By on May 1, 2015

2015-escalade-exterior-masthead-family-960x540

A predicted 6% increase in April 2015 auto sales ended up as a 5% year-over-year boost, equal to nearly 65,000 more sales last month than in the same period one year ago.

The biggest gains among volume brands were produced by Jeep (with its best-ever month and a 20% increase to 71,759 April sales), GMC (another no-car brand), and Subaru.

Honda, Volkswagen, and Kia all posted slight losses, however, and the gains produced by big brands like Toyota, Hyundai, and Chevrolet weren’t all that significant. Ford, the best-selling auto brand in America, was up 5%. General Motors’, the top-selling manufacturer, increased 6% despite the third Buick decline in four months. 

Industry-wide sales were strengthened by SUVs and crossovers. All of the category’s top 20 sellers posted improved sales, year-over-year.

Automaker April 2015 April 2014 % Change 2015 YTD 2014  YTD % Change
Acura
 14,874 14,122 5.3% 54,518 52,070 4.7%
Alfa Romeo
 38 255
Audi
 16,827 15,653 7.5% 56,925 50,881 11.9%
BMW
 26,952 25,052 6.9% 105,444 97,579 8.1%
Buick
 18,224 19,214 -5.2% 68,721 72,112 -4.7%
Cadillac
 15,801 13,900 13.7% 52,976 53,488 -1.0%
Chevrolet
 187,837 181,648 3.4% 664,393 634,331 4.7%
Chrysler
 27,704 21,967  26.1% 109,637 94,450 16.1%
Dodge
 44,906 53,463 -16.0% 168,417 198,687 -15.2%
Fiat
 3,756 4,298 -12.6% 14,794 15,723 -5.9%
Ford 213,518 203,552 4.9% 783,940 762,209 2.9%
GMC
 47,194 39,314 20.0% 167,005 143,782 16.2%
Honda
 115,194 118,334 -2.7% 409,493 405,740 0.9%
Hyundai
68,009  66,107 2.9% 240,038 226,120 6.2%
Infiniti
 9,979  9,170 8.8% 43,821  40,391 8.5%
Jaguar
 1,079 1,035 4.3%  5,415 5,750 -5.8%
Jeep
 71,759 59,754  20.1% 250,508 205,593 21.8%
Kia
 53,282 53,676  -0.7% 194,382 186,682 4.1%
Land Rover
 5,311  4,533 17.2%  22,287  17,612 26.5%
Lexus
 25,876 23,165 11.7% 103,056 88,250 16.8%
Lincoln
 8,134 6,803 19.6% 29,612 28,406 4.2%
Maserati
 1,060 964 10.0% 2,989 3,332 -10.3%
Mazda
 24,123 22,434 7.5% 102,167 100,491 1.7%
Mercedes-Benz
 29,188 25,887  12.8%  107,344  98,501  9.0% 
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 2,764 2,394  15.5%  8,323  7,018  18.6% 
Total Mercedes-Benz
 31,952 28,281 13.0% 115,667 105,519 9.6%
Mini
 5,476 4,390 24.7% 18,253 13,047 39.9%
Mitsubishi
 8,216 6,542  25.6% 32,006 26,382 21.3%
Nissan
 99,869  94,764 5.4% 433,655 418,509 3.6%
Porsche
 5,217 4,072 28.1% 16,647 14,208 17.2%
Ram
 40,864 39,170  4.3% 151,270 140,163 7.9%
Scion
 4,309 5,386 -20.0% 16,287 19,843 -17.9%
Smart
 480 1,048 -54.2% 2,013 3,285 -38.7%
Subaru
 47,241 40,083 17.9% 178,522 152,471 17.1%
Toyota
 173,144 171,109 1.2% 659,606 612,564 7.7%
Volkswagen
 30,009 30,831 -2.7% 109,248 118,154 -7.5%
Volvo
 4,381 4,635 -5.5% 18,103 18,333 -1.3%
 —
BMW-Mini
 32,428 29,592 9.6% 123,697 110,626 11.8%
FCA/Chrysler Group
189,027 178,652  5.8% 694,881 654,616 6.2%
Daimler
 32,432 29,329 10.6% 117,680 108,804 8.2%
Ford Motor Company
 221,652 210,355 5.4% 813,552 790,615 2.9%
General Motors
 269,056 254,076 5.9% 953,095 903,713 5.5%
Honda Motor Company
 130,068 132,456 -1.8% 464,011 457,810 1.4%
Hyundai-Kia
 121,291 119,783 1.3%  434,420 412,802 5.2%
Jaguar-Land Rover
6,390 5,568 14.8% 27,702  23,362 18.6%
Nissan Motor Company
 109,848 103,934 5.7% 477,476 458,900 4.0%
Toyota Motor Corporation
203,329 199,660  1.8% 778,949 720,657 8.1%
Volkswagen Group *
 52,295 50,765  3.0% 183,602 184,102 -2.7%
Industry Total **
1,455,242
1,390,769
4.6%
5,411,707
5,134,781
5.4%

* Volkswagen Group includes sales figures for Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands.

