U.S. Small/Midsize Truck Sales In March 2015 YTD: Cain's Segments

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

The rapid ascent of the new Chevrolet Colorado finally slowed in March 2015 with month-to-month growth amounting to only 58 extra sales. Colorado volume has increased every month since the new truck arrived last fall, from 1491 units in its first full month of October to 6621 units in March.

But even with an overall pickup truck market that was 17% larger in March than in February, Colorado sales grew by just 0.9% during the same period.

Its twin, meanwhile, didn’t sell as often in March as it did in February, sliding from 2513 sales two months ago to 2434 last month.

While we’re not suggesting for a moment that Colorado/Canyon sales are on the downturn – we would need longer-term numbers and year-over-year figures to properly gauge such a trend – it does appear as though demand may not have the potential to grow too far beyond 10,000 units per month.

The best-selling non-full-size truck in America, therefore, continues to be the Toyota Tacoma. March 2015 was the first time Tacoma volume has shot beyond 15,000 units in two years, surging to 15,885 sales and its seventh consecutive year-over-year increase. In other words, the arrival of new GM competitors instantly resulted in steady Tacoma sales growth.

AutoMarch 2015March 2014%Change3 mos.20153 mos.2014%ChangeToyota Tacoma15,88514,44510.0%39,66635,22912.6%Nissan Frontier7,1287,140-0.2%19,10217,8626.9%Chevrolet Colorado6,6212330,950%19,12617112,406%GMC Canyon2,4341243,300%7,1522357,500%Honda Ridgeline771,538-95.0%4273844-88.9%—— —————Total32,14523,12639.0% 85,47356,95450.1%

The Nissan Frontier also moved back into second spot in the category thanks to the Colorado’s semi-slowdown in March, the first time the Frontier’s slotted in behind the Tacoma since December. Frontier volume decreased by 12 units year-over-year but still totalled 507 units more than the Chevrolet; 1927 fewer than the Chevrolet and GMC combined.

Lost on the outside of the conversation was the defunct first-gen Honda Ridgeline, sales of which tumbled 95% to just 77 units. Excluding the Ridgeline, small/midsize pickup truck sales jumped 49% in March; 60% in the first-quarter of 2015. They account for slightly less than 15% of all pickup truck sales and 2% of all new vehicle sales.

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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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 06, 2015

    I did a search on Auto Trader for my area. I specifically selected 2015 and above to filter out any leftover old style Colorado / Canyons still collection dust on the showroom floor. GMC Canyon within 25 miles of me: 6 GMC Canyon within 50 miles of me: 9 GMC Canyon within 75 miles of me: 13 GMC Canyon within 100 miles of me: 14 GMC Canyon within 200 miles of me: 22 The lowest sticker price going 200 miles out, almost $36K Chevrolet Colorado within 25 miles of me: 14 Chevrolet Colorado within 50 miles of me: 25 Chevrolet Colorado within 75 miles of me: 32 Chevrolet Colorado within 100 miles of me: 36 Chevrolet Colorado within 200 miles of me: 48 Loest sticker price was $23,575 - and there were only 4 within 200 miles under $30,000. For giggles I went 500 miles out - which covers multiple major metropolitan areas and what many would consider red voter rural truck country. Chevrolet Colorado? 69 of them. GMC Canyon 500 miles out? 32. 101 total within 500 miles of me. I did one last check - curious on regional inventory. So I picked Houston, Texas (77070) within a 500 mile radius. So I'm including DFW, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont, New Orleans, possibly as far west as Amarillo and well into Oklahoma, and parts of Arkansas, and large areas of Louisiana. 199 GMC Canyons within 500 miles of Houston and 248 Chevrolet Colorados. In comparison, within 500 miles of Houston there are 1916 new Tacomas (2014-2015) on the lots according to Auto Trader. There are 787 Tacomas within 500 miles of me. If you want to be pedantic there are 788 Tacomas, counting the city of Tacoma itself, which is 500 miles from me. There is also the ferry Tacoma, so that would be 789. There is no inventory on the Colorado or Canyon out there - hard to sell vehicles in any volume when: 1) There isn't a whole lot to pick from 2) What is coming from the factory is in high end trim The numbers of available Tacos is even higher when you consider there is a Chevy dealer in every corner, and far fewer Toyota dealers. So by vehicles per dealer in those 500 miles, each GM dealer might have just a couple (with a few volume dealers as exceptions). By the way, Toyota has regional incentives on the Tacoma - in Texas (do a search on 77070) they have $1000 on the hood. In the Boston area they have "give me" lease deals.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 06, 2015

    APaGttH - I have seen one 2015 Colorado in the wild and only two on the lot at one time (One Colorado and one Canyon). I did not notice any when in the lower mainland/Greater Vancouver region over the weekend. GM must be shipping them somewhere but not many in British Columbia.

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three