By on May 5, 2014

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Strong year-over-year growth in America’s full-size pickup sector was powered by all five major players in April 2014.

General Motors added 6398 sales to the April 2013 Silverado/Sierra total. Chrysler sold 5265 more Ram trucks than at this time one year ago. F-Series sales improved by 4357 units. Toyota added 1941 Tundra sales for the most significant percentage increase, a 23.5% jump.

Collectively, these trucks – with a slight decline from the low-volume Nissan Titan – produced 12% gains last month. Sales are up 6% through the first one-third of 2014, equal to 36,259 units.

Taking small and midsize trucks into account, along with the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT, pickup truck sales are up 4% in 2014, a gain of nearly 26,000 units in an overall market that has risen by 154,000 sales. (Sales of SUVs and crossovers are up by 160,000 units. Car sales have dropped by 57,000 units.)

There’s been much debate over the merits of GM’s efforts to focus on profit over market share with their new pickup trucks. Indeed, through the first four months of 2014, the pair’s share of the full-size sector is down by more than two percentage points. Only one out of every three full-size trucks sold in America this year has been a Silverado or Sierra of one sort or another.

April was better, marking the Silverado’s highest sales month since August of last year. Sierra sales topped 16,000 units for the eighth time in the last 16 months. In the previous 36 months, that had only happened on three occasions. Combined, the Silverado and Sierra owned 35% of the full-size truck market, up from 32% in March, when all four of their rivals held greater sway.

Approaching its replacement phase, sales of the Ford F-Series continue to rise, but its share of the market is falling, albeit slowly, and not unpredictably.

Toyota is now on pace to sell more than 133,000 Tundras in the United States in 2014, a figure which approaches 2008’s sales levels but doesn’t come close to 2007 levels. The Tundra is currently America’s 40th-best-selling vehicle overall, up from the 48th spot a year ago. The F-Series and Silverado have held on to their two top spots.

America’s third-best-selling vehicle, however, is the Ram Pickup range, sales of which jumped 17% in April and are up 23% this year. The Ram ranked fifth among all vehicles one year ago.

Ram sales totalled 380,250 units over the last twelve months. Chrysler hasn’t sold more than 380,000 Rams in a calendar year since 2005. In April 2014, Ram’s share of the pickup truck market grew by a little less than a percentage point compared with April 2013. Year-to-date, market share has grown to 21.5% from 18.6% during the first four months of 2013.

At the current rate, the U.S. auto industry appears capable of surpassing 16 million new vehicle sales for the first time since 2007. During the first four months of that year, these six full-size truck lineups accounted for 77% of all pickup sales and 13% of all new vehicle sales. The former figure has risen to 89% in 2014; the latter has fallen slightly to 12%.

Truck
April
2014
April
2013
%
Change
4 mos.
2014
4 mos.
2013
%
Change
Ford F-Series
63,387 59,030 +7.4% 236,745 227,873 +3.9%
Chevrolet Silverado
42,755 39,395 +8.5% 150,512 156,044 -3.5%
Ram P/U
36,674 31,409 +16.8% 133,580 109,003 +22.5%
GMC Sierra
17,246 14,208 +21.4% 59,459 55,004 +8.1%
Toyota Tundra
10,217 8,276 +23.5% 37,619 31,856 +18.1%
Nissan Titan
956 1,038 -7.9% 4,274 6,150 -30.5%
Total
171,235
153,356 +11.7% 622,189 585,930 +6.2%

 

Truck
April
2014
Share
April
2013
Share
4 mos.
2014
Share
4 mos.
2013
Share
Ford F-Series
37.0% 38.5% 38.1% 38.9%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
35.0% 35.0% 33.7% 36.0%
Ram P/U
21.4% 20.5% 21.5% 18.6%
Toyota Tundra
6.0% 5.4% 6.0% 5.4%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.7% 0.7% 1.0%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
89.1% 87.3% 88.9% 86.9%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
12.3% 11.9% 12.1% 11.8%
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34 Comments on “Cain’s Segments: April 2014 Full-Size Truck Sales...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    The most important thing here is that people are buying again, and the manufacturers saw an increase in sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @highdesertcat – I fear that these sales increases are being driven by cheap long term financing and aggressive rebates.

