By on April 3, 2015

toyotatundraForecasts suggested that U.S. new vehicle sales would decline in March 2015, but the auto industry reported a slight uptick compared with March 2014. The moderate 0.5% improvement occurred despite a 4% passenger car sales decline and a 0.6% drop in full-size pickup truck sales.


• GM truck increase contrasts with overall GM decline

• Ram truck decrease contrasts with overall FCA improvement


Granted, the March decline for full-size trucks was slight; the F-Series, Ram, Tundra, and Titan decreases were nearly completely counteracted by a GM increase.

Moreover, the first-quarter of 2015 was a healthy one for full-size trucks, with the five top nameplates all reporting improved sales compared with the first three months of 2014.

Truck
March
2015
March
2014
%
Change
3 mos.
2015
3 mos.
2014
%
Change
Ford F-Series
 67,706 70,940 -4.6% 177,312 173,358 2.3%
Chevrolet Silverado
 45,193 42,247 7.0% 126,694 107,757 17.6%
Ram P/U
41,595 42,532 -2.2% 101,511 96,906 4.8%
GMC Sierra
17,395 16,863 3.2% 45,173 42,213 7.0%
Toyota Tundra
11,508 11,589 -0.7% 28,757 27,402 4.9%
Nissan Titan
1,048 1,314 -20.2% 2,638 3,318 -20.5%
Total
184,445 185,485 -0.6% 482,085 450,954 6.9%

But Ford F-Series sales slipped 5% last month compared with March 2014, an especially strong F-Series sales month, though F-Series sales were up narrowly compared with March 2013. The Ford outsold the combined efforts of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for the second time in three months.

GM’s twins posted a combined increase of 6% in March. Their 62,588 sales generated 34% market share, up two percentage points compared with March 2014. Their improvement didn’t stop GM from reporting a 5% loss – GM car sales plunged 21%.

Truck
March
2015
Share
March
2014
Share
3 mos.
2015
Share
3 mos.
2014
Share
Ford F-Series
36.7% 38.2% 36.8% 38.4%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
33.9% 31.9% 35.7% 33.3%
Ram P/U
22.6% 22.9% 21.1% 21.5%
Toyota Tundra
6.2% 6.2% 6.0% 6.1%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.7% 0.5% 0.7%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
85.2% 88.9% 84.9% 88.8%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
11.9% 12.1%  12.2% 12.0%

Just days after TTAC explored the idea of 58 consecutive months of year-over-year, Ram truck improvement, Ram P/U sales in March 2015 declined for the first time since April 2010. The decrease was slight, only 937 units, and it didn’t stop the overarching FCA/Chrysler Group from posting the manufacturer’s 60th consecutive monthly increase.

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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74 Comments on “March 2015 U.S. Full-Size Truck Sales Decline – Cain’s Segments...”


  • avatar
    TW5

    It was pretty clear from the data that sales decline was inevitable, considering the comparatively flat trajectory of RAM sales in the first two months. 5-years of MoM sales growth (almost) is quite an accomplishment.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Ford is claiming that there are temporary production constraints due to retooling: http://www.autonews.com/article/20150401/RETAIL/150409964/with-f-150-supply-tight-ford-sales-drop-3-5-in-march

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Must be the spike in fuel prices. Oh wait, it’s not that simple.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Don’t shatter the dream for all of the armchair economists. If they want to ignore 7 years of increasing fuel prices and increasing SUV sales, who are we to demand otherwise?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The article completely ignores the so-called mid-sized trucks. How did THEY do?

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      its okay to continue to ignore them.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      pick-up trucks.com has the numbers for the mid-sized trucks. If you add the new GM twins to the sales numbers, GM sold more PUs in March 2015 than Ford.

      Watch for the newest GM truck commercial to point that out.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Carlson Fan,
        I have had a bit of the thought regarding the total pickup numbers.

        First. I would like to see the drop in V6 full size sales.

        Second. I would like to see the V6 Colorado Canyon numbers.

        I do think there is a connection between them. I do give GM credit for bringing out the two midsizers. Not long from now Nissan and Toyota will introduce their new midsizers.

        Putting the d!ck banging aside the new midsizers are as refined as a half ton, can carry and tow what most V6 half tons achieve.

        Ford now with the aluminium F-150 has gone past the point of no return……..until it can’t ignore the impact the new midsizers will have.

        Many on the US centric sites still view a midsizer as a Taco or Frontier. They are far from it.

        Ford will have it’s hand forced and it will eventually bring the Ranger into the US market. Hopefully with the 3.2 diesel that is in the Transit.

        Ford has the best range of engines for a midsize pickup. The 3.2 diesel of course, 2.7 EcoBoost (if you want poor FE) and one of the Cyclone series of NA V6’es.

        Another area that will impact Ford will be the release of the XD Titan and hopefully a heavy Tundra with the same Cummins ISD V8 diesel.