** Industry total takes into account Automotive News estimates for brands such as Tesla (1700 April units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

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.

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95 Comments on “U.S. Auto Brand Sales Results – April 2015 YTD: Almost As Good As Expected...”


  • avatar
    Speed3

    Jeep has consistently grown at 20% every month for almost two years. Its not impossible for them to hit 1 million sales in the U.S. this year (which is crazy growth).

    I also think FCA could overtake Toyota in U.S. sales in 2016 or 2017 depending on how well the Maserati and Alfa Romeo turnarounds go.

    Finally, yayee for Cadillac

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      FCA’s overtake of Toyota is going to be from continued growth from RAM and Jeep, not Masarati and Alfa Romeo.

      Masarati’s sales are low and will continue to be low due to their market position. I doubt Alfa Romeo will be a position to be offering meaningful numbers to FCA’s US sales numbers in less than 2 years.

      Of course FCA’s biggest problem is still its over-reliance on the Jeep and RAM brands. If there is a sudden spike in fuel prices then there goes their sales momentum.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed3

        I disagree. There aren’t too many more models Jeep and RAM can add to their portfolios. Under a best circumstances scenario, there is a natural ceiling on the volume FCA can get out of its Jeeps and Rams.

        However, there IS a lot of room for FCA to grow is car market share. The vision is for Alfa Romeo and Masersri to (combined) cover the same market as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus. FCA is missing out on a lot of segments. Obviously Alfa/Maserati isn’t going to be selling around 30k units a month, but once all the product holes are filled, 15-20k units a month isn’t unfathemable from them — it also puts FCA right at Toyota volume.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Actually, FCA needs to get back to the “C” in its name and produce more Dodge and Chrysler models for the American market. Alfa should be a high-priced premium vehicle, which argues for limited production, not volume.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I find it odd that FCA North America does not have enough cars in its portfolio since a condition of Chrysler’s sale to Fiat was the development and release of small fuel efficient cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            I do think it was Sergio that would of led Chrysler down the path it has gone with SUVs and pickups.

            That’s where the cash is at the moment. Far greater profits in pickups and SUVs.

            Why build many cars, just enough to keep your finger in the pie.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – currently that strategy is paying off but how long will they continue to buy EPA credits?
            I suspect that FCA will have no choice but to downsize engines in the Ram lineup. The Pentastar is rumoured to be going turbo and that will push the 5.7 hemi to niche performance status. The Vm Motori diesel may find its way into more stuff to buy them some breathing room. Marchionne did say that the VM 3.0 was temporary in the Ram so they better have something up their sleeves or will be really screwed when MPG/Emissions rules tighten even more.

            Perhaps that is why Marchionne is desperately seeking a merger partner!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Whilst those pickup and SUV profits roll in I don’t think FCA will change.

            Ram urgently needs a refresh. If Ram were smart they would keep the same platform and add aluminium door, bed, etc and re-rate the springing;)

            I do know Chrysler when Daimler was apart of them designed a V8 during the Phoenix project (Pentastar). This engine was developed parallel to a similar V6 that is currently in use by MB. Very similar engines.

            The Pentastar was originally targeting a 10% FE improvement over the average of V6 back at the beginning of the Century (2000). It only managed 7%.

            Just have a look at the MB V8 and get an idea on what FE and power the next FCA “Pentastar” V8 will offer.

            The “Pentastar” V8 was touted as a Hemi replacement. It will be around 5 litres, give or take. Similar to Fords Coyote in that is could offer a realistic alternative to the larger 6 litre V8s.

            Also, the Pentastar is limited on how much it can produce if it is turbocharged.

            The Pentastar based Maserati engine has had structural changes to the block to manage the additional load.

            I read that the Pentastar as is, is only capable of managing a turbo up to 3.2 litres.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “FCA’s biggest problem is still its over-reliance on the Jeep and RAM brands.”