      I do hope that my cynicism is unfounded.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Lou_BC, I think your fears are accurate and on point. These sales ARE driven by cheap, long term financing! At least for a very large portion of buyers.

        But that is the NEW reality. Fewer people are paying cash for their vehicles these days and are thus less interested in bottom-line price like a cash-buyer would be.

        When dealers align potential buyers with a lender, the conversation immediately turns to “the easily affordable monthly payments”. Never mind that those monthly payments stretch on for an eternity.

        At my age (68) it is hard to predict just how many monthly payments I have left in me. I do not want my family to be stuck paying off my debts after I’m dead, so for me it means paying my own way up front.

        Old people, established money and the nouveau riche is where the money is at but the vast majority of buyers don’t fit in any of those categories, and have to borrow the money.

        But all in all, an increase in sales of trucks and other vehicles has positive ramifications for the economy, the manufacturers AND the consumer optimism index, aka as VIX. If people aren’t confident in their future, they won’t buy or stick themselves into long-term debt.

        Things are looking up in America, at least until the Nov election. After that, it’s a crap shoot, depending on who wins what.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    While the GM trucks have certainly increased in both price and quality, the price has increased much more proportional to the increase in quality.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The GM trucks have EVOLVED but they are not revolutionary. Given GM’s disastrous experience with the Supercharged GM engines of the past, I see Ford leading the industry in Turbocharged small engines.

      At least until all those Ford Turbo-charged engines are out of warranty and in need of some heavy-duty repair. But I also see a whole NEW cottage industry popping up, focusing solely on R&R of Ford/Honeywell Turbos.

      Life-long GM truck owners have told me that there is a certain amount of comfort in the new 2014 Silverado since the “improvements” are not overwhelming or radical.

      Neither justifies an increase in price, unless that is just padding to pay the UAW their pound of flesh.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        Hey!
        The Buick 3.8 supercharged V6 was awesome. That is all.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          My dad had a Park Avenue and it had Supercharger issues. Enough of them for him to trade it in on a brand-new Caddy Sedan DeVille. He kept the Caddy until his death after which one of my brothers drove it for a few years.

          But when the Buick ran good, it ran great, especially in the mountains, like through Laguna Mountain Pass at 7500ft elevation.

          Problem was when the Supercharger went squirrelly there wasn’t enough power there to move that 3-ton behemoth in any other mode than Snail.

          Ahhh, but what cushony ride. Like sitting in an easy chair in your own living room.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            3 tons? Try two. I thought you were an engineer or something. I’ve driven normally-aspirated Park Avenues at high altitude and they were fine, but the car wasn’t exactly high-desire in my book.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            My 98 Riviera with the supercharger was absolutely bullet proof for the 100,000 miles i put on it. Never lacked for power either but wasn’t much of a speed demon. If i had to pick for reliability though, I’d take the 3.8 without the supercharger, less to go wrong. Also like bomber said, closer to two tons than three.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I should have been more in-depth: that’s dad, mom, five kids and all their luggage, all going to the church retreat in the Laguna mountains. If not 3-ton, I’d say somewhere in that neighborhood.

            For these long trips, they left the girls with an aunt, since the girls were too young too appreciate the trip.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ HDC…Just an FYI..We In Oshawa Ont. lost our award winning truck plant to Mexico. Last time I looked they aint UAW

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Mikey, the UAW will get paid first, no matter what! So it doesn’t matter where the money comes from, or if the UAW even does the assembly.

          One way to raise more money is to pad the MSRP.

