Does Ram’s New Styling Indicate an Identity Crisis?
Auto News thinks maybe
Ram held back-to-back reveals of new pickup variants at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January and the Chicago Auto Show (CAS) earlier this month. At the former, the brand pulled the drapes off the new Ram 1500 Rebel while the truck maker saved the Ram Laramie Limited for Chicago. And both times, Ram managed to stun the crowds with unexpected designs.
For starters, there were the grilles. Both grilles were notably different from their predecessors, shedding the shielded ram’s head and instead bearing the word “RAM” in bold letters. Not so bold as the tailgates, however, which scream the word “RAM” so that your neighbors a few states over are able to read it without their glasses. Who knows, maybe Ram was going for best-in-class font size?
The departure from the traditional styling has not gone unnoticed, but it was Larry P. Vellequette of Automotive News who suggested that perhaps Ram Truck had a hidden motive in changing things up and specifically removing the ram’s head.
As Vellequette notes, the Ram brand has been separated from Dodge for more than five years, yet customers, even dealerships, still refer to the trucks as Dodge Rams. Velleequette poses that Ram’s new styling is intended to further separate the brand from Dodge, and there is something to that theory.
“Brand leaders and designers deny it, but I think the restyling was motivated, in large part, to emphasize the Ram name and to try and exorcise the Dodge brand once and for all,” he writes.
And why wouldn’t Ram do this? Dodge removed the ram’s head logo a mere one year after the divorce. Honestly, it’s not so much a question of “Is this the reasoning behind Ram’s sudden styling change?” as it is “Why didn’t Ram do this five years sooner?”
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)