        These will affect the lighter HD segment.

        Now with all the US pickup suppliers including FCA/Ram having future midsizers will leave a hole in Ford’s lineup.

        GM overall seems to be hitting a sweet spot in all the pickup segments. Ford will hit the least.

        My comment isn’t suggesting that the market will be flooded with midsizers and XD Titan/Tundra’s, but their will be enough of an impact to stagnate and even slightly decline the numbers of the Big 3 pickups.

        The winners in the US pickup market will be Nissan and Toyota. The winner doesn’t mean who sells the most.

        Sell your Ford shares.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          For GM the big issue with their smaller trucks is that they have always been crap compared to their FS offerings. With the new GM twins that has changed. The new trucks are every bit as sophisticated as the FS trucks,

          I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the GM midsize sales right now. At least here in Minnesota the dealer pipeline hardly seems filled. And we are not unique in that respect to the dealers in the rest of the 49 states.

          The Chevy dealership closest to me has 2 Colorado’s and 85 1/2 ton Silverados. They won’t even give a price for the crew cab on the net. I suspect means they want close to it’s MSRP for it. Pretty obvious that anything 4X4 V6/crew cab they aren’t dealing on because they don’t have to.

          So to really tell how sucessful these new mid-sizers are going to be we need the inventory pipeline filled and to get past the initial pent-up demand. I would say another 1-2 years and we’ll know.

          And I don’t expect the diesel trucks to be sitting on the lots long once they are available. I’ll be surprised if they aren’t a sales success,

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Carlson Fan,
            My views are similar to yours. Especially the diesel Colorado/Canyon.

            Hopefully GM doesn’t get overly zealous and overproduce the Colrado/Canyon, by adding too much manufacturing capacity, because soon the next Taco and Frontier will arrive.

            20% of Ram’s 1500 sales are diesel. The 2.8 GM diesel is a far cheaper engine than the VM V6 that is going into the Ram.

            I’d expect at least a quarter of the Colorado/Canyon sales to eventually be diesel.

            Many will opt for a 365ftlb diesel to tow over a V6 Silverado.

            When the next Taco and Frontier are released they will add to the mix. I do know the global Navara has been touted as a bench mark. Even with a 2 500lb payload and a 7 800lb tow it is supposed to ride as well as a Maxima. I do hope you guys get this suspension.

            Imagine a 2 500lb payload midsizer. That would place it as a Class 2 pickup, like a full size.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Big Al- I seriously doubt that the Colorado or Canyon is stealing V6 full sized truck sales. If anything those that are in the “anything but a Japanese small truck camp” have returned to small trucks because of GM. We have seen the trend of CUV’s and smaller SUV’s gain size and market share. Increased small truck sales are more likely an extension of that trend.

          If anything the Titan Cummins will hurt Ram more than Ford or GM. Ram buyers have to contend with the least reliable trucks and the least loyal buyers.

          How will Toyota be a winner? The Tacoma is a warm-over and so is the Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Lou, you will have to stop thinking like a baby boomer. Baby boomers are on the way out and buying little CUVs.

            The newer generation will buy on price, more so than our generation.

            They also will buy with less prejudice.

            As for your concern regarding the next Taco, it might be a little misguided.

            Look at the new global Navara, it’s a game changer. It is loosely based on an older chassis, the D20/22.

            There are many small areas of change that can and will improve the Taco. Everything from suspension, to NVH and engine drivetrain combo’s.

            I wouldn’t discount Toyota.

            As for your comment regarding the movement of pickup sales from V6 full size into a Colorado/Canyon V6.

            I really do beg to differ. Maybe you should go out and take a new generation midsizer for a run.

            I own one. Many who comment on these sites tend to view a midsizer as the current and past vehicles.

            They aren’t. I own one and I can assure you it is as competent as a full size in every area except size.

            And don’t bring up how a full size can tow 10 000lbs as very few people buy a full size 1/2 ton to do that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            BigAl- The next Tacoma for USA isn’t the global one. That is my point.
            You have an inside scoop on buying trends? My new neighbour’s are in their early 20’s. Every truck I have seen at their house has been a full sized truck.
            The Cummins Titan will target Ram. Their CEO used to be Ram’s CEO.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            It doesn’t have to be.

            The D23 (D21, D22 and now D23) are of the same family as the original Hardbody. The difference is the technology in the vehicle.

            Have a look at any BOF vehicle. What is the difference between a current and a 30 year old BOF vehicle?

            Not much, other than using the latest technology.

            Toyota has been smart in the way it has updated the Taco. It isn’t going to cost them an arm and a leg. Yet it will be quite easy to refine and produce a competitive pickup.

            Lou, even the F-150 isn’t some technological marvel. It does the same as pickups have been doing for decades, except in a more refined fashion.

            What’s the difference between the 2015 F-150 and a global Ranger? Size and the material used in the body of the vehicle.

            They both have comparable technology.

