By on February 4, 2015

U.S. pickup truck market share chart January 2015The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon combined to own 31.8% of the small/midsize U.S. pickup truck market in January 2015, up from near nonexistence one year ago.

This meant the class-leading Toyota Tacoma saw its market share plunge by more than 17 percentage points.

Yet Tacoma sales increased in January, rising 1567 units, or 16%, to 11,409 units, 3262 more than the Colorado and Canyon managed.

Since the new GM trucks became readily available in November, and in the lead-up to the debut of a refreshed 2016 Tacoma, sales of Toyota’s sub-Tundra truck have jumped 10%.

Nissan’s Frontier hasn’t been hurt by the arrival of new GM trucks, either. Frontier sales grew 5.5% in November, 12% in December, and 19% in the first month of 2014.

Small/Midsize Truck
January 2015
January 2014
% Change 
Toyota Tacoma
11,409 9,842 15.9%
Chevrolet Colorado
5,942 14 42,343%
Nissan Frontier
5,868 4,931 19.0%
GMC Canyon
2,205 1 220,400%
Honda Ridgeline
214 1,163 -81.6%
Total
25,638 15,951 60.7%

In other words, if the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are stealing sales from the segment stalwarts, they’re not stealing many.

No, the Colorado and Canyon are simply assisting in the growth of the small/midsize truck category.

Small/Midsize Truck
January
2015
Share
January
2014
Share
Toyota Tacoma
44.5% 61.7%
Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
31.8% 0.09%
Nissan Frontier
22.9% 30.9%
Honda Ridgeline
0.8% 7.3%
Small/Midsize Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
15.4% 11.7%
Small/Midsize Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
2.2% 1.6%

The five sub-full-size pickups – including the lingering Honda Ridgeline – form an increasingly meaningful category in America. But we’re still talking small potatoes. They combined to produce 15 out of every 100 new pickup truck sales in January, up from 12 in January 2015. They account for 2.2% of the auto industry’s total volume, up from 1.6% in January 2015.

For every one of these trucks sold last month, Ford sold more than two F-Series pickups. (Which might explain why Ford isn’t terribly worried about not marketing a newfangled Ranger in North America.) The Chevrolet Silverado easily outsold the whole small/midsize category. Ram’s truck lineup, lacking a Dakota, also outsold the Tacoma, Colorado, Frontier, Canyon, and Ridgeline combined.

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

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40 Comments on “Small/Midsize Trucks Grab 15% Of January 2015’s U.S. Pickup Market, Tacoma Still Rules The Roost...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    A rising tide lifts all ships.

    The numbers compared to fullsize trucks are so small, would probably be hard to determine if share is coming from fullsizers – the slice is so small, it doesn’t really matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @APaGttH,
      I tend to disagree with your analysis that 15% of a market is insignificant.

      Look at the pickups. You are making a comment across a broad segment of capabilities and size.

      How much does the mid sizer represent against the 1/2 ton pickups would be a more accurate assessment.

      I would assume that a mid size will be competitive in that segment.

      So, the real figure could be a mid size represents over 20% of its rival segments.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        15% of the market segmented over five vehicles (so even distribution of 3% each) is utterly insignificant, especially in a market of fullsize trucks sold in the US defined by a volume that goes into 7 digits annually – when not even considering compact trucks.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Colorado/Canyon were just introduced a few months ago and production capacity is limited as of now. Lets see how the numbers play out later in the year at full capacity for both companies. The fact that they have already dispatched the Frontier is pretty surprising considering. We have a waiting list for Colorado’s at my two Chevy dealerships. Currently every single one has been sold and more are on order.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I was just at my Chevy dealer yesterday. I asked a sales guy why they didn’t have a new Colorado sitting on the showroom floor. He said they have 1 right now sitting outside and it is sold. He says as soon as he gets them in, usually one at a time, they are sold immediately. For all you MN/Twin Cities readers, this is Village Chev in Wayzata.

      So I would say right now sales numbers are pretty much meaningless if other dealers across the nation are experiencing the same thing. Which after reading the post above, seems to be the case. Not suggesting they’ll be a smashing success, but you can’t sell them if you don’t got them. Just wait until the diesels start showing up, I predict for awhile they’ll sell everyone they build.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @ponchoman49,
      It’s a pity Ford doesn’t release the new Ranger in the US.

