Cain's Segments: Trucks – July 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

These are not normal times for America’s pickup truck market.

The best-selling pickup truck line, Ford’s F-Series, is now entering a transition phase many months after potential customers first witnessed its aluminum-intensive replacement.

Toyota, long a minor player in the full-size category, refreshed its Tundra and continues to achieve notable sales increases, though with gradually less impressive growth figures.

GM’s twins last combined to outsell the Ford F-Series in 2009. They should still seem fresh, but to many the redesign wasn’t, in visual terms, sufficiently differentiated from the GMT900 models. Through the first seven months of 2014, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trail the Ford F-Series by 35,610 units.

TruckJuly2014ShareJuly2013Share7 mos. 2014 Share7 mos. 2013ShareFord F-Series37.2%37.4%37.7%39.3%Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra35.1%36.3%34.6%35.7%Ram P/U21.0%19.4%21.0%18.5%Toyota Tundra6.1%6.1%6.0%5.6%Nissan Titan0.6%0.7%0.7%0.9%—————Full-Size Share Of Total Pickup Truck Market89.3%87.5%89.1%87.2%Full-Size Pickup Share Of Total Industry11.8%12.3%11.8% 11.9%

Ram has placed a six-cylinder diesel in their 1500-series lineup alongside a naturally-aspirated six-cylinder which generates more than 300 horsepower.

There are currently only three non-full-size pickups available: Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline.

The Tacoma is America’s fourth-best-selling pickup nameplate, yet despite the dearth of competition Tacoma sales are down 7% this year and it accounts for just 6.9% of all pickups sold, down from 7.6% during the first seven months of 2013. The forthcoming arrival of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, will presumably alter the field on which the Tacoma and Frontier have been farming.

This isn’t 2005, when American Honda reported its first 42,000 Ridgeline sales; when Isuzu began selling its i-Series pickups and Mitsubishi its Raider; when Lincoln sold more than 10,000 Mark LTs; when Subaru marketed the Baja and GM sold the retractable hardtop Chevrolet SSR. (When, incidentally Subaru and GM were ending their bizarre relationship.)

Not unpredictably, Ford has seen its F-Series lose market share in 2014. Year-over-year, GM’s share of the full-size pickup segment slid from 36.3% to 35.1% in July 2014; GM’s year-to-date share has decreased by more than a percentage point.

Ram is the clear beneficiary, rising from 19.4% in July 2013 to 21% in July 2014; increasing its year-to-date tally from 18.5% during the first seven months of 2013 to 21% in the same period this year.

The Ram pickup range has increased its volume by 37,848 units over the first seven months of 2014 in a category that has only grown by 47,934 units.

Reported sales of full-size pickup trucks are growing, but not quite at the pace of the overall auto market. These six truck nameplates generated 123 out of every 1000 new vehicle sales in July 2013, but that figure fell to 118/1000 in July 2014.

The times are not normal; neither are they extraordinary. Think back again to the valley through which the automobile industry was passing in 2009, when the Silverado/Sierra last generated greater U.S. sales volume than the F-Series. In the whole calendar year GM reported barely more than 428,000 sales. Ford has sold more than 429,000 F-Series pickups already this year.

TruckJuly2014July2013%Change7 mos.20147 mos.2013%ChangeFord F-Series63,24060,4494.6%429,065427,9350.3%Chevrolet Silverado42,09742,0800.1%282,776284,666-0.7%Ram P/U35,62131,31413.8%239,481201,63318.8%GMC Sierra17,48816,5825.5%110,679104,2156.2%Toyota Tundra10,3129,8205.0%68,29961,38511.3%Nissan Titan1,0721,168-8.2%7,48810,020-25.3%—— —————Total169,830161,4135.2%1,137,7881,089,8544.4%

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Billfrombuckhead Billfrombuckhead on Aug 04, 2014

    Ram has the most impressive increases, bust 20% market share and barely gets mentioned but Toyota has a minuscule increase and gets mentioned?

    • LectroByte LectroByte on Aug 04, 2014

      I see two whole paragraphs (at least) mentioning Ram's, do you need new glasses?

  • IHateCars IHateCars on Aug 05, 2014

    I saw a Ram EcoDiesel Laramie Limited 4X4 crew cab on the lot over the weekend....fully loaded, up here in the Great White North. The sticker was a few dollars under $70K....$70K!!! Before taxes! I wonder how many of them will sell at that price....

    • LALoser LALoser on Aug 05, 2014

      Well...let's think...Ram Truck, or Hellcat...hmmmm...

  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
  • CEastwood From zero there is nowhere to go but up . BYD isn't sold in the U.S. and most Teslas are ugly azz 90s looking plain jane drone mobiles . I've only seen one Rivian on the road and it 's not looking good for them . I live out in the sticks of NW NJ and EVs just aren't practical here , but the local drag strip thrives in the warmer months with most cars making the trip from New York .
  • Lorenzo Aw, that's just the base price. Toyota dealers aren't in the same class as BMW/Porsche upsellers, and the Toyota base is more complete, but nobody will be driving that model off the lot at that price.
  • Mike The cost if our busing program is 6.2 million for our average size district in NJ. It was 3.5 last year.