            The same goes for the Colorado/Canyon. They have finally brought the midsizer up to the same standard of refinement as the full size.

            That is why they are cannabalising sales from V6 full size trucks.

            They are just as good. Just because a vehicle is larger doesn’t make it better.

            This is one odd paradigm I find by the US pickup commenters on these sites.

            But yet they consider a M3 BMW a better vehicle than a Impala. Using their logic would the Impala be better because it is bigger?

            Lou the world is changing, especially in the SUV style pickup world.

            In a decade you will see more and more Eurostyle work trucks and less full size pickup doing the work. Full size pickups are gradually being relegated to the recreational market.

            They are becoming less and less work trucks.

            They have become symbols of what America wants to be, that is a sign of middle class success by having a 1/2 ton dual cab sitting in the driveway with the wife drivng a medium CUV.

            It’s no different here in Australia, or probably Canada.

            What difference does it make if it’s a Colorado/Canyon or a Silverado/F-150/Ram.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Here’s my logic.

            The Colorado/Canyon have not impacted the Tacoma.

            Then are they viewed as a traditional midsizer?

            Apparently not.

            That is why they are taking sales from full size V6 half ton pickups.

            When the diesel Colorado comes out and people who do tow, might even buy them in lieu of even a 2.7 EcoBoost F-150.

            The Colorado/Canyon are not viewed as midsizers.

            Neither will the next Taco, Frontier, etc. The new Ram hybrid (not EV) cross pollinated between the Doblo and Cherokee will be viewed more as a traditional midsizer.

            Look at the numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al- The Colorado/Canyon have not hurt Tacoma (to my surprise) BUT there is no clear evidence that they are eating into V6 fullsized sales or any fullsized sale.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            I think you’ll find the Colorado/Canyon are viewed by many as a viable full size alternative.

            They are more or less just as capable and the V6 should provide more than adequate performance for the majority.

            The 2.5 four is giving the Colorado 9.4 seconds in a 0-60 run.

            Even my 4 litre Jeep Cherokee struggled to do that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al – I don’t know a single guy who owns a full-sized truck that sees the Colorado as a viable alternative. Same can be said for the Tacoma.

            I see the Colorado and Tacoma as viable alternatives ONLY if they can meet my needs. The Colorado’s 1800 lb cargo rating and 7k tow rating definitely puts it in the ballpark for me.

            Price, durability, and interior space are other factors along with comfort.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I can not imagine myself in anything other than a fullsize pickup truck.

            But I do know several people who went from a midsize or compact pickup truck to a fullsize one.

            I don’t know of anyone who went from a fullsize pickup truck to a midsize or compact truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            highdesertcat – my first truck was a Ranger reg cb 4×4. My next was a F250 Reg.cab 4×4. I then bought a Ranger Ext.Cab 4×4. I then bought my current F150 SuperCrew.

            I buy what I think meets my needs. I’m not hung up on “going back” to a small truck.

        • 0 avatar
          DinosaurWine

          Yeah, the midsizers will appeal to first time truck buyers and that’s about it. No one who owns half tons is thinking of downsizing, given the marginal improvement in fuel economy.

          Toyota has carved out a solid niche for the Tacoma among those who cannot do math. Otherwise they would learn that the Tacoma, while priced similarly to full-sized trucks, is far less capable, smaller inside, and somehow less fuel efficient than full size trucks. The Tacoma update was shockingly mild considering it took them 10 years – a slight bump in power and a refreshed fascia? Seriously? Of course, Toyota has learned from the Corolla that their buyers will literally buy anything with “TOYOTA” on the front, regardless of how competitive it is.

          I don’t see the next Titan making waves – Nissan is going after a sliver of market that I’m not sure exists. Chevy had the heavy duty half ton until a few years ago and it wasn’t a great seller. The Frontier may be a competitive truck, but considering how ancient the current iteration is literally anything would be an improvement.

          Half ton trucks are used as work trucks more than ever, and I don’t see how midsizers would replace them in that capacity – the cost and fuel economy benefits simply aren’t there, and most people using a truck for work are doing so outside of congested cities where the smaller size would be an advantage.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            DinosaurWine – people buy small trucks over 1/2 ton trucks because they prefer the smaller size………… how hard is that to comprehend?
            Most Tacoma’s I see are loaded doublecab long box 4×4’s. That puts them squarely in the 1/2 ton segment price range for mid to entry level trim 1/2 tons.
            Fleets buy what meets their needs. Okin buys mostly small trucks.

            As far as capacity goes, you had better be careful with that statement. It all depends upon configuration.

            Your statement follows stereotypes rather closely.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    I for one am getting sick of seeing so many urban cowboys in their chromed Silverado and ram road monsters that will never see anything put in the bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Well, go ahead and continue complaining about it on the Internet. That’ll solve everything. Or just accept that it’s their freedom to drive what they want.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      You are spot on!

