February Sales Snapshot: Truck Month Headed For A Letdown?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
february sales snapshot truck month headed for a letdown

If there are two words that can’t be left out of any discussion of 2010 auto sales numbers, they are “incentives” and “fleet.” With a fleet sales binge well underway, and Toyota recall-triggered incentive wars raging with no end in sight, the spring Truck month rituals have been bounteous. And with sales of full-sized trucks through February trending flat and fragmented, they had to be. But will they make a difference?

GMC and Chevy have seen the fizz go out of their full-sized sales, and are piling on the rebates, and finance deals to move the metal.

Note that the biggest spiffs are reserved for Sierra, which is off nearly six percent this year. And that’s compared to the apocalyptic 2009 numbers.

Chevy is even focusing its Toyota-poaching offers at truck and full-sized SUV buyers… and not Chevy’s main volume (i.e. Camry) competitor, the Malibu.

But the biggest incentives in Detroit come from Chrysler, whose Dodge (or not) Ram is down 26 percent on the year to date. In addition to matching GM and Ford’s zero-percent and cash-back offers, Ram has revived its mystifying “Free Hemi upgrade” incentive. Perhaps it helps Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sleep at night, as it’s a less obvious way of “buying market share,” a practice he loudly derides in polite company.

But most mystifying of all of this year’s Truck Month incentive-fests, was Ford’s. F-series has been running away from the competition in terms of volume, and Ford’s fleet mix indicates that at least some truck profit has already been sacrificed. But with Toyota leaning hard on car sales with finance and cash deals, every last truck sale is that much more important.

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  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Mar 22, 2010

    Crash.......I was not laughing at ford's tailgate step. I thought that it was stupid of chevy to make fun of a feature that they don't even have. Can't they come up with anything better than that for a commercial? As I get older the arthritis in my legs gets worse, making it harder for me to climb in and out of the bed of my trucks, and it mnakes me wish that dodge had that feature also!

    • Crash sled Crash sled on Mar 22, 2010

      M'man, the man-step is practically a necessity for many of us, I'd agree. I could barely swing my bones up into my F-150's bed, and my hunting dogs couldn't barely jump up into it, and they're olympic athletes. Howie is making fun of Ford, but Chevy is just as stupid in swelling up their rigs. But if you're going to push for 900,000 yearly sales, way beyond what a non-pushed market would likely accept, and sell to an aging population, with a truck jacked up to the moon, the man-steps are the kinds of pig lipstick that you have to build in. And now, truckageddon has chased off those fringe buyers. I bet Chevy/Ram/Ford are sorry now that they listened to all those square-glasses Design geeks who told them to put the exteriors of those vehicles on steriods. The people who NEED trucks and use them, don't like to have to get a stepladder to reach into the box. Those trucks are less usable, but they look real cool and tough in somebody's marketing material, I'm sure.

  • MaintenanceCosts Great, a clumsy truck that can go faster without any commensurate upgrades in stopping or turning ability. I'll look out for these in a ditch near me in the near future.
  • SCE to AUX I'm sure everything aft of the flywheel is up for the challenge.
  • Lou_BC this link shows number of units waiting to be sold: https://www.theautopian.com/theres-a-753-day-supply-of-jeep-renegades-and-other-cars-that-are-slow-to-sell/There are 7630 Renegades rusting on dealer lots. 7 of the 9 on the list are Stellantis products. The Chevy 4500 chassis cab high inventory reflects what I see in my world. Ford and Ram have the chassis cab market well in hand.
  • MaintenanceCosts We need a system to get unsafe hoopties off the road. But the existing state inspection systems relying on corruptible private garages ain't it. It needs to be federally overseen, consistent, and cheap.
  • Paul Like an electric Duesenberg SJ, a vehicle not fit for the economic times it was born into. When the general public is upside down and 30 days late on an 84-month loan at 22.9% on their Kia Rio, this doesn't seem to be the answer to a question most people are asking.