      It is a better product than the Colorado, at least here.

      It would probably be on par with the F-150 overall as a decent all round utility vehicle.

      I’d bet if the Colorado Canyon are successful Ford will have no option but to introduce the Ranger.

      I would love to see our Ranger with the 2.7 EcoBoost and a decent suspension package. It would have Raptors for breakfast.

      With the new Navara’s release here later in 2015, it’s supposed to reset the bench mark for midsizers. I’ll be very interested in seeing how it performs.

      I do hope Nissan hasn’t over sold the 2015 Navara like Ford has done with the aluminium F-150. But the controlled 2015 Navara tests have had some favourable comments, but did the 2015 F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – If marketing isn’t “overselling”, they’re not doing their jobs. But this has nothing to do with a product’s actual real-world viability.

        Marketing tries to get consumers, about to pull the trigger on a competing brand, to hesitate just enough.

        But assuming Colorado/Canyon ‘strong sales’, why would that compel Ford to change their global strategy? It’s a given, a US Ranger would have strong sales too, but what does that mean as far as over-all profits go?

        So why not an F-150 for all the markets the Ranger sells in? Betcha a global F-150 would outsell a US Ranger!

        It’s blatantly clear, GM has its own agenda, less to do with turning a profit.

        Or is this Monkey See Monkey Do???

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Al-

        Ford did not “oversell” the new F150. The F-series sold 54,000 units last month at over $51K/unit. That’s $2.75 Billion in trucks sold in one month! $2.75 BILLION!!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @bjball40dtw,
          Ford didn’t sell 54 000 2015 F-150s.

          They might have sold 54 000 F-150s in January 2015.

          Only 10 000 were the aluminium ones.

          Such a Ford apologist. It seems you really try and sell Fords. Are you really just a commenter on TTAC? Your comments and lack of sincerity sometimes makes me wonder.

          You seem to have Pch101 disease.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford doesn’t need me to apologize for anything. The margins on the new truck are, and will be strong. John Krafcik estimates that Ford will do $33 billion in US truck revenue this year. The F-series is the top selling luxury vehicle in the US too. Almost 200K units over $50 in 2014, and that will go up. Don’t lecture me about sincerity if you can even recognize that. Don’t like the aluminum F150, fine, US consumers do.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    saw a colorado in person this past weekend, definitely larger than i expected. not bad for a government subsidized company, but still wont touch one with a 50 foot pole.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The NEW!, IMPROVED!!, BETTER THAN EVER!!! GM midsize pickup trucks have been good for one thing: they got Toyota to get off its dead @ss and update/upgrade/improve the new 2016 Tacoma.

      My youngest son has already put in his order for a 2016 Tacoma V6, 4-door, 4×4 (in any color as long as it is not black or white).

      And the Toyota dealership has offered to take in his tricked-out all-black 2006 Tacoma V6 4-door 4×4 right now since the Border Patrol furnishes my son a Tahoe as his daily driver, so his 2006 Tacoma is parked five days of the work week anyway. The dealership already has a buyer for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @highdesertcat,
        Has Toyota done enough?

        We had the same occur here with the Hilux.

        The Hilux has very gradually been losing out as people realized it’s the same beast.

        It’s not saying the Hilux or for that matter the Taco are bad vehicles.

        It’s just Toyota is very slow to advance their commercials and pickups.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I don’t know if Toyota has done enough to bring the Tacoma up to date. Toyota never moves unless it sees a threat to its sales. The new GM twins got Toyota’s undivided attention.

          I do know that the Tacoma fan base is ecstatic in America with the upcoming 2016 Tacoma.

          The amount of bad ownership experiences that Tacoma owners have had are few and far between in America, hence the Tacoma remains the sales leader in its segment month after month, year after year.

          Then again, as far as the American Toyota experience goes, there really isn’t much mechanically Toyota can do to make the Tacoma better. Durability, reliability and dependability along with resale value are Tacoma’s virtues, at least in America.

          And, frankly, Americans generally don’t care about what people in other countries think about their likes, dislikes and lifestyles. So maybe better electronics, higher interior materials, softer plastics, improved cabin layout? Things that would coddle the American automotive sensibilities.