      Also, what about all the minivans with no kids in them, the German sport sedans sitting in traffic and not tearing up a mountain two lane road, let’s not forget the sport bikes that seem to have a zero to 100 time faster than a top fuel dragster just puttering around….

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      anti121hero: I for one am getting sick of seeing so many idle, vacuous twats driving about in my neighbourhood in Mercedes GLKs that will never see a second passenger, a rutted road, or more than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cargo.

    • 0 avatar
      Forgeryfade

      It’s not a popular opinion but I agree. I do wish they would offer smaller diesels so these guys would at the very least purchase a truck that fits their needs. You don’t need a 15 ton towing capacity to tow a 1,000lb rhino side by side or your fist boat purchase. At work I couldn’t tell you how many gas tanks we’ve dropped because these guys do not understand the difference between diesel and gas. You don’t need a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Especially when a 150 can tow 12,000 and a gas dodge can tow 9,000.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Stop denying yourself, you KNOW you want one too. Even BAFO would own an F-150, RAM truck or even a Chevy 1500 if he only could !!!

      Get out of the stinkin’ city rat colony, to the wide open spaces, clean air/snow, where you can work with your hands and put in an honest day’s work.

      Your DNA cries out for it!

      But it’s not the fault of fullsize pickups (or their buyers than hardly need them), that just about everything else $UCKS.

      What else are you going to get for so little cash, that pays you back so much? Not just with resale value, but I’ve got an 11 year old pickup that I still enjoy owning, hasn’t had one problem despite my horrible abuse/neglect, and if I’m stuck with it for another 11, I’ll enjoy that too!

      If I was living with an 11yo Camry (same ‘new’ starting price as my ’04 F-150) or other appliance instead, and was somehow forced to KEEP living with it today, well let’s just say I wouldn’t make THAT mistake again.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “If I was living with an 11yo Camry…..”

        Sh!t! I’m living with a 26-yo Camry, a 1989 V6 LE, bought for $1. Still runs good. I love it. The maid loves it. The cook loves it.

        As long as it runs, we all love it. “And when it dies, and when it’s gone, there’ll be one more child to carry on, carry on……” (BST)

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          I’d love it too for $1.00! But if it was your only ride, let’s be serious. But anyone would love it, if it meant not having to riding the bus and asking for rides.

          You’re dedicated to pickups too. Fullsize pickups are just what naturally happens when given the choice, space and enjoy the outdoors. I just don’t understand all the whining and sniveling.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I just don’t understand all the whining and sniveling.”

            I don’t either. People will buy what they buy out of want or need, but mostly driven by what they can afford.

            Big thing these days is the shrinking middle class, which I think is a reality for many Americans who are working harder and longer, and getting further and further behind.

            It’s one thing to want a full-size pickup truck. But then to see this wish or goal get farther and farther out of reach, is heart-breaking and cause for resentment and hard feelings.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Yeah, I love my Accord coupe MT too. But I paid very little for it as well. I would be straight pissed and hate life if I paid MSRP for it new.

          Having owned several trucks, the haters they to have never owned one and have no idea what they are missing.

          I am with Denvermike on this a one.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      I for one am sick of seeing women with bigger breasts than they need to nourish a baby! Maybe they are just compensating for having big vaginas.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Plunging gas prices = no oilfield trash spending oilfield cash?

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Less than 1% is hardly a decline, especially whenever YTD sales are up 7%.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      canddmeyer, and let’s not forget that the aluminum F150 is not up to full production capacity yet.

      All indications are that the truck-buying public has overwhelmingly embraced the new aluminum F150. V8-powered aluminum F150s are as scarce as hens teeth. And not every F150 buyer wants a heavy-breather Ecoboost V6 under the hood. That’s for wannabees.

      Things will improve and pickup trucks will continue to be the best-selling vehicles in America, no matter what the price of oil is.

      People who buy pickup trucks are just not candidates for the sissified pregnant roller skates and sardine cans on wheels featured so prominently outs!de the US.

      And pickup truck buyers are a a demo of their own, set in their ways, with more converts every day.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        HDC- I am seeing 2015 F150’s all over. They are entering the truck market at a much faster rate than Chevy did. We have seen Chevy take a year to finally make good gains.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Lou_BC, the 2015 Aluminum F150 is scarce in my area.

          A friend of mine at the local Ford-Lincoln dealer told me that they ordered them last year but have not received their full quota yet.

          My guess would be that Ford is filling orders for the larger markets before getting on to the smaller areas.

          Makes sense.

          You wouldn’t see them on the roads if they weren’t sold to someone.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            HDC- my local Ford dealer lot is full of 2015 F150’s but I live in a region where trucks are in almost everyone’s driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, that’s pretty much the same way where I live too, just about everyone has at least one pickup truck. Some have two, or even three, if those are the only vehicles the household has.

            Down the street from where I live, three Border Patrol Agents are sharing a house during their workweek. On their weekends they each go home to their respective cities and families.

