Slow 2008 Ram sales threaten Dodge dealers, 09 model launch

2008 Dodge Ram 1500

Rising gas prices and a sagging economy have hit the full-size pickup segment hard, but the Dodge Ram may be hit the hardest.; A combination of slow sales, expensive gas and an upcoming all-new 2009 model have led dealers to substantially discount their existing inventory.

According to Automotive News, Dodge dealers currently have a 109-day supply of 2008 models sitting on lots across North America.; Considering production of the redesigned '09 Ram begins in approximately 4 months, there's not a lot of time for dealers to move the excess inventory to avoid hurting the new model's sales.

Moving such a supply could be easier if full-size pickups were in demand, but that seemingly isn't the case in 2008.; Sales of the trucks were down 22.1 percent in April from 2007, and are also down 16.6 percent for the first third of 2008.; Things are especially tricky for the Ram, which - in comparison to GM's revised offerings and a new Ford F-150 for '09 - is rather dated.

As a result, dealers are slashing prices across the board in order to move the inventory.; Automotive News found what may be an extreme example:; a dealership in California was offering a Ram 1500 Quad Cab SLT 4x2 for $19,995.; Considering the sticker price for the truck is $32,795, that's a whopping $12,800 - or 40% - off the normal price.; On average, incentives for the Ram run around $8,000.

Chrysler representatives claim the phase-out of the '08 Ram is "on schedule," and that the rebates are high merely because the Ram is more expensive than competitors.; Be that as it may, dealers worry the incentives and inventory may slow sales of the '09 model upon its launch.

Source: Automotive News

eeocarguy
Here in DFW, the first part of July we could hardly give away a truck but once incentives reached $10,000 and gas went down $0.10, it was like they turned on a switch. From what seemed like a generous supply of Ram half-tons for the remainder of the model year we went down to slim pickings indeed...so much that we acquired 20 half-tons from other dealers. We are offering 45-50% off on quad cabs...

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