By on March 6, 2017

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Image: Toyota

Nearly two and a half years since General Motors increased the number of offerings in the midsize pickup truck sector by two-thirds, and nine months since Honda revitalized its unique Ridgeline offering, we’re once again in need of new midsize pickup truck nameplates.

America’s pickup truck category began 2017 with a bang, growing by more than 7 percent and easily outpacing an industry that declined by more than 1 percent in the first one-sixth of 2017.

Yet virtually all of that growth — fully 90 percent — was fuelled not by midsize pickups but by the stalwarts: full-size trucks.  (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

U.S. sales of midsize pickup trucks jumped 54 percent in September 2016 to nearly 40,000 units.

While massive year-over-year increases in pickup truck sales can often be attributed to commensurate increases in incentives, as seen with the Ram P/U’s victory over the Chevrolet Silverado in September, midsize pickup truck buyers are willing to pay big bucks.

Average transaction prices in the Toyota Tacoma-controlled midsize pickup truck segment last month, according to Kelley Blue Book, rose 6 percent compared with September 2015. That was by far the biggest increase for any segment in average transaction prices.

These are hardly the sub-$20,000 antiquated Ford Rangers of 2010.

On average, consumers were buying $32,350 midsize pickup trucks in September 2016. (Read More…)

By on September 15, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma blue

The Toyota Tacoma entered the year in an enviable position. Soaking up nearly half of all sales in the growing midsize pickup segment, the venerable nameplate’s spot on top of podium seemed unshakable.

Eight months later, Toyota seems spooked. The Tacoma’s market share is eroding, down to 38 percent of the midsize segment in August as its competitors surge. To stay ahead, the automaker plans to send a bundle of cash south of the border to boost production, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on August 16, 2016

2016 Toyota TacomaAmerica’s midsize pickup truck segment grew 19 percent in the first seven months of 2016. But as demand for midsize pickups expands throughout the remainder of 2016, it’s increasingly unlikely that the Toyota Tacoma will be able to make the most of the heightened interest.

Tacoma inventory has been tight for months, requiring Toyota to take full advantage of very specific modifications put in place at the San Antonio, Texas, and Baja California, Mexico, production lines a number of years ago.

No longer does a Tacoma roll off the San Antonio line every 65 seconds — it now takes only 60 seconds. There’s even a Saturday shift that drives the San Antonio plant up to 123-percent capacity. (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2016

2017 Honda RidgelineMidsize pickup truck sales shot up 29 percent in the United States in July 2016, enough to drive the sub-sector’s share of the overall pickup category up three points to 17 percent.

Indeed, without the gains produced by the midsize truck sector, overall U.S. pickup truck volume would have flatlined in July on declining sales of the two top-selling truck lines, Ford’s F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado. Moreover, without the midsize truck sector’s additional 8,973 July sales, total U.S. new vehicle sales volume would have risen by less than one-tenth of one percent.

Instead, because of a dramatic increase in sales of the second-generation Honda Ridgeline in its first month of availability, another huge uptick in Nissan Frontier sales, and continued growth from GM’s Colorado/Canyon duo, pickup truck sales grew four percent and the American auto industry reported nearly 10,000 extra sales in July 2016, year-over-year. (Read More…)

By on July 14, 2016

2005 Nissan Frontier & 2016 Nissan Frontier

The recent introduction of a thoroughly re-engineered Toyota Tacoma is propelling sales of the segment’s top seller to all-time highs. After an elongated hiatus, there are new options from General Motors, and they’re selling more frequently than GM anticipated. Just last month, Honda began selling an all new, second-generation Ridgeline, a pickup at the opposite end of the spectrum from the rough and tumble Frontier. That Ridgeline, we told you yesterday, is selling like it’s 2008.

Moreover, demand for small/midsize pickup trucks is roughly 30-percent smaller than it was a decade ago.

At Nissan, there are plenty of factors, internal and external, working against the Frontier. The current-generation pickup is more than a decade old. Yet Nissan USA is on track to sell more Frontiers in 2016 than at any point since the current truck debuted on the Titan’s F-Alpha platform in January 2004 at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma blue

Competition improves the breed?

In order to tighten its grasp on the American midsize truck market, the Toyota Tacoma was thoroughly refreshed for model year 2016, a necessary development following the arrival – finally – of all-new competition at the end of 2014.

Evidently, Toyota did not need to debut an all-new pickup truck in order to fend off new General Motors challengers and keep its hold on a segment Toyota has led since 2005.

