Hidden amid FCA US' boasts about rising retail sales of its Ram 1500 pickups in July was a number that suggests Ram's plan to use its previous-version light-duty truck as a designated fleet queen isn't going according to plan.
In its release Aug. 1, FCA reported 40,276 Ram pickup sales in July, up 1.2 percent from the previous year. That number accounted for all Ram pickups, including heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 versions. Also in the release, FCA said it sold 27,812 Ram 1500s in July, including 26,380 of those at retail. Both numbers were up double digits and great for dealers selling both the redesigned "DT" Ram 1500, as well as the previous "DS" version, now called the Ram 1500 Classic.
The thing is, the Ram 1500 Classic was kept in production in part as a lower-cost offering to help FCA boost its fleet performance, especially with lucrative commercial and government fleet customers. But a little subtraction and division reveals the brand sold only 1,432 Ram 1500s to all fleet customers in July, or just 5.1 percent of Ram 1500 sales or 3.6 percent of total Ram pickup sales.
For what it's worth, FCA has been trying to reduce its daily rental fleet sales for several years while trying to increase more lucrative commercial and government fleet sales. FCA reported that total fleet sales were only 10 percent of its total U.S. sales in July.