Small/Midsize Truck Sales Up 19% In October 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

U.S. sales of small/midsize/non-full-size pickup trucks jumped 19.4% in October 2014, a gain of 3672 units compared with October 2013.

Sales of the Toyota Tacoma were up 5%. Nissan Frontier sales shot up 25%. Not surprisingly, the slowly disappearing Honda Ridgeline was down 35%. GM’s new pickup trucks contributed an extra 2158 sales. Even without those additional Colorados and Canyons, the category would have risen 8% despite the Ridgeline’s sharp but relatively inconsequential decline.

With those extra GM truck sales, these not exactly small pickups accounted for 11.2% of the overall pickup truck market in October 2014, up from 10.3% a year ago. Overall, pickup truck sales were up 10% in October and have grown 5% this year. We covered the full-size portion of the category earlier this month.

We know that the launch of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will reveal far greater sales figures over the coming months. They will steal market share. Indeed, they already have. At this early stage, however, they haven’t stolen sales – or at least not a sufficient number of sales to slow YOY growth – from the Tacoma and Frontier, as both of those older established pickup trucks posted meaningful gains in October.

The Tacoma’s share of this pickup truck sub-segment fell from 65.5% to 57.7% in October. The Frontier’s share grew from 27.8% to 29.1%.

Heading into November, Automotive News reports that GM dealers had 4300 Colorados in stock and 1800 Canyons, plus 274,000 Silverados and Sierras. Clearly then, we’ll be waiting a while if, in fact, it’s possible for us to ever see Tacoma and Frontier-beating numbers from these trucks.

AutoOctober2014October2013%Change10 mos.201410 mos.2013%ChangeToyota Tacoma13,01012,3515.3%127,739134,123-4.8%Nissan Frontier6,5685,24225.3%61,93151,42320.4%Chevrolet Colorado1,491295,041%1,6003,404-53.0%Honda Ridgeline8021,239-35.3%12,37314,807-16.4%GMC Canyon667513,240%683923-26.0%Suzuki Equator————448-100%—— —————Total 22,53818,866 19.5% 204,326 205,128 -0.4%

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Nov 25, 2014

    The figure is interesting, but I don't think it's really substantial....yet. If the Colorado/Canyon sales are significant and Toyota and Nissan can maintain their current sales, then I do believe there will be some permanence to the increased numbers. Since we have a much freer vehicle market in Australia I do predict some trends in the more controlled US pickup market. Toyota and Nissan had maintained numbers here in Australia with the Hilux and Navara sales. The Mitsubishi Triton also held onto their sales numbers. This was achieved via heavy discounting by them when the much more refined Amarok, Ranger and BT50 arrived. As platforms go I do think the Ranger/BT50 is rivaling the Toyota Hilux in numbers. Our Colorado here was sort of a flop because it didn't offer any of the gains in refinement that the VW, Ford/Mazda offered. So, what I see in the US is Nissan and Toyota discounting their mid sizers to take on the much more refined Colorado/Canyon, which with the current "protected" market makes it harder for any new competition to enter into the US market. I do see the a significant increase in US midsizers coming up. I will predict judging by our figures at least a 25% to 50% increase in sales numbers. With the highly refined Colorado now the US pickup owner can choose between a very large vehicle and a large vehicle with very similar levels of comfort and performance. The only benefit is the mid sizer will offer better FE in real life. It doesn't have to accelerate an extra 1 000lbs of weight. Also, cost will play a role as full size trucks increase in cost. Another aspect of mid size pickups I see is a rapid increase in the average transaction price in the US as more people buy these (Colorado/Canyon) as a full size alternative.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Nov 25, 2014

      @BAFO - Weren't you the one that said aluminum trucks were going to cost more than mere mortals could afford? But without all this "protection", could the Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado/Canyon, Ridgeline, Tundra and Titan even exist???

  • Turf3 Turf3 on Nov 25, 2014

    Wait, what about all those people who keep saying people won't buy small trucks?

    • See 2 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Nov 26, 2014

      @DenverMike Nope. Wait a couple years for the NEW versions to arrive. Personally, with all the little events we've been reading about lately, it seems those Central/South American small trucks may at least make a try for the US market. Meanwhile, I'm still expecting the opportunity to snag my step-father's low-mileage '94 Ranger. He just doesn't want to give it up yet.