Get Familiar With a Little Bit of Ram History
Before Ram Trucks decided to split from Dodge in 2009 to become its own brand, Dodge was the main pickup manufacturer for what came to be known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In fact, Dodge has been making trucks since 1917, meaning the brand that became Ram has been part of farms, ranches, oil fields, prairies and families has been part of the American landscape for over 100 years. Here are some fun facts about the brand and how it arrived as the pickup truck powerhouse it is today.
The Ram Insignia
The actual animal insignia has been a part of the brand’s history since the 1930s when Dodge would place the ram head hood ornament on its trucks. The ram hood ornament symbolized the same thing it does now: strength thanks to its rugged build. It was only in 1981 that the name ‘Ram’ was actually featured alongside the Dodge name when the late Lee Iacocca thought it was a good idea to revive the old mascot. Eventually, the Dodge brand became synonymous with Ram, until Dodge decided to part ways within 2009 to spin Ram Trucks as its own brand. Nowadays, Ram Trucks ranks as the second truck manufacturer in terms of sales, having recently dethroned longtime second-placeholder Chevy. A large part of the brand’s success stems from its ability to cater to a wide variety of needs, with a special focus on manufacturing capable trucks with luxurious modern touches.
The 90s Brought On Changes
With the introduction of the second generation of Dodge Ram Trucks in 1994 came a few tweaks. Thanks to its powerful engine, rugged appearance and car-like qualities — sounds eerily familiar to today’s Ram pickups — the second-generation Dodge Ram trucks became an overnight success. Even famous actor Chuck Norris could be found behind the wheel of one on his successful “Walker Texas Ranger” TV show. Nomenclature also changed across the lineup, with the 150 (half ton) becoming what we know as the Ram 1500, the 250 became what’s today’s Ram 2500, with the 350 following and becoming the Ram 3500. Trim levels also changed, setting the standard for a work special trim that was bare-boned and perfect for a fleet of trucks, a tradition that Ram Trucks continues to this day. Engine options were also upgraded during the 90s, including the availability of HEMI V8 or turbocharged engines.
“Go Your Own Way”
As the early 2000s passed, technology was taking off, and so were the changing demands of drivers. Pickups lost their allure as being merely functional, while tastes were changing and demanding more luxury coupled with superior performance from truck makers. By the late 2000s the automotive landscape painted a grim picture as the economy spiraled out of control. When the recession hit, sales dropped, but both Dodge and Ram saw an opportunity for reinvention. By 2009 executives decided that split between the two brands was the best way forward, and by 2010 Ram saw itself spin off into its own brand after having been the former truck division. Truck buyers are big on loyalty and the Ram moniker helped transition the brand into a household name with little effort. Dodge was left to focus on its own identity — one of performance cars — while Ram Trucks would hold down the fort in the pickup segment. In 2013 Ram was back on top with a MotorTrend Truck of the Year award, a feat that the brand replicated in 2014 and 2019 as well.
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