Cain's Segments: Trucks - September 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

As is the norm, Ford’s F-Series topped September 2014’s sales charts, but if a true winner was to be crowned after a quick glance at the results tables, Chevrolet’s Silverado must surely take the cake.

Not only did Silverado sales rise more rapidly than any other pickup truck – faster than the Ram’s 30% jump; better than the Nissan Frontier’s 47% rise – but the Silverado also powered General Motors to a second consecutive F-Series-besting month.

Combined, the Silverado and Sierra generated 66,939 September sales, 7076 more than the total achieved by the F-Series and 83% better than the figures put up by the Ram truck lineup. GM says this many Silverados haven’t been sold during the month of September since 2008. It was the Silverado’s best month overall since December 2012.

TruckSeptember2014September2013%Change9 mos.20149 mos.2013%ChangeFord F-Series59,86360,456-1.0%557,037559,506-0.4%Chevrolet Silverado50,17632,50654.4%382,153360,7755.9%Ram P/U36,61228,14530.1%319,868262,78721.7%GMC Sierra16,76313,43824.7%147,289135,6708.6%Toyota Tundra8,7369,071-3.7%88,86981,8218.6%Nissan Titan9779621.6%9,69612,243-20.8%—— —————Total173,127144,57819.7%1,504,9121,412,8026.5%

As a result, GM’s share of the full-size pickup truck category grew from 31.8% in September 2013 to 38.7% in September 2014.

GM’s market share through the first three-quarters of 2014, however, has only risen slightly during a year in which, because of the Ford F-Series’s transition to a long-since-revealed new generation, there was room to gain an advantage.

Instead, Chrysler Group’s Ram brand filled the void. As GM pickup sales rose rapidly in September, Ram sales took off, as well. Yet while sales of the Silverado didn’t manage to grow at the pace of the overall category over the last nine months, Ram truck sales jumped 22%. Ram’s share of the full-size category thus rose from 18.6% during the first nine months of 2013 to 21.3% during the same period this year, an increase valued at slightly more than the lost market share at Ford.

Sales at General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and the Chrysler Group totalled 572,845 units in September 2014, an 11.3% increase compared with September 2013. Full-size pickup trucks accounted for 28.5% of that total, up from 26.1% a year ago.

The most recent introduction of new trucks, from General Motors, was expected to shake up the sales race. It did, and not in the direction one would have anticipated, at least not at first. A more major shakeup is expected with the aluminum-intensive Ford trucks, but will market share results like the figures seen in this post be seriously altered?

Ford customers will be comforted by predictable styling changes that cover up the new construction techniques and, based on early reports, won’t be dismayed by a lack of power in the 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Other aging trucks will see their incentives boosted, Ram will make the EcoDiesel more readily available, and Toyota and Nissan will likely continue to struggle to make inroads.

TruckSeptember2014ShareSeptember2013Share9 mos. 2014 Share9 mos. 2013ShareFord F-Series34.6%41.8%37.0%39.6%Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra38.7%31.8%35.2%35.1%Ram P/U21.1%19.5%21.3%18.6%Toyota Tundra5.0%6.3%5.9%5.8%Nissan Titan0.6%0.7%0.6%0.9%—————Full-Size Share Of Total Pickup Truck Market89.7%88.8%89.2%87.4%Full-Size Pickup Share Of Total Industry13.9%12.7%12.1% 12.0%
Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • NN NN on Oct 02, 2014

    GM product launches pretty much always take a really long time to gain a head of steam. Production is usually slow out the gates, and from my point of view, often times GM's styling "grows" on you after a bit as opposed to being immediately desirable. It's no surprise to me that sales are much stronger now. When the new F-150 is widely available (probably not really until next summer), it will be really interesting to see how GM and Ford sales do. One thing is for certain is that Ram is taking share with the diesel option and will continue to do so...looks like the F-150's early fuel economy reports are nowhere near as impressive as the real-world Ram diesel results. All this said, it's actually impressive to me that the F-150 is essentially flat when it's clearly the oldest vehicle at this time.

    • WolverineDealer WolverineDealer on Oct 02, 2014

      The success of Silverado in September has nothing to do with the product launch suddenly "gaining steam". General Motors put dealer cash on the hood of the Silverado in the form of a stair step incentive. If a dealer hit various objectives (e.g., Fast Start, 100% of assigned objective, 110% of assigned objective), the dealer receives a cash payout. GM doesn't do this kind of thing very often because it is what the successful manufacturers do to move the inventory. The dealers seized on the all too rare initiative and sold lots of trucks in order to get their money.

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
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