Cain's Segments: Trucks – August 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

In an auto market which somewhat unexpectedly grew 5.5% in August 2014, sales of full-size pickup trucks jumped 8.8%. This increase occurred in spite of 3006 fewer sales from the segment’s best-selling vehicle line, Ford’s F-Series, which is fading slightly as ordering for the new 2015 F-150 begins.

Ram’s truck range was up 33% to more than 40,000 units, the second time in six months that the Chrysler Group/FCA has sold more than 40,000 Ram pickups in a single month. Not since 2003 have this many Ram trucks been sold during the month of August. Year-over-year, Ram’s share of the full-size truck segment grew by more than four percentage points.

How has the Chrysler Group’s fortunes changed? Not since January 2010 have Ram truck sales been in the four-digit range. Only 9957 were sold that month. Ram averaged fewer than 17,000 pickup sales in 2010, a figure which has risen 113% to more than 35,000 monthly sales in 2014 during a period in which the overall market grew by approximately 45%.

TruckAugust2014August2013%Change8 mos.20148 mos.2013%ChangeFord F-Series68,10971,115-4.2%497,174499,050-0.4%Chevrolet Silverado49,20143,60312.8%331,977328,2691.1%Ram P/U43,77533,00932.6%283,256234,64220.7%GMC Sierra19,84718,01710.2%130,526122,2326.8%Toyota Tundra11,83411,3654.1%80,13372,75010.1%Nissan Titan1,2311,261-2.4%8,71911,281-22.7%—— —————Total193,997178,3708.8%1,331,7851,268,2245.0%

Jointly, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra outsold Ford’s F-Series by 939 units in August 2014. GM says they haven’t sold this many pickups during the month of August since 2008. Combined sales of the Silverado and Sierra were up 12.1%. GM’s market share in the full-size category rose to 35.6% from 34.5% one year ago and from 35.1% one month ago.

The Toyota Tundra’s growth rate has slowed noticeably now that we’re comparing year-over-year sales with a healthier period for the biggest Toyota pickup. The Tundra was up 13% in January, 8% in February, 25% in March, 24% in April, and 15% in May, before falling 8% in June (when total pickup truck volume slid 5%) and rising 5% in July. Tundra volume is up 10% through the first eight months of 2014.

Nissan, which sorely needs its new Titan to arrive to a warm reception of the brand is to ever again be thought of in the full-size category, is pickup up scraps leftover from the popular nameplates. Only 0.6% of buyers interested in a new full-size pickup opted for a Titan in August, down from 0.7% a year ago.

GM is reporting a relatively large number of orders for its new not-full-size pickups: 28,000 for the Colorado; 14,000 for the Canyon. Production of the smaller GM twins is underway. In August, however, small and midsize trucks (Tacoma, Frontier, Ridgeline) accounted for just 10.4% of the overall pickup truck segment, down from 11.6% one year ago.

TruckAugust2014ShareAugust2013Share8 mos. 2014 Share8 mos. 2013ShareFord F-Series35.1%39.9%37.3%39.4%Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra35.6%34.5%34.7%35.5%Ram P/U22.6%18.5%21.3%18.5%Toyota Tundra6.1%6.4%6.0%5.7%Nissan Titan0.6%0.7%0.7%0.9%—————Full-Size Share Of Total Pickup Truck Market89.6%87.6%89.2%87.2%Full-Size Pickup Share Of Total Industry 12.2%11.9%11.9% 11.9%

Timothy Cain
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  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Sep 04, 2014

    If those market share stats are correct, it appears that Ram's rather large market share gain has been almost completely at the expense of Ford. No wonder Ford is taking such a big gamble on their next truck.

    • See 1 previous
    • Thornmark Thornmark on Sep 05, 2014

      @Hummer The "Big 3" have maintained outrageous profit margins on pickups and you have to wonder how that is done. Why hasn't competition driven down margins the way it has in other segments? Ford’s Margins: It’s All About the Trucks

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Sep 04, 2014

    The fact that GM is gaining ground is interesting. The 2014 truck launch has been panned as one of the worst in history. Ford's flat sales may be due to the "faithful" waiting for the "new king". The reported orders for the Colorado/Canyon are promising. Ram posted some great order numbers for the Ecodiesel with subsequent reports that they were selling very quickly. GM will be happy if this same phenomenon continues with these siblings.

    • See 2 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 05, 2014

      Initial orders sound good, but they're based on speculation. But trucks vary too much, compared to cars. You've got several axles, 2 cabs, 2 beds, several trim levels, packages including tow, payload, off-road, etc. Plus one extreme stripper. Lots of pickups trucks have to sit around to give consumers any kind of real selection. Even then, they'll likely have to compromise on color. And anything that doesn't sell will get tons of rebates from the OEM.

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