            But when all three guys are on the work schedule there are three pickup trucks parked in the drive-way there when they are off-duty.

            Then again, all three drive older F150 trucks.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Ram as the article stated has been flatlining for a couple of months. Ram need to do more than fiddle around with grilles and tailgates to excite the consumer.

    GM counting the mid sizers again was the largest pickup manufacturer in the US.

    March 2015 had only 4 weekends as March 2014 had 5 weekends in the month.

    Ford’s aluminium F-150 will gain more steam. But, Ford will have to be happy as the number 2 pickup manufacturer in the US.

    I do think either midsize pickups should be included in pickup numbers or break down the numbers into classes, not by manufacturer designations, ie, 150/1500, 250/2500.

    As the manufacturers play around with the figures.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Big Al- Ford will be happy with 2nd place?

      Ford is already staying ahead of Chevy.

      BTW- Statistically GM has to post Silverado and Sierra sales separately. That automatically gives Ford the edge in bragging rights.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – What matters is profits. GM will put more pickups on North American roads than Ford, but GM is GM.

    Turning a profit still isn’t high on GM’s ToDo List. So many loss leaders, so little time!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – All 3 FS pickup OEMs lump all their FS together. The exact breakdown is available for those that care (to use Google to find out), but not many here do. The ratio of 1/2 tons vs HDs is somewhat consistent YoY, but RL Polk for example, only collects new_registered_vehicle info, so result’s will differ somewhat from OEM “sales figures”.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM, Ford, and Chrysler all make profits on their trucks. It is erroneous to conclude that GM is losing money on trucks. The real question is who is making the most profit off their trucks and which manufacturer is making the most profit overall? Ford has a lot of costs to recover on the new F-150 which take time to recover as more units are sold over several years. Ram has the most to gain from truck sales especially not having gone through a major redesign and although their sales have been down over the last couple of months overall they are ahead. All the manufacturers are using profits from their trucks to subsidize less profitable products and that includes Ford. Denver Mike if you can find a way for a manufacturer to make a profit on all their product lines then I am sure at least one of the manufacturers would hire you. Ford has hit some bumps in the road with their cars in a market that is highly competitive.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S,
      I’d bet Ford has spent well over $10 billion on the aluminium F-150. Ford has so much riding on it.

      This means the aluminium F-150 has to be around for decades to pay itself off.

      This doesn’t include the potential for many massive and expensive recalls.

      I do think Toyota and Nissan are best placed. Toyota runs it’s factories pretty much flat out, as does FCA with the Ram.

      Ford also had to increase the number of factory workers to manufacture the new F-150. As nice as this is for the workers the money to pay them comes from somewhere.

      Ford will also have some who will take several years or so before the will consider the aluminium F-150.

      Looking further down the track the Nissan XD will take some HD sales away from the Big 2 and FCA. If Toyota bring out the Tundra in a “XD” this will increase competition as well.

      I do think the flatlining of pickup sales and GMs overall improvement means the Colorado/Canyon is cannibalizing sales from V6 full size pickups.

      It’s as capable as any V6 full size. Once the diesel arrives it should make up more than the 20% Ram has with it’s diesel, as it will be a lot cheaper.

      You will have the new Frontier based on the D23 platform, the “new” Taco as well. If these measure up in the area of refinement like the GM mid size twins, then more sales will be cannabalised from V6 full size pickups.

      So, with the new mid sizers, and the “HD” Titan/Tundra coming I do see the Big 2 and FCA losing some ground. Not much. You only need several hundred thousand pickups to be taken from them and they will hurt, especially Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Big Al,

        You forgot a few things.

        First, 10 Billion is how much profit Ford makes from the F150 in a good year. They will earn back their investment even if the truck is less popular than previous generations.

        Second, I don’t think you realize how Japanese full-sized pickups are positioned in the US. Short version: they are never used as work trucks. Japanese trucks basically only come in one configuration: suburban family transport. There is no reason to believe that supposed HD Titans/Tundras will change that. They are in a completely different market, just like Ford/Holden Utes are different from Land Cruisers.

        Third, you seem to think that there is something wrong with the full sized V6 pickup as a concept. I don’t see it. Sure, some people want something slightly smaller or bigger, but it’s at the very core of the market, just like the 200 inch family sedan used to be. Full-sized pickups are “right-sized” for most of the US, and they keep getting better/safer/more drivable/more economical. Don’t expect their popularity to decline just because there’s a new Tacoma in town.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @heavy handle,
          I do agree that the current Titan was an error by Nissan. It was more or less designed as a SUV/car alternative.

          You also missed out in your comment that 75% of pickups sold are not working vehicles. They are SUVs/cars.

          As for the V6 full size pickups. I don’t have any view other than the consumer might want a V6 pickup.

          Not only the US, but the global pickup market is moving in the SUV/car direction, what this has done is similar to cars and SUVs, that is everyone doesn’t just drive a one size fits all vehicle.

