Ram Laramie Longhorn: The Latest in Lux Trucks
Although overall Ram pickup sales are down slightly this year compared to last—down 4%, with total sales of 124,002—of the Ram sales, the heavy-duty models sales were up a whopping 48% in August compared with August ’09. The entire model range was up 8% August to August.
According to Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Ram Truck brand, heavy-duty owners “Spend more on their trucks regardless of trim level, keep them longer, and typically spend more time behind the wheel of their truck.”
And Diaz and the Ram Truck folks have a new model that they think will resonate with these buyers, as well as other people who are interested in truck capability but design cues and upscale features not ordinarily associated with something with a box on the back.
It’s called the Laramie Longhorn edition.
As designer Ryan Nagode (who was lead exterior designer on the Dodge Avenger) puts it, “The Laramie Longhorn is the most luxurious truck we’ve ever produced. We’ve designed the interior and exterior cues to make it feel like a unique truck for each buyer. As a designer, I was thinking about the favorite possessions that a buyer of an expensive truck would own. So, that meant items like an antique pocket watch, a leather saddle or a nice hand-crafted pair of cowboy boots.”
So not only is there plenty of cowhide on the inside, but there are silver steer-logoed, tooled-metal buckles on the pockets of the seatbacks.
There is a unique instrument cluster with six gauge rings set against a painted taupe silver background; the two main rings have a coined inner edge and filigrees engraved on the top surface.
The wood on the center stack—burled walnut—is grained with patterns evoking gun stock designs and upscale furniture. The center stack is topped with a double French-stitched full-leather lid.
The Laramie Longhorn will be available in the first quarter of 2011 as a 1500, 2500 HD, 3500 HD single and dual rear wheel, Crew Cab and Mega Cab; four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; short- and long-wheelbases.
And while pricing hasn’t been announced, Diaz openly admits, it will be the most expensive Ram ever: “The pricing will be commensurate with its premium luxury and features.”
In this climbing-out-of-recession period, are people interested in lux trucks? “The market is strong, as evidenced by the success of our Ram Laramie model. The Laramie is currently 25% of our Ram sales, a strong indication that truck buyers are looking for premium trucks,” Diaz says. He estimates that the Laramie Longhorn may account for 6 to 10% of total Ram pickup sales.
Often when there are vehicles that have ceased production and are in the process of being completely moved out of the system there are sales numbers that look like this: Honda Insight: June 2016, 9; June 2015, 126; % change: 93.1% Sometimes there is a vehicle that has just gone into production and it catches the sales at just the right time so that there are numbers that look like this: Honda Ridgeline: June 2016, 2,472; June 2015, 7; % change: 33,856% OK.
If heritage means anything in this industry, then it is surprising that Buick doesn’t make more of its history because the story of the early years of the company is nothing short of astonishing.
The way people are going to get transportation is changing the world over. Get ready for it.