          Money is fungible. The UAW doesn’t care how it was raised, just as long as they get it.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I agree, there’s nothing wrong with ‘evolving’ design-wise. Some of these pick-ups are way too “in your face”.

        A new maroon Sierra was following me yesterday with its new LED eyebrows…I thought to myself “that’s a nice looking truck”. Pretty subtle compared to the Denali version or new Tundra and F-150.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Mandalorian – I would tend to agree with you. GM’s full sized siblings are not selling as well as expected. One can blame higher prices but traditionally auto companies have charged more/offered less rebates on new models. That strategy is obviously not working for GM. These trucks are not seen as a big enough step forward over the GMT900’s. I believe that these trucks are the result of GM’s bankruptcy. They built what they could afford and it shows. GM was actually considering an aluminum body back in 2008. If GM had not been broke, they would of beat Ford to the market with an aluminum bodies truck.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Wasn’t last month also “Chevy Truck Month”; and the rebates during the sales event may have been what helped GM April sales figures?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      But the analysts said in GM’s quarterly release the surprise profit was due to the very high profitability of their pickup trucks.

      I would rather any company sell less of product X and make more money on each one they sell versus selling more of product X and taking a loss on each one sold (as GM use to do).

      One model supports R&D and future development, the other business model supports certain doom.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So Ford and GM have lost marketshare in 2014, and Ram and Toyota (mostly Ram) have grabbed it up.

    It appears, although not broken out specifically, compact truck sales have also increased – one would have to ass-u-me the benefactors of that are Toyota and Nissan. *

    * Given the Avalanche and EXT are discontinued and although not compact, rolled into that “other” truck number – leaving the Frontier and Tacoma as the only games in town [INSERT WHAT ABOUT THE RIDGELINE HERE]

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The new RAM has a lot to offer. I don’t own one, and I don’t care to buy one but the Pentastar V6 @305hp plus that new 8-speed automatic is a feather in RAM’s cap. The newish, improved interiors are even having the ladies looking at the RAM trucks.

      As far as the Tundra and Tacoma, both have their own niche. The Tacoma remains America’s best-selling mid-sizer with a configuration-range that will accommodate any mid-size truck buyer. The Tundra is also a niche truck with features certain people, mostly old white men with money to buy one, are looking for.

      My wife doesn’t like the interior of my 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5 but she LOVES the interior in our son’s 2014 RAM Laramie 5.7. Chances of me buying one later this year or next? Nil!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Even a few years back when there was the Dakota, Ranger, Colorado and Canyon – the Tacoma is head and shoulders the best midsizer you can buy.

        I word it that way because the Frontier isn’t much competition and the Ridgeline is based on a minivan (and is dead isn’t it?)

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @APaGttH – What’s wrong with the Frontier? Seems like great competition for the Tacoma, from what I’ve seen. And for the price of a regular cab Tacoma, you get a King cab Frontier. Whaaaaaat? No, make that $135 LESS for the King cab vs the regular cab Taco.

          So what gives? Other than the Frontier doesn’t even offer a regular cab? Fleet and other bottom feeders must get a Tacoma, for it’s the last reg cab midsizer, and gone after this year. Now’s a good time to buy/horde/stockpile regular cab Tacos.

          Fleet other cheapskates would rather pay more for a regular cab, for ease of parking (as many trucks behind a gate), maneuvering in tight spaces and added mpg.

          All Nissan did by killing off the regular cab years ago, was sidestep the bottom of the pickup truck market. But by forcing a King cab, that effectively gave away the market to the other small trucks at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I also wonder why the Frontier doesn’t do as well as the Tacoma when it’s competitive in every category, costs slightly less and has a cleaner body design (which I prefer).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The a Frontier, err, Hardy Body outsold the Toyota pu, IIRC. Those Hard Body trucks are still absolutely everywhere. They must have made at least 4 million HBs in that generation.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Drzhivago138
            It’s perception. The Tacoma and Frontier are old platforms and Nissan and Toyota are dragging out as much profit from them as possible.