          They drive vehicles of differing quality and price. It seems the most ardent of the pickup fraternity in the US are focused on full size.

          There is a large market for a variation of size, quality and pricing in the US SUV style pickup market.

          The Colorado is doing well because it is offering what a full size offers, but in a smaller package.

          Read what I have written and put your “I’m an American” paradigms aside. The US has once before embraced pickups other than full size.

          Now, before someone attempts to turn my comment around into the “midsizers will decimate full size” this isn’t what my statement.

          My statement is as the competition ramps up in the US with the new midsizers and the XD style diesel full size pickups the Big 3 will see more competition.

          As for Ford’s profits, you are correct the largest profit maker for Ford is the F Series. This is also Fords pitfall.

          Also, look at how much Ford makes globally per year and tell me how great the F Series profits are.

          It will not take much for Ford to flat line in profits.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Al,

            Is the Colorado doing well? Haven’t seen one yet.

            GM had the same high hopes the last time they launched a Colorado (ten years ago), and it never made a dent in the market. It’s one of those GM products one forgets ever existed. I think the only reason they bother is because the R&D is paid-for by Isuzu.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al – 1/2 of pickups sold are for work. 75% is stretching reality a bit.

            The only full sized 1/2 ton that targets the SUV market is Ram. Their cargo ratings are the lowest out of all the truck makers. They don’t even offer a high capacity 1/2 ton. Air ride is good for cars but I’ve read a 4×4 magazine getting “overheat” warnings running the Ram too hard off-road.

            This is right out of PUTC scoring “According to our judges, there is no denying the tremendous amount of value you get for the money with the Laramie Longhorn interior, but where the Ram lost most of its points was in its limited payload, braking numbers and the ride quality of the air suspension when towing or loaded.”

            You keep saying Ram is the most refined pickup?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–Nissan does have the most to gain. As for Ford it remains to be seen how well the aluminum F-150 sells but we should know soon since it is near full production. Even if the F-150 is a sales hit it will take years to recover the costs. The Colorado/Canyon does not require as much volume or time to recover the costs since it is based on the global Colorado but we will not know its potential until it is in full production. Most of the dealers around me have 1 or 2 Colorados and few GMC dealers even have a Canyon in stock. There are a lot of new Rams being sold. Many of the Cincinnati dealers still have a large stock of 2014 F-150s but then Ford produced a lot of them before they shut their plants down to convert over to the 2015’s. Dealers have been advertising 2014s for 11k off which are mostly the 4×4 crew cabs.

    I think that the pickup truck market will not grow much more and the crossover market is where there is the most growth.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S,
      I do think the US pickup market is nearing it’s zenith. People are now looking for alternative pickups.

      When Ram releases it’s Cherokee/Doblo assend unitary style pickup it will add more competition. Honda with the next Ridgeline will add competition.

      All that is needed now is to remove the chicken tax so VW, Mazda, Mitsubishi and the others can import pickups. They might not sell in massive numbers, but they will add variety and competition to the US manufacturers who are ripping off the consumer with their excessive profit margins.

      When this occurs it will force up the price of US made cars to where they should be and drop the price of pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “I do think the US pickup market is nearing it’s zenith”

        That’s an interesting observation and the first time I have ever seen or heard anyone make such a statement.

        I’m all for The-More-The-Merrier so I welcome even more variety and competition in the market place so buyers can be the ultimate judges and determine what flies and what dies by voting with their wallet and/or their feet.

        Now, personally, I believe that more and more Americans will wean themselves off sedans and coupes and gravitate over to SUVs, CUVs and pickup trucks. Visibility and seating position are just two reasons to get out of a sedan and into an SUV/CUV or pickup truck.

        But, time will tell. And I also believe that a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-Based pickup truck will be a hot seller in America.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @highdesertcat,
          MB will not make a Sprinter based pickup. Why would they when they have far better platforms to choose from that offer better dynamics, on and off road.

          With MB’s connection to the Renault Nissan Alliance, ie, they each own a part of each other MB has a far better range of platforms for a pickup other than a Sprinter.

          For starters, MB has the next Titan, or it can stretch the global Patrol chassis.

          These would be far better platforms to base a pickup on. Off road the Patrol platform would offer MB a superior vehicle to base it’s pickup on.

          The great thing is, they are already developed and in production.

          A Sprinter chassis doesn’t have the strength like a Patrol has.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/04/sprinter-based-pickup-could-be-solution-for-mercedes.html

            I don’t know if they would but putc had an article speculating at

            “news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/04/sprinter-based-pickup-could-be-solution-for-mercedes.html”

            preface with http://

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @highdesertcat,
            Did you read the article;)

            It’s a teaser to generate discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            LOL! OF COURSE I read the article! I merely aided and abetted the generation of a discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Big Al: I hate to ask this, but what platform does Mercedes have that would make a better, conventionally-styled pickup truck? I realize the Sprinter wouldn’t exactly be “conventionally styled”, but they already have a rough ‘pickup’ platform available.

