By on May 31, 2015

USA midsize truck market share chart October 2013 April 2015

Midsize pickups have increased their share of the overall pickup truck category by around four percentage points since GM launched the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

Compared with a period when the twins weren’t on sale, the volume sent the direction of midsize pickups jumped 50% over the first four months of 2015. That gain of 39,000 units wasn’t simply down to the GM twins, either, as the class-leading Toyota Tacoma is growing faster than the overall pickup truck category.

Yet, at the same time as the small/midsize pickup truck market boomed back from obscurity into an oft-discussed vehicle category, U.S. sales of full-size trucks were on the upswing as well. The 6% increase generated by the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram P/U, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan translates to more than 36,000 extra sales, year-over-year.

As a result, pickup trucks produced 14.3% of the new vehicle sales in the U.S. over the first one-third of 2015, up from 13.6% during the same period one year ago.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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38 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: 19 Months Of Midsize Pickup Truck Market Share In America...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Wish it were possible to know the crew/regular cab take rate. I’m guessing most were crew cab. So this actually says people like lifted sedans including those that fit in their garages.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I may not care much for the entrants in the midsize PU segment, but car based they are not. It’s a conscious decision to not choose a smooth riding plastic fantastic crossover over a more durable/rugged BOF vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Functionally they’re family sedans, the bed is merely vestigial. The only ruggedness 95% of buyers care about is in a crash.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Your making it sound as if it’s not up to the job, or that you disapprove? I’d rather use an International MXT on a vacation that some cramped Corolla. Certainly be more fun and interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          I’ll disagree also. These vehicles are available with 4WD systems, manual transmissions, and large 6 cylinder engines that offer towing capability. Even a short bed is handy for people that haul materials you wouldn’t welcome into a “finished” vehicle interior.

          Whether or not buyers comprehend the differences is an argument I choose to avoid. But the reality of this segment remains: these are vehicles distinct from car-based vehicles with capabilities and utility the car-based vehicles can’t match.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “capabilities and utility the car-based vehicles can’t match”

            And Macbooks let you access the Unix command line. But pickup owners use pickups to go get dog food and Macbook owners use Macbooks to shop Etsy.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Another insufferable member of the B&B. Congratulations, rideheight.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            We are legion!

            Make your time.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @RideHeight,
      I do think most pickups or around 75% are daily drivers and family hacks. Even many so called business pickups are bought and used as a family hack and rarely if ever see any work.

      The Colorado Canyon have been successful for a few reasons.

      1. They offer refinement and performance not found in any previous US midsizer. They are competitive in this area against full size pickup, SUVs and CUVs.

      2. They offer load and tow comparable to the bulk of what 1/2 tons are sold. Most don’t even tow 6 000lbs in the US.

      3. They do offer more than competitive FE. Also, on road acceleration is quite good, even the 2.5 litre can accelerate to 60 in 9 seconds.

      4. They are more maneuverable, easier to park and offer the same or similar visibility as a fullsize SUV or Pickup. This also translate into the vehicle feeling bigger, hence more secure and safer.

      5. They are cheaper than a equivalently equipped full size and offer a great amount of not just utility, but versatility for a family with young kids, up to teenagers.

      I do know someone will challenge this statement, but look at the supply and demand side of the Colorado Canyon. If any full size brand had the same level of demand they would be selling at the recommended retail as well.

      That’s why they are selling. I would say the average Colorado Canyon buyer would not consider a Taco or Frontier as they are not as refined.

      The Frontier buyer is after a cheaper (rougher) pickup alternative and the Taco customer looks at perceived reliability and resale.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    @Hummer
    Yeah, I have absolutely no use for sedans anymore since CAFE turned them all into barely chest-high, viewless blobs.

    And I’m PO’ed as hell about enormous 4-door pickups with almost worthlessly tiny beds taking over the market. But I understand the reasons people absolutely love them for the safest way to tote their families.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Until you hit another vehicle of the same or similar mass, then you are worse off.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      4 door pickups are the multiuse vehicle, although I prefer a true SUV, the market has spoken on trucks. Not a bad thing, just I prefer my cargo to be inside. The love for fullsize really isn’t primarily safety, or at least for me, it’s the visibility, the V8 drivability, the high serviceability, using components that are designed to handle more than just the vehicle itself (ie SRA, SFA), and really as long as a bed can hold a 4-wheeler it’s as much as most buyers will ever need.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I don’t see the midsize pickup market expanding much more than what it currently is standing at. It might pickup a little.