            Nissan and Toyota globally have enjoyed dominance of past. But there are changes outside of the US regarding these two vehicles (Hilux in lieu of Taco).

            We have midsizers that out perform these two vehicles in all areas of performance.

            Nissan and Toyota are relying on their past reputation. In the US because of the protection offered to full size 1/2 ton pickups has removed the competition that the Frontier and Tacoma would have had.

            Even the Ford Ranger and antique was only removed from sale a year ago. This shows how tariffs and protections affect and distort market segments.

          • 0 avatar
            jim brewer

            The Tacoma and the Frontier aren’t competitive. In my area, the most basic Nissan Frontier is at 18.6K on Truecar. Dodge with Pentastar was 20K.

            To be competitive trucks like that would have to list for 17K and sell for less.

            I disagree with highdesertcat that this is a sign of excessive consumer spending. I’d argue its a leading indicator. Business is picking up. The business buys a new truck. So does the boss. Next year the workers.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            As an owner of a frontier crew 6mt I can attest they are not competitive….to a point. I have posted over 20mpg, once. Never less than 19 mpg. No computer to do the math on board so that is miles divided by gallons input. It does have Bluetooth, which along with it fitting in the garage was the reason for the purchase. For the money, a used full size would make more sense. I bought mine used, as new just doesn’t add up. The ford, ram, and Chevys I have had as rentals are much nicer, with no grading in the curve for rental spec. I really like the new hemi ram, it growls like a muscle car.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “In the US because of the protection offered to full size 1/2 ton pickups has removed the competition that the Frontier and Tacoma would have had.”

            @BAFO – That makes zero sense. So is this “protection”, that according to you, “removed” the mid-size competition (from the Frontier/Tacoma), the same “protection” that once brought all kinds of new competition for Nissan (Datun) and Toyota pickups, during the early ’80s?

            If this “protections” has the power to remove smaller trucks from America, then it must have had power to bring in small trucks by the millions during the ’80s mini-truck crazy/fad/invasion…

            Meaning nothing changed about this “protection” between 1980 and now, except the closing of the BRAT and Transit Connect loopholes.

            But if this “protection” was to offer relief for any trucks, it would directly benefit the Frontier and Tacoma. If so, it’s funny, full-size truck sales are booming while mid-size truck sales dying, over all.

            It’s so silly that, according to you, this “protection” targets imported/offshore OEMs trucks that hardly compete with full-size truck, if at all.

            So why would full-size trucks need ANY “protection” when there’s absolutely nothing else like them on the planet???

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    “The newish, improved interiors are even having the ladies looking at the RAM trucks.”

    Gee, 1960 is just around the corner!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Pete, have you seen the 2014 Laramie dressed out in leather? For a RAM, it’s stunning!

      It’s pretty close to the leather interior of my wife’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        I was commenting on your old-style, borderline-sexist view of what women want. I know plenty of ladies who like pickup trucks, and some of them couldn’t give a damn about what the interior looks like. They want to know what and how it hauls. It’s a pickup truck.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          bomberpete, I live in the Great Southwest and lots of ladies choose to drive pickup trucks here. I may even buy my 22-yo grand daughter a Tacoma 4dr 4×4 for her college graduation at the end of this month.

          Many of the ladies actually look at the interiors of trucks and for amenities, like purse holders.

          Those ladies who are affiliated with hauling and towing can also interested in what the interior looks like. To wit: we have a pink Avalanche with black trim in our part of the country.

          But I don’t know any woman who drives a Tundra. That is reserved mostly for old white men.

  • avatar

    Big V8, big steel truck… MURICA

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    On Saturday, I bought the first brand new vehicle I’ve ever owned, a 2014 F150. Ford X-plan and a $2000 rebate along with 1.94% financing from a local credit union and I signed on the dotted line. Boy, is she a beauty.


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