2009 Dodge Ram to come with incentives
Spetember 22, 2008
By Andrew Strieber
When Ford recently dropped official pricing information on its new 2009 F-150 to combat declining sales, the automaker said it would offer "better-equipped trucks at a greater value than the competition." And while the new Ford does start out at approximately $850 less than its Auburn Hills rival, the 2009 Ram, now it looks like Dearborn will lose its edge -- Dodge is launching the new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 with up to $1000 in extra cash on the hood.
Though Dodge isn't promoting the incentive and continues to offer 40% off MSRP on 2008 Rams, new crew and quad cab pickups will qualify for the full incentive, while regular cab models come with $500 in consumer cash. Since joining Chrysler, which has led the industry in incentive spending, co-president Jim Press has tried to eliminate the automaker's need for cash-back deals by giving its cars more standard equipment. But in the case of the Ram, company spokeswoman Eileen Wunderlich says "we're committed to remaining competitive with our new truck pricing, and that includes offering modest incentives and lowered MSRP pricing." With the shaky economy and truck sales suffering, the deal will help lower the Ram's starting price at or below that of the upcoming F-150.
In addition, according to Group 1 Automotive chairman Earl Hesterberg, another reason for Dodge's move is because of the collapse of the used-truck market, many 2009 Ram buyers will be trading "out of a truck they're upside-down in." Group 1 Automotive owns eight Dodge dealerships, and Hesterberg believes that since so many current owners have seen the resale value of their truck plummet, "you're going to need some money to make a deal." The 2009 Ram is already cheaper than last year's model, as a 2008 quad cab 4x2 SLT stickered for $31,675, while a new version of the same truck costs $1000 less and comes with extras like side curtain airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, and ESP stability control.
Now that the recent squabble with dealers over the Ram's options is over, Dodge plans to promote its new truck through a major ad campaign that will begin on election day. In the meantime, however, the automaker no doubt hopes dangling a little extra cash will bring in buyers eager for a new truck, regardless of whether or not the economy improves. The incentive runs through September.