Charts Of The Day: 2005-2014 GM Car, Truck, SUV, Crossover And Van Sales

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
charts of the day 2005 2014 gm car truck suv crossover and van sales

A week ago we displayed a chart which showed GM’s decreased passenger car emphasis over the last fourteen months. Yes, GM’s U.S. car sales are slowing even as the manufacturer’s U.S. volume is increasing, but that wasn’t the point of the chart, nor was the chart (on its own) even capable of displaying that fact.

With strong pickup truck volume, a rebirth of the automaker’s full-size SUV portfolio, and steady sales from other utility vehicles, GM’s overall U.S. sales are better through the first two months of 2015 than they were at this stage a year ago.

But you deserve an even broader picture with greater specificity and more of a long-range view. So this week we have two charts, one for General Motors, and one for the industry as a whole.

Rather than displaying the passenger car emphasis, these charts track the sales of broad vehicle types over the course of the last decade: cars, pickup trucks, SUVs/crossovers, and vans, where “minivans” and commercial vans are thrown together. In GM’s chart, there’s also a distinction made between the company’s all conquering full-size SUV juggernaut. We didn’t make that distinction on the industry chart because outside of GM, full-size SUVs form a very small part of the overall utility vehicle sphere.

Perhaps the most interesting fact of all? With a two-month 15% decline in car sales to start the year and a 39% increase in pickup truck sales over the same period, GM’s cars are outselling GM’s trucks by just 10,216 units so far this year. The cars outsold the pickups by fewer than 1700 units in February.

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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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 22, 2015

    @BAFO™ - Big land yachts were a dying breed long before CAFE cracked down on them. They've always been expensive to fuel, even when gas was under a dollar a gallon. And always hard to drive and park. You'd definitely get ridiculed for sailing around a big boat. But it'd be stupid to set FE standards for various forms of light trucks, same as passenger car FE. What market does that??? It's frackin' commonsense they'll burn more fuel than normal passenger cars, no matter what you do. And light trucks are a huge part of commerce too. So OEMs will game the system, but loopholes are there for any and all OEMs to take advantage of. It's all fair game. The regulations may give OEMs a "false impression" of what the market would be like if CAFE was not more lenient or "soft" on "trucks", but CAFE would then be creating a false market by forcing consumers away from their natural tendency for bigger people movers, never mind commercial uses for bigger vehicles, including pickups, big and small. But the Chicken tax is there for any and all OEMs to enjoy what little "protection" it may or may not offer. It's certainly not helping the Ridgeline, Titan or Frontier. The Tundra and Tacoma do marginally well. Think of what's missing from global "truck" OEMs and which OEMs would be hurt the most if the Chicken tax went away. Yes Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, VW, Subaru, etc. would be harmed the most, though marginally so. But say Proton, Ssangyong, Mahidra, etc, all entered the US market, they'd enjoy what ever "protection" you speak of too. But it's a very wide assumption you make that they'd want to join in on a dying market, packed with fleet, cheapskates, and bottom feeders. Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu, VW, Subaru, Ford and others, got to enjoy this "potection" and they still jumped ship on the compact pickup market like it was the Titanic. The pickup market is hotter than ever, so explain what you're talking about. That's why pickup prices keep rising faster than anything else. That couldn't happen if the market was "losing ground" to CUVs/SUVs.

  • OldWingGuy OldWingGuy on Mar 22, 2015

    Some interesting comments. Big Al From Oz, an interesting perspective on the external impact of regulations on vehicle production - CAFE, taxes, safety regs, etc. And DenverMike refuting the impact of the above. In particular, nullifying the chicken tax by producing domestically yet not seeing a sales improvement. I'm certainly not smart enough to reconcile this, but I enjoy reading the different viewpoints. One comment for Timothy Cain (and others), I find it a bit misleading to quote GMC and Silverado separately in sales figures, yet F-series are combined, I assume by F-series, you include all F150, F250, F350 etc. I get the argument that GMC and Chev are technically separate legal entities, but really ?

    • See 1 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 22, 2015

      @OldWingGuy - Ram, Chevy and GMC combine all their fullsize pickups (classes) into one sales figure too. GM having 2 brands of trucks may hurt their total pickup tally, but they have more opportunities to sell you a truck. BTW, it's been proven Sierra pickup owners don't always regard Silverados as the same or similar trucks, nor would some ever own one. But you are correct, it's not the Chicken tax that helps or "protects" tremendous pickup sales, or we'd never see some trucks, domestically built and sold, struggling or fail. Huge gains or failures here, are obviously independent of the Chicken tax. The bottom line is sales figures. If they don't sell well, then it doesn't matter how cheaply or costly it is to get them to the showroom. If a Chinese built pickup costs pennies on the dollar to build and reach US showrooms, when they don't sell in sizable quantities, the OEM will no doubt still take a loss. Of course BAFO can only see things one way, from his perch, far far away. Much is written about the Chicken tax, from non experts in passing, mostly to write an interesting article or paper about a tax with a funny name, that the general populace is hearing for the 1st time. Without a doubt, you have to do your own research to have a truly informed opinion, especially when lots of pundits express such emotionally and politically charged opinions. BAFO has a hard on for anything he feels casts a negative light on US politics or the Americana in general.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.