            Though I will admit I’ve never heard of a Mercedes Benz “Patrol” platform. When Googled, I get a bunch of images that look like a direct take-off of the Hummer H2, very narrow windows and all. I’m not so sure I would like that.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @highdesertcat,
          I do believe the US full size pickup market is a little saturated, not by much……yet.

          Have a look at the loans and leasing arrangements. They have become farcical.

          It isn’t sustainable. The full size pickup market will sooner or later be over serviced.

          I actually think it already is by a small margin.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – With the Chicken tax removed, what EXACTLY makes you think Mazda, Mitsu, Isuzu, Ford, VW and the others, want anything REMOTELY to do with the North American smaller pickup market??

            They’ve all been here and it was like a bad weekend in Tijuana. The cheapskate, bottom feeders and fleet will make them cry again.

            Some are into repeating the same exact mistakes over and over, but what makes you *think* that’s them???

            It sounds like something GM would do though.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “They have become farcical.” Yes, they have because of the insatiable appetite of Americans for SUVs, CUVs and pickup trucks.

            I can’t speak for the rest of the US, but in my area the demand for pickup trucks of all vintages is far greater than the supply.

            Much of that is, of course, driven by the sheer number of illegal aliens that pass through the Land of Enchantment (or The Land of Entrapment if you’re an out-of-stater and got a speeding ticket here), illegal aliens who covet the pickup truck above all other vehicles.

            Add to that the number of speculators, usually from the East Block States of the US, and Old Mexico, who come to the arid portions of the US to seek vehicles of all kinds that they can flip for a profit in their area, and that accounts for a never-ending demand for anything that runs, especially pickup trucks.

            From the “new-buyer” angle, it is true that more and more Americans are forced to buy used because they simply cannot scrape enough money together each month to make a new truck or new car payment PLUS the full-coverage insurance that is wedded to it.

            In my area they’re still selling 2014 Silverado trucks this late into the 2015 model year! It is rare to see a dealer advertise a 2014 F150 or 2014 RAM. It’s usually used or repo’d.

            From my perspective, I am interested in where these twists and turns of new truck retail events will take us between now and the elections of Nov 2016.

            This is such a good time to buy a new vehicle with political stability in America, no new financial threats from the current administration and on top of it all, a do-nothing Congress (again).

            Gas prices are low! And going lower; $1.999 today in my area for RegUnl 10% Ethanol, $2.299 for Premium 91-octane 10% Ethanol.

            I will be surprised if your analysis will materialize. Not saying it won’t because I don’t know.

            But I’m inclined to see an explosion of aluminum F150 sales and sales of the new GM mini-pickups (replacements for all the old and dilapidated S10/S15, Colorado/Canyon trucks still out there.)

            I’ll be buying a 2016 Tundra 5.7 to replace my well-worn, hard-working 2011 Tundra 5.7. So that’s at least one sale that Toyota can count on for 2016.

            Then MY demand will have been satisfied, for the rest of my life, most likely.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Weaning off Sedans and Coupes towards CUVs is one thing. Towards pickups is very different.

          The heart of the pickup truck market is demographically and geographically distinct from all the three others mentioned. There is overlap, but a bet on new pickup sales increasing market share vis-a-vis the others, largely involves betting on the economic fortunes of the pickup demographic (young to middle aged males who neither live nor commute to environs dense enough to favor parking in parking structures) faring above average. I personally don’t see that happening. At least unless Bush III decides to invade every other country on the planet just because, and does so by paying Blackwater to do the dirty work entirely with freshly printed dollars.

          WRT Sprinter, the recent Van resurgence that one spearheaded, will grow to become another headwind for traditional pickup trucks. Initially for commercial guys based purely on utilitarian considerations, but over time also by weakening the pickup’s romantic stranglehold on the “working man’s vehicle” image. I’m not saying vans will displace PUs altogether, but over time, more and more PU intenders will be exposed to them, and realize they meet their needs better than a PU does.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Stuki, what I have noticed is that more and more young households are buying a new or used pickup truck as their second or third vehicle.

            A friend of my 23-yo grand daughter has asked me to sell my 2011 Tundra 5.7 to him. And the father of a friend of my 17-yo granddaughter in El Paso has asked me the same thing. I’m between a rock and a hard place!

            So, the demand for pickup trucks might be specific to MY area but it includes some pretty good sized cities, like El Paso, TX, Albuquerque, NM, and Las Cruces, NM.

            Rest assured that Bush III will never happen because there aren’t enough votes to make it happen, even including all the free-floating Independents like myself.

            Where I would have voted for Hillary in 2008, I won’t in 2016 — waaaaaaay too much baggage!