Want proof? Nearly half the non-full-size pickup trucks sold in the United States in the first two months of 2016 were Toyotas. (Read More…)

By on September 4, 2015

2015 Ford Ranger

What if an automobile manufacturer could develop a new product, bring it to market, never substantially update the product, and continue to sell that product at a similar pace year after year? That would be impressive. But Ford could not manage to execute that four-pronged action with the Ranger.

Yes, Ford originally developed a Ranger, brought the Ranger to the North American market, and didn’t bother to truly update the Ranger. The consistent sales pace aspect? Nope, didn’t happen.

U.S. Ranger sales declined in 11 consecutive years at the end of its tenure, from 2000 to 2010. The 28-percent year-over-year increase to 70,832 units in 2011 occurred as Ford cleared out the final Rangers at ridiculously low prices and buyers of small trucks who wanted a genuinely small truck picked up the Rangers that remained. (Read More…)

By on August 17, 2015

TTAC COTD Tacoma since Colorado:Canyon

In each of the last 28 months, the Toyota Tacoma has been America’s fifth-best-selling pickup truck nameplate.

One might imagine, however, that its ability to succeed in its own sub-category of small/midsize trucks would have weakened over the last ten months. With the introduction of new midsize pickup trucks from General Motors, the best-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks in America, the number of Tacoma competitors increased from one, the Nissan Frontier, to three.  (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2015

2015 GMC Canyon

Midsize pickup truck sales jumped 48% to just under 31,000 units in April 2015, a gain of 10,000 units.

In April, the overall U.S. auto industry grew by approximately 64,000 sales. Overall pickup truck sales increased by 15,000 units. In other words, much of the growth in the pickup truck market last month was generated by the smaller quintet.

Year-to-date, the Toyota Tacoma-led small/midsize category has grown by more than 38,000 sales, slightly more than the 36,000 sales added by full-size pickup trucks. (Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado front side 2

General Motors’ return to the midsize truck segment has done wonders for the automaker and the market, but skeptics aren’t sure how long that will last.

(Read More…)

By on April 5, 2015

U.S. truck sales chart March 2015The rapid ascent of the new Chevrolet Colorado finally slowed in March 2015 with month-to-month growth amounting to only 58 extra sales. Colorado volume has increased every month since the new truck arrived last fall, from 1491 units in its first full month of October to 6621 units in March.

But even with an overall pickup truck market that was 17% larger in March than in February, Colorado sales grew by just 0.9% during the same period.

Its twin, meanwhile, didn’t sell as often in March as it did in February, sliding from 2513 sales two months ago to 2434 last month. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2015

U.S. pickup truck sales chart TTACGeneral Motors has reported 28,218 sales of their new midsize trucks since the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon arrived late in September 2014. Sales of both trucks have increased every month since arriving at dealers. Colorado volume in February was 177% stronger than it was in November; Canyon sales shot up 194% during the same period.

Neither GM pickup is the top-selling non-full-size truck in America, however, nor can GM yet claim the title when their sales are combined. Since October, sales of the top-selling Toyota Tacoma have increased 10% to 64,093 units.

(Read More…)

By on February 10, 2015

Midsize truck sales chart January 2015Although General Motors’ full-size truck twins failed to outsell the Ford F-Series in January 2015, GM still came out on top as the best-selling truck manufacturer in America last month.

In the previous five months, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra had accomplished this feat on their own, outselling the F-Series by 939 units in August 2014, 7076 in September, 2120 in October, 6294 in November, and 6918 units in December 2014. (The F-Series outsold the Silverado/Sierra by 12,263 units in calendar year 2014 and the total GM pickup truck family by 1045 units.)


• Colorado/Canyon sales steadily rising

• 14 of GM pickup sales generated by midsize trucks

• Still not approaching historic levels


Fast forward to January, when pickup truck volume jumped 22% year-over-year and the F-Series’ core F-150 line became more available in new aluminum-intensive form, and GM’s bigger set of twins fell 5643 sales short of overtaking the F-Series for a sixth consecutive month. But viewed as a full-line pickup truck manufacturer, GM’s 42% YOY improvement to nearly 57,000 sales was more than enough to fend off Ranger-less Ford.

(Read More…)

By on February 4, 2015

U.S. pickup truck market share chart January 2015The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon combined to own 31.8% of the small/midsize U.S. pickup truck market in January 2015, up from near nonexistence one year ago.

This meant the class-leading Toyota Tacoma saw its market share plunge by more than 17 percentage points.

Yet Tacoma sales increased in January, rising 1567 units, or 16%, to 11,409 units, 3262 more than the Colorado and Canyon managed.

Since the new GM trucks became readily available in November, and in the lead-up to the debut of a refreshed 2016 Tacoma, sales of Toyota’s sub-Tundra truck have jumped 10%. (Read More…)

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