    I really don’t see any of the manufacturers spending billions on plants and infrastructure to manufacture more midsizers either in the US. This is to large a gamble.

    It’s a pity that they can’t be imported to sate a small demand. If that was to occur I do see the US midsize market easily doubling and injecting some much needed competition into the US pickup segment.

    Let the consumer decide, not big business and unions on what to have on offer.

  • avatar
    Rday

    have a midsized Ridgeline that is 10years old. It is a great vehicle and we love it. Plan on keeping it forever. Tows a trailer cross country, over the mountains to the yellow brick road from LA. AWD makes it go anywhere where there is ice or snow leaving other 4wd pickups stuck on the ice. Handles like a sports car on mountainous and curvy roads and leaves other pickups in the dust. The two way rear gate makes it ideal for old men lifting big loads and the in bed trunk make it safe for storing tools, etc. Love the bed extender for handling 16′ lumber, etc. AND IT FITS EASILY INTO MY GARAGE.

    Amazes me that more of these smaller trucks aren’t sold. When Obama lifts the chicken tas we will have many more options on trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “handling 16′ lumber”

      OK, it takes a lot to make me challenge claims to Godhood for any Honda as I make so many myself, but did you really mean to type that?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Really it leaves other 4WD trucks behind? Handles like a sports car? I doubt it’s anything like the C6 I had for a short time or anything like even the most basic 2 speed TC truck. Does the Ridgeline even have true 4WD or is it that same crap AWD they use in their crossovers that get stuck when one wheel spins?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Without complete harmonization, it wouldn’t be worth it for global players to enter the US pickup market in a niche capacity. Check the scores of global cars we don’t have and may never get. Where’s their Chicken tax? Some are from Toyota, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, VW and others.

      But there’s no real demand for more pickup buying “options”. Not any more than we need more car buying options.

      Aussies have several more midsize pickup “options”, but mostly stick to Toyota and Nissan. We would continue to do the same no matter what (BAFO thinks!).

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      I am sure there is more than a little hyperbole here, but it is nice to know that the Ridgeline can handle its way out of a wet paper bag. I may have to keep it in mind in a year or two when I start shopping again.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Rday – “16′ lumber” ……….. Um….. please say that you have some sort of cargo rack?

      A Ridgeline is 17 ft 4 inches long.

      The cargo bed is 60 inches long = 5 feet. Add 19 inches 1ft 7 inches more with the tailgate down. Total length – 6ft. 7 inches.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    In this segment to me the Tacoma is a no brainer. You can pretty much drive it for 3 to 4 yrs and still get damn near 70 to 85% of what you paid for it.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I think there’s less difference between domestic and Japanese depreciation in this segment than any other. America never effed-up its trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The reality is that there are lots of people who want small pickups, the problem is that they want used ones, that translates to high resale values for all of them. Yes the Toyota is tops but the prices for old Rangers are insane, around here anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I don’t believe they want used ones, but rather they want a small truck and used is the default option as new midsize trucks are larger, more expensive, and not improved over the used options.

        The supply is so limited, it drives up the prices on those trucks.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Wow, some of the comments…the four door pick up, to me, is the quintessential family car. Check for the following: road trips, camping, hunting, kids bikes to friends house across town, after game malodorous sports gear, skis, home projects, new washing machine, fridge. The list goes on and on. So many household tasks that occur semi often become mundane afterthoughts vs. renting, borrowing, or paying for delivery.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      And, yet, the kid stuff in the bed arrives wet and soggy.

      I’ve owned 2 sedans, a hatchback, a CUV, 3 pickup trucks, and a minivan. Minivan wins as far as being the quintessential family car.

      The minivan is not too shabby as a handyman runabout, too.

