For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Sub Model: 4WD Crew Cab 149 Tradesman
Exterior Color: Other
Drivetrain: Four Wheel Drive
Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
The new Superman film Man of Steel opens in theaters next Friday, June 14th, and Ram is buddying up with the summer blockbuster for some coattail-riding co-promotions. The partnership includes a new 30-second commercial called "Action" that pairs scenes from the film with footage of Ram trucks and a voiceover that says, "Everyone has the ability to do something amazing... Some just do it on a more regular basis." It's nothing too special (we've actually seen most of the Ram footage in other commercials already), but the brand should be happy having its trucks so closely associated with the Last Son of Krypton. Accompanying the TV spot will be a neatly drawn print ad created by DC Comic artist Shane Davis that's destined for the newsprint pages of USA Today.
Lastly, Ram has created a special Man of Steel edition of its Power Wagon truck that will be on display at the movie's premier in New York City next week before traveling the country attending various events and ultimately being auctioned off for charity.
I have a history of lambasting poor attempts at Superman-themed vehicles, but this Man of Steel Power Wagon can hide from Kryptonite in my garage any time. The truck is Dark Ceramic Gray with a special vinyl wrap that adds the textured look of Superman's new suit, and the roof is done in high-gloss black, though you'd need the power of flight to see it on this tall rig. The grille, meanwhile, is finished with Anodized Red accents. The forged aluminum 17-inch black wheels are General Zod-approved and the interior is likewise tastefully upgraded with Superman-themed materials. Lastly, Kal-El's ultimate quad cab is capped with Superman logos front and rear where the traditional Ram logo would normally be.
Motor Trend has named their 2013 Truck of the Year, and this time, the coveted honor goes to Chrysler's 2013 Ram 1500. The Ram unseats the Ford F-150 pickup from Truck of the Year with a package that the magazine argues fulfills owners' needs for everyday usability as much as worksite utility.
MT points out that the 1500's available air suspension is a quantum leap in the light-duty pickup segment. This system can raise for more ground clearance or lower for highway driving. Chrysler has been pushing for friendly daily-driver manners for some time now - you'll recall it debuted coils in place of rear leaf springs in the 2009 Ram 1500, back when it the truck was sold under the Dodge nameplate. The new optional air setup is another step towards more comfortable everyday driving.
The Ram 1500 can also be paired with the company's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 in place of the loveless 3.7-liter unit, in the process getting some pretty surprising fuel economy figures. MT also notes that the interior update - complete with available Uconnect 8.3-inch screen and new rotary shifter - is a welcome upgrade. These attributes have conspired to yield a deserving award for Team Ram, which MT says has nailed the motivations of light-duty truck buyers - comfort and capability in one package.
We've said it before, but bears repeating: Pickup trucks are the financial engines of America's automakers. Good thing, then, that the segment is in rude health - in fact, Automotive News is suggesting that pickup truck sales are arguably healthier than they were pre-recession, even though the segment's volume is still significantly down from where it was before the bottom fell out of the US economy. That's because per-unit profits on full-size trucks are skyrocketing, outpacing the industry's average price increases by more than double since 2005. According to data from Edmunds, the average transaction price of a full-size pickup is now $39,915 - a heady increase over the $31,059 average price in 2005 - a gain of over 8 percent after inflation is factored in.
Just how important are trucks to automakers' bottom lines? Automotive News quotes a Morgan Stanley analyst as saying the Ford F-Series is responsible for 90 percent of the company's 2012 profits, and General Motors isn't far behind, with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins chipping in about two-thirds of the automaker's earnings.
Automotive News points out that Detroit's automakers now have the money to invest in modernizing their full-size truck offerings, in part because they don't have the same overhead and legacy costs that pushed General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy. Certainly, the pickup segment has seen a lot of innovations as of late, including turbocharged V6s, coil-spring rear suspensions and active aero. Those improvements in important areas like fuel economy and ride comfort have given existing pickup buyers new reasons to upgrade. In addition, automakers are piling on the tech and luxury goodies, creating more and more high-content, high-profit models like the Ford F-150 King Ranch, Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn and Chevrolet Silverado High Country (shown).