A tight credit market, slumping construction, an economy on bed rest, an end-of-model year, and high gas prices mean one thing for pickup trucks: lots of brand new trucks waiting for buyers. Dealers trying to shift their 2008 Dodge Rams before the 2009s arrive are taking as much as $13,000 off the bill to try and convince buyers to come forth. That means you can get a Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab SLT 4x2 for $19,995, instead of $32,795.

With consumers being more picky about what and when they buy, it also doesn't help that dealers really don't want trade-in trucks either, since they can't do anything with them. What Dodge dealers hope for now is that Chrysler will manage the build-out of the 2009 models to give them a chance to get rid of the 2008s. Chrysler says it has a plan that will keep it competitive and keep the changeover orderly. For now, the Ram is the most heavily discounted vehicle out there.

For a dealer in Ohio, the matter of 120-day inventories really comes down to gas prices. "Until we get gas under three bucks a gallon," he said, "these pickups are not going to move." We're sure that no one wants that to be true, because if it is, there will be brand new 2008 Rams on showroom lots for a long time.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req'd]