      Thot said, I’m coveting a GMC Canyon diesel, to supplement the electric vehicles that I also covet. But coveting it doesn’t make a 4 door pickup the quintessential family car. Having owned a variety of vehicles, the 4 door pickup truck is more of a jack of all trades master of none vehicle, which certainly has a place with people who value flexibility above all else.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I think there will be more growth in the midsize truck market but midsize will not overtake full size. Plant expansion could be a possibility as Toyota will be making more Tacomas in Mexico. GM could possibly use their plant in Mexico if the demand for the Colorado/Canyon increases beyond what their current plant can handle. I agree that manufacturers will not spend billions of dollars to expand capacity for midsize trucks but they have existing plants which they could expand production. There is room for growth in the midsize truck segment.

  • avatar
    Rday

    yes the ridge handles like a sports car, no comparison with any other pickup or van. Even the mustang would be a walkover on wet or snowy roads. The gmc pickup 4wd that i picked up my trailer from was stuck on the 1 inch of ice that had built up overnight. i picked up the trailer and pulled it out from the motel parking lot. The gmc was going nowhere and i pulled the trailer out without even spinning a wheel and drove all the way back to KC on ice/show packed roads with a 30 mph cross wind. So i hope you can clear the crap out of you eyes and ears and maybe learn that you do not know everything about trucks-

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Perhaps you can drop the fanboyism and take notice, that traction, not the four-wheel drive system, was the issue here; and therefore the tires were what caused the difference in performance. With proper LS as basically all four wheel drive pickups will have (The GMC would certainly have a G80), and in tough situations knowledge of brake modulation, it’s not feasible to argue a car-based AWD system can outperform a dedicated 4WD system assuming the user is up to the task.

      Three more points-
      -You need to drive a sports car made after 1960
      -The Ridgeline barely even sells, obviously it cannot match the capabilities of its competitors.
      -If it requires comparing the traction capabilities of the Ridgeline to a Mustang to make a point, you know you should just give up.

      But seriously, this sounds like the standard reply of any of the guys at every job that drive a company pickup that isn’t the brand they hold allegiance too. Everytime one of them gets stuck it’s the fault of the brand, it’s certainly not because they go through deep mud with highway tires that have 65lbs of pressure, or because they it get high centered on a 4 door longbed, etc etc, No, it’s because the brand makes sh*t. It couldn’t possible be the tires, or the (lack of) driving skills.(sarc)

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Great. Now that the mid-size pickup question is answered, can we bring back the truly small truck?

    Hey FCA, how about bringing up the neato RAM700 from Mexico??

  • avatar
    BowmanvilleX

    I may be wrong about this theory..here goes…There are no veicles under $30,000 CDN that can tow. I know because I am in that market. There is a mini rv/travel trailer boom going on and there are no products that can tow anymore.Sure some cuvs claim they can do 3500lbs but when you see them loaded with have that weight their rear axles are dragging. This leaves many of these buyers buying crew cabs truck to haul the family and the toys. You can get a ram sxt for 30,000 crew cab v8 for 30K no cuv is remotely close in price that can even haul 3500lbs. Major over sight by manufactors…Xterra is close bout still pricer thats it.

  • avatar
    JMII

    So maybe there is a market for people that want a real truck (not some cute ‘ute) that fits in the garage, can be parked without the need for a ground crew and doesn’t require a ladder to load. I fully understand the need for full size trucks but honestly most people that have them don’t use half their abilities and thus would be best served with a mid-sizer. Now they have that not-full-sized option and seem to be taking it.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “parked without the need for a ground crew”

      Hah! Hindenburgs, indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @JMII,
      What do you define as a real “truck”.

      Pickups are not real trucks.

      Real trucks are designed to run 24/7, not primarily as a car/SUV alternative.

      75% of pickups and utes are “cute utes” as you call them.

      They aren’t trucks as such.

      Also, attempting to equate size to determine what a vehicle is is quite naïve.

      It’s like stating a Road Train is a truck and anything smaller like a F-450 or even a F-650 are “cute utes”.

      Hmmmm……form, fit and function is how a vehicle is designed. A midsize or full size 1/2 ton are first designed for aesthetics. The interiors are fitted out for not work, but leisure.

      You’d better get back to the drawing board and understand what a real truck is.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Sounds like your truck is what I would call a semi. I was talking about the standard US full size pickup “truck” aka the F150 everyone here drives. Sorry if my definitions doesn’t met your high standards.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    I can’t help but wonder if most of the people buying midsizer pickups wouldn’t be better served by a combi Tourneo Custom or comparable, but with rear windows.


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