Vintage 1980’s Dodge Ram pickup ram hood ornament

Dodge Ram or just Ram? What you need to know

In case you’re wondering, officially, there’s no longer any such thing as a Dodge Ram. There are Dodge cars – Charger, Challenger, Durango – and there are Ram pickup trucks. But, nearly ten years on from the official brand split in 2009, it’s clear people are continuing to refer to Ram as Dodge Ram. Totally understandable. After all, this was the official name for many years and habits are hard to break.

So, why the split? A brief history of Dodge

To answer the question properly, we need to understand the role the names Dodge and Ram have played over time. And to do this we need to go right back to the early 1900s, when the Dodge Brothers Company first started supplying parts to Detroit-based car makers. The brothers (Horace and John Dodge) saw an opportunity to get into the car making game too, which they seized in 1914. Then, in 1928, newcomer to the market, Chrysler, snapped up and absorbed the Dodge brand.

And that’s where it stayed. Dodge vehicles consisted mainly of full-sized passenger cars and trucks.

When did Ram come into it?

The first-generation Dodge Ram was launched in 1981. The name “Ram” wasn’t actually new, it had been in use from the 1930s, but it was revived because it was a perfect fit for this powerful, not-to-be-reckoned-with pickup truck. It struck a real chord with its ever-growing band of enthusiasts and Ram quickly became a highly recognised sub-brand in its own right.

Classic 1989 Dodge Ram D100 pickup truck
1989 Dodge Ram D100 truck

Does that mean Ram is a brand in its own right now?

The short answer is yes. And here’s why: back in 2009, executives at the newly formed parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, knew they needed to adapt, streamline and restructure their brands to enable them to face the future with confidence. In fact, they went one step further. Seeing an opportunity to sharpen up and more clearly define the product offering, they made the bold, strategic decision to split Dodge from Ram and elevate the latter to a fully-fledged brand in its own right:

  • Dodge: performance passenger cars
  • Ram: pickup trucks and (in the US) commercial vehicles

And finally…

As with many corporate decisions like this, it takes time to catch on. While, officially, Dodge has become independent of Ram, it’s clear there are many nostalgic consumers who can’t let go of the associations. And that doesn’t matter at all. So, whether you call it a Dodge Ram 1500 or a Ram 1500, the new fifth generation – just like all its predecessors – is synonymous with dependability, reliability and capability. Those are the things which matter.

It should also be said that Dodge and Ram remain very closely connected. They are – after all – Fiat Chrysler stable mates with a lot of shared history. And in Europe, AGT is an official importer of both brands. Why not take a moment to discover our range of fully European-compliant Dodge cars and Ram pickup trucks?

2019 red 4-door Dodge Ram 1500
5th generation Ram 1500