to modern North American pick ups.

What do you think?