When Did Dodge and RAM Split?


When Did Dodge RAM Split?

Dodge RAM is truly a legendary brand. Producing some of the most beloved pickup trucks in recent memory, Dodge RAM was long a powerhouse in the industry. But when did "Dodge RAM" become just "RAM"? The move actually dates back to 2009, but you wouldn't know it by how many people still search for "Dodge RAM" when trying to find a new RAM pickup truck. We're going to look at what led to RAM separating from Dodge back in 2009, and the results of that decision by the recently-reorganized FCA at the time.

Once a RAM, Always a RAM

If you look back at commentary from 2009, you will find that there were quite a few people who were concerned about the separation of Dodge and RAM. From the Dodge HEMI, to the Dodge RAM branding, to the design elements shared between RAM trucks and their Dodge counterparts. Many thought it would be impossible for RAM to stand on its own as a separate truck brand.

Boy, were they wrong. Below, we'll show you just why splitting up Dodge RAM was such a good move.

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Fiat Chrysler decided to separate RAM from Dodge to distinguish the two brands. Dodge would remain a brand for Iowa performance enthusiasts, while RAM would be all about pickup trucks and commercial vehicles. Since the split, RAM has grown immensely. They wasted no time in releasing redesigned pickup trucks and cargo vans, and setting the bar for their segments. The list of firsts achieved by RAM since splitting from Dodge is truly impressive:

  • First diesel engine in a light duty truck (RAM 1500)
  • First air suspension for an HD pickup (RAM 2500)
  • Highest fuel economy ever for a full-size pickup (RAM 1500
  • First coil spring rear suspension in a light duty pickup (RAM 1500)
  • Highest V8 Towing in class (Redesigned RAM 1500)

With each new first, RAM's competitors were forced to play catch-up. That trend has continued into 2020, with RAM's redesigned pickup trucks winning back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year awards, and its commercial lineup providing unmatched capability and value. Iowans who drive RAM trucks have long known that they're the most comfortable trucks on the market, and each new generation brings even more advancement. Though they're no longer Dodge RAM, they continue to push boundaries when it comes to performance.


2019 - The Start of a New Generation of RAM Trucks

While RAM split from Dodge in 2009, it wasn't until a decade later that its signature crosshair grille disappeared from the consumer RAM lineup. The 2019 RAM 1500 was a completely redesigned vehicle, bringing new levels of luxury, build quality, and performance to the pickup truck market in Iowa. Though it lost the crosshair grille left over from its association with Dodge, the RAM 1500 gained a more comfortable ride, class-leading tech, and the most powerful V8 towing in the class. But RAM wasn't done, despite releasing Motor Trend's Truck of the Year.

The redesigned RAM 2500 followed shortly after, and is far and away the most comfortable, capable Heavy Duty truck on the market. And yes, the 2020 RAM 2500 is Motor Trend's Truck of the Year. At the end of the Dodge RAM brand in 2009, few people outside of RAM could have imagined that the truck manufacturer would become the dominant force that it has become over the last decade.

Whether you're shopping for a light duty pickup truck in the RAM 1500, a Heavy Duty like the RAM 2500, or something even more powerful like a 4500, RAM's lineup is a force to be reckoned with. And when it comes to a cargo van that is easy to drive in the city, the RAM ProMaster is also a unique offering in its class with FWD and lower floor than many rivals. While plenty speculated about RAM's future after its separation from Dodge, it's hard to question their success a decade later.


RAM and Dodge: Separate But Equal

There's no doubt that RAM is leading the way when it comes to pickup trucks. But it would be a mistake to forget about Dodge's unique path since separating from RAM. After the split in 2009, Dodge got on with some important redesigns of its own. Its redesigned Charger and Challenger models are incomparable in their respective classes, offering impressive V8 power without losing practical touches like large cabins and plenty of storage.

And powerful SUVs like the Dodge Durango have received impressive performance variants and muscular styling that separates them from competitors. Dodge has always been known as a performance brand, and they've truly embraced that identity since separating from RAM a decade ago.


And for those who just love high performance, American vehicles, you can still find Dodge and RAM vehicles all in the same place: Deery of Ames Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. We are proud to be a dealer of both Dodge and RAM vehicles, because it lets us show our Iowa customers the best performance vehicles America has to offer. Our RAM Commercial dealership also allows us to serve the area's businesses, both small and large. RAM has become a top choice among Iowa commercial buyers, and their vehicles have many of the same hallmarks of RAM's popular 1500 series of trucks.

So whether you're looking for Dodge, RAM, or just can't stop calling it Dodge RAM, the place to find everything you're looking for is in Ames, Iowa. We'd love to hear from you. Do you think splitting Dodge and RAM was a good idea? Are you excited to test drive RAM's award-winning, redesigned pickup trucks? What about Dodge's high-performance vehicles? Contact us to let us know, and be sure to check our our RAM and Dodge inventory above.

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