            At this juncture, neither s!de has a viable candidate and if the elections were held today, we would have a rerun of a minority of voters showing up at the polls to decide who wins, while the majority of eligible voters stay home and look for ways to get around the policies of the new administration.

            I see the new image of the pickup truck no longer as a ” working man’s vehicle” but more like the replacement for the big four-door sedan, or a “family’s all-purpose vehicle.”

            I’m really quite optimistic when it comes to sales of pickup trucks, at least for the next 5 years.

            By 2021, only the creator knows what awaits us with over $26Trillion projected in national debt.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/04/sprinter-based-pickup-could-be-solution-for-mercedes.html

    I don’t know if they would but putc had an article speculating at

    “news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/04/sprinter-based-pickup-could-be-solution-for-mercedes.html”

    preface with http://

    (damn wordpress! You have to trick it to get it to do what you want if you don’t have programmer-level access.)

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesertcat–There are ads for 2014 F-150s in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Beechmont Ford is advertising a 2014 4×4 crew cab F-150 for 11k off sticker and a number of other dealerships have ample supplies of 2014 F-150s. You can also find a number of left over 2014 Rams and Siverados. The only shortages of trucks are the 2015 F-150s and 2015 Colorado/Canyons which have not reached full production. I don’t see truck sales going away but I think nationwide they are leveling off and there is not going to be large gains in sales. One reason there have been large gains is not only the replacement of sedans with pickups but pent up demand from those you have delayed purchases of new trucks because of the economy (2008 financial crisis had many holding onto their vehicles longer than expected).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, that’s amazing! 11K off sticker!

      My oldest son is currently shopping for an F350 HD 4-door Duallie TurboDiesel to tow his fifth-wheel 16-horse trailer. I’ve already been drafted to take him up to Bob Turner Ford and/or Shamaley Ford, to see what they have to offer. He may even decide to get an F450 if they can be had for a reasonable price. He’s buying with the long term in mind. Something that will still run in ten years, without having to put too much money with it to keep it running.

      The Ford dealers in our immmediate area have next to nothing and certainly nothing of the kind he needs. We will go as soon as he locates something online and decides it looks promising. We have to buy in New Mexico or El Paso, TX, because of the preferable tt&l rates.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S,
      Maybe I’m correct, Ford ain’t doin’ as well as the Ford fanboi’s would like.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        BigAl- with the exception of GM all of the truck makers lost sales in March. Ford hasn’t hit full stride. There are those that are not early adopters.It took GM a year to finally build sales momentum with their trucks. Ford has a new truck with production delays and that means they are going “tots up”?
        I’d probably buy a fullsized Chevy if I needed to replace my F150 now because I’m not an early adopter.The Colorado is too new and rare as hen’s teeth in my region.
        The Colorado/Canyon meet my cargo requirement at 1800lbs. Ram does not .

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC,
          The new F-150 production isn’t meeting requirements as it is still rolling out.

          The Colorado/Canyon isn’t meeting requirements.

          The Colorado/Canyon will not have the same manufacturing capacity as the F-150.

          As for Ford, I do believe the new F-150 will not be as successful as the one it replaces.

          Ram, well, it is running at max capacity. If FCA had any brains they would leave as is. Ram is in the same position as Ford more competition is arriving and it will impact on Ram.

          Ram is in dire need of a refresh and not just a grille and tailgate change. A decent looking front end and a decent rear suspension.

          The new Ram midsizer is interesting. Judging by it’s construction it will be a cheap pickup.

          This will eat at midsize numbers, if it is a good looking pickup.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou BC–The new Colorado/Canyon is as rare as hens teeth–I think I have seen only one on the road. I have seen maybe 2 new 2015 F-150s as well. I don’t think we can judge either the Colorado/Canyon or the new F-150s success or failure until both have reached full production and enough time has passed. Ford similar to GM produced excess of the outgoing models to assure dealers had adequate supplies during the transition to the new models. Dealers in the Cincinnati area stocked up on extra inventory. Not just Beechmont Ford is offering discounts but Kerry Ford, Castrucci Ford, Airport Ford, and a few other larger dealers. Having said that if you are looking for a base model/WT of the 2014 F-150 then you would not find it. Most of the remaining inventory is crew cabs and extended cabs but you would have a hard time finding a regular cab. I agree if I were to buy a Colorado/Canyon I would wait a year till the bugs get worked out. My dad in 1961 ordered one of the 1st Chevy IIs (1962) which was not a bad car for its time but the later models had less problems.

  • avatar

    we have really good truck brand ads but they are diminished by ending the piece with $8500 off. building brand equity and aspirations is offset by the distress pricing. this ridiculous strategy also leads to higher net costs as most states charge sales tax before rebates which causes the consumer to pay more than necessary. for example, in Michigan at 6% my clients are forking over $520 in additional tax on their truck purchase. there are numerous other areas where GM’s marketing is very poorly thought through but it’s Easter with family and I don’t have the time to elaborate.

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