          Ultimately, the sales numbers will tell the tale if Toyota did enough. If Tacoma remains the sales leader, they did do enough.

          If not, we’ll see more hacking and fine-tuning along with some astounding incentives to stimulate sales in America.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @highdesertcat,
            Really! Read what you wrote;

            “And, frankly, Americans generally don’t care about what people in other countries think about their likes, dislikes and lifestyles.”

            What a false and insular response. I thought you claim to be broadminded?

            It seems the US does care what goes on in others countries. Why else are you guys adopting more and more imports?

            I mean imports from TVs to cars and trucks.

            You are all Stars and Stripes until you use your smart phone or punch out that comment or heat something up in your microwave.

            Why else would not only the US but most every other free country expend much military energy globally? Because we don’t care?

            This ranges from your everyday cars to imported tech moving into your commercial vehicles.

            The biggest reason the US will continue to import motor vehicles is it’s regulations are slacker than most. So if you want decent FE where do you go? Detroit or the EU/Asia?

            What I find odd is people like you attempt to “fob off” external influences and yet you drive a Grand Cherokee that has very German underpinnings.

            highdesertcat, something has started occurring centuries ago. It’s called globalisation.

            It affect each and all.

            As for pickups. The US must import and use mid size design. It doesn’t have it.

            So, yeah, just like everyone doesn’t care about gas prices. This fits into your logic well.

          • 0 avatar
            DinosaurWine

            There is a lot Toyota could do to make the Tacoma better, as it hasn’t been updated since 2005. The Tacoma is badly outclassed in power, capability, and fuel economy by today’s half tons despite being nearly as expensive. Literally the only thing it does better than a half ton is be smaller. The interior is a joke, and on a $39,000, 10 year old, mid-size pickup truck there isn’t even the option for factory leather seats.

            I think the Toyota faithful are just so brainwashed by Consumer Reports and Top Gear segments that they don’t even bother shopping around, that is the only explanation I can come up with. I simply can’t imagine a rational person doing his research and winding up with the Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Right, since the Japanese government has never subsidized Toyota or Nissan.

      Oh, wait… http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/23/us-japan-autos-fuelcells-idUSKBN0FS19420140723

  • avatar
    klossfam

    As a Ridgeline owner I have interest in the other small/midsize trucks but here in Western NY, the GM Colo/Canyon twins seem to be languishing on dealer lots. Some of the original trucks I looked at in early fall are still there (LITERALLY) and I’ve seen 1-2 Colorados actually driving down the road without dealer plates. I see a TON more new Tacos and this area (along with bordering Southern Ontario) must still be Ridgeline country. There are a ton of them around here – and a ton of every brand of full sized. BUT at the January sales above, someone, somewhere is buying the GM twins (IMO – too narrow and too close to full size pricing and real world mileage…I’ll save my pennies and get a RAM 1500 EcoDiesel…)

  • avatar
    MLS

    I’d be interested to see the Silverado/Sierra and Colorado/Canyon split in these charts, primarily to see how close RAM has come to eclipsing Chevrolet (if not the whole of GM) in full-size pickup sales.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    The pie charts on TTAC are getting out of control lately. A little food for thought:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/pie-charts-are-the-worst-2013-6

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The first engineering class I took in college, I remember being told that pie charts were for business majors and idiots.
      I dunno why that stuck with me so well.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I’m looking forward to mid-size truck shopping in a couple of years. The 2008 Sport Trac I owned was the most useful vehicle I’ve ever had, and if I had one with a real sized bed even better. Just so I don’t lose my lib’rul status I’ll still commute on public transport – the truck will be for weekends or when I have to haul stuff for work. It’s still two years away so the Taco, Frontier, or ‘Rado question is academic. Other than a knee-jerk preference for US vehicles I think right now the Taco is ahead.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    They don’t have to “steal” sales from one segment or another. New Colorado/Canyon buyers many not have been up for, or ready to buy any other midsize pickup, or from any other segment. But when they do steal sales, it may be more likely stolen SUV sales than fullsize pickup sales.

    But those committed to USA branded midsize pickups, may have their current trucks limping along on their last legs.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DenverMike,
      I do agree with your comment.

      Except with one omission or oversight.

      The Colorado Canyon is very likely to steal some sales from V6 full size half ton pickups.

      This will even be more evident when the diesel Colorado Canyon is released. As they will provide a better tow package than any V6 (non turbo) half ton pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Anything’s possible, but midsize pickups aren’t the traditional tow rigs, other than for jet ski, dirt bike, lawn mower trailers, and the like. And for good reason. These are light, narrow trailers. No need for huge mirror extenders either.

        But once you get up to the big heavy 8′ wide work/travel trailers with tremendous wind resistance, it’s time step up to fullsize trucks. It’s not just the wide track of fullsize, where a gas upgrade engine will do just fine, but you don’t want the tail to wag the dog!

        What you can get away with in OZ, is a different story. Even with a 400 lb/ft diesel or gas V8, they’re still smaller trucks with much smaller components, such as wheel bearings, bushings, U-joint, ball joints, brakes, axles, steering links, lug nuts, etc.

        A diesel Colorado/Canyon would still be a lifestyle truck with the lifestyle diesel.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DenverMike,
          The Colorado 2.8 here runs the same gearbox as a Silverado V8 pickup.

          Drivetrains are based on torque.

          Here’s a Colorado with a trailer. A bit more than a quad or a couple of bikes.

          http://www.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Chevrolet-Colorado-towing1.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – That “action photo” is totally photoshopped!

            At 1st glace, something looked a little “off”. A kid sized Bobcat? With a closer look, the scale of the trailer’s wheels doesn’t match the Colorado’s.

            And the trailer’s tongue/frame looks like 2.5″ steel stock. No way.

            Then the Colorado has no hitch and the trailer has no tongue-jack.

            The real clencher is the trailer’s ‘tongue’ shadow stops short of the Colorado!

            What a complete fraud!!!

            But I didn’t say anything about the Colorado’s trans. The S10 and Silverado had commonly shared a “700R4” trans. That doesn’t means anything else is shared by the Silverado and Colorado. Not the rear end, brakes, bearings, ball joints, U-joints, axles, etc.

            The new Colorado/Canyon have the makings of strong selling lifestyle “trucks”, but let’s not get crazy with the trailering. Sorry, this isn’t OZ.

            We have real trucks for “real” trailers!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – I hope the Small Pickup Mafia (SPaM) hasn’t paid you in advance!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I hope the Small Pickup Mafia (SPaM) hasn’t paid you in advance!!!”

            The defining feature of the Small Pickup Mafia is not wanting to pay for anything.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    DenverMike – for once, I tend to agree with you ;)

    Pent up demand?
    All of those guys hanging on to older small trucks upgrading?

    I do believe that many pickups are purchased as more versatile substitutes for SUV’s. These buyers tend to be more trend sensitive and since they aren’t traditional pickup buyers will not put up with old technology to own a truck.
    The new Colorado/Canyon isn’t stealing sales from traditional Toyota buyers or full sized buyers but dipping into the SUV market.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Except traditional midsize SUV buyers will eventually remember why they abandoned the compact/midsize truck segment, when they’re hit with poor fuel economy, wide turn radius and buckboard ride.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – since when do modern pickups have poor fuel economy and buckboard ride? Turn radius is related to length.

        Any pickup matches any comparably sized SUV in ride and level of luxury.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Going from midsize SUVs to midsize pickups, you’re sacrificing fuel economy, turning radius and ride comfort. Plain/simple.

          What part of tow/haul gear ratios, much longer wheelbase, heavy duty leaf springs/shocks, live axles, etc, don’t you understand???

          But where did I say midsize pickups lack the “luxury” of midsize SUVs?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – so in effect you are saying that buyers of pickups are wasting their time and money.

            Yup.

            All sizes of pickups are inferior to SUV’s.

            A lot of pickup buyers aren’t traditional pickup buyers. That applies equally to full sized 1/2 tons as it does to small trucks.

  • avatar
    icygang

    It’s interesting that many Americans buy Japanese in the large number instead American brands. Asian won’t be like this, most people look for Asian brands instead of Western brand, that’s why American cars and trucks are going to die from market.

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