        For now, that’s a blessing. Europe is the most serious problem at the moment (and I have my doubts that his desired partnership with PSA would necessarily fix it.)

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      CTS is down 47% YOY and, the 3rd gen is just 1 1/2 years young. Yikes!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    When I look at the new Escalade – I see classic transportation design. Not cars or trucks but art deco steam trains.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Like many other boomers, I went through a decophile stage in the ’80s. But it soon wore off and deco items began mentally evoking that certain musty smell just like Art & Science has been evoking for the past 5 years.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I didn’t say that it was a good thing. It should say to the average buyer: “If the price of gas goes up this thing will cost to operate what the BN&SF railroad does.”

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Ah.. I was def to your metafor.

          But Deco and Art & Science *were* pretty good in their day. I just wonder why Cadillac doesn’t realize that day is over, particularly when they’re all SoHo hip now.

          • 0 avatar
            Liger

            Cadillac actually did a pre release update to the Escalade where they toned down the bling.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I see an amazing boatload of chrome. With the sun at the right angle those things could zap someone retinas right out of their head.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    At 1st glance, those were two domestic hearses. It’s those chrome strips that flip up after the doors. But the new Mercedes dealer in Murrieta I was talking to said the only thing keeping the lights on is Sprinter Vans. They were on a back row, but now the vans are front row joe.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Interesting in that overall Sprinters are only about 10% of Mercedes total sales, though not every Mercedes dealer is an authorized Sprinter dealer.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And Scion gasps…kill………..me. Volvo looks over at Scion and goes…yes……..kill…………me.

    Mazda had a good month, but they aren’t moving up on the year.

    The death of the Sonic seems to be exaggerated, and the Trax did well.

    Buick got problems.

    Lincoln seems to be clawing its way back from the brink.

    Subuaru is on an absolute tear.

    Canyon/Colorado still production constrained at 10K a month (roughly)

    Look at Jeep go.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Is Colorado/Canyon production “constrained” at 10K a month, or is 100K units a year already overly optimistic? It’d be one thing if they had the assembly line to just the twins, but they have to shut down assembly of the FS van twins that have to be wildly profitable.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I wouldn’t say that the full size vans are wildly profitable the vast majority of them are strippo fleet specials w/o a lot of options which are where the high margins are. So far the Coloryon seems to mainly be on the lot at higher retail focused trims.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          That’s what I’ve seen. Look on Autotrader and it is almost impossible to find a stripper Canyon, and there aren’t many stripper Colorados.

          They have a Canyon at the GMC dealer by my house.

          Holy not a midsize Batman, looks about the size of a GMT-800 truck give or take, buit more narrow. I didn’t sit inside but the interior appears narrow, but it also seems very nicely appointed. Definitely attractive. Love the front clip, the side view is weird, really weird, with the curving lines.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I don’t see many base model fleet queen base trim small trucks. I suspect that GM is doing the same thing that Ford is doing which is release most of the new model Colorado/Canyon’s in mid to high end trim to fleece early adopters.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            You will not see many for a while.

            Wentzville is flat out making pickups.

            I wonder if GM has any plans to expand production………..offshore even.

            I do know some global Colorado’s are going to take on the US shape.

            Especially with the cab chassis version.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Here a comment you might find interesting.

            “GM currently produces the Chevy Colorado in both Thailand and Brazil. While neither of these countries is part of the trade partnership group, these countries have free trade agreements with other nations. Basically, GM could export the Colorado from Thailand to Malaysia, modify it, and then re-export it to the USA tariff-free. While it’s hard to imagine this happening right away (GM has adequate capacity in the USA for the Colorado and GMC Canyon), if sales heated up, GM might find importing the truck financially viable.”

            Believe it or not we are supposed to have the US styled Colorado in Australia this year. Probably to counter the new Ranger.

            If GM must do this, it really makes a mockery of the Chicken Tax as a pathetic idea.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah the vans are mostly strippers, but the tooling, R&D, platform were paid off years ago. There’s a lot more to it than what’s a truck’s gross invoice. The pickups are 20 to $40K retail and right now the pendulum is swinging to 40. But without high volume, it hardly matters what they go for. BOF pickups are ugly expensive to build, considering the almost endless combinations. With vans, not so much. Not even a 4wd or manual. And mostly all white.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            All the more reason to skew the production to the pickups if they can actually sell them since they have a lot of costs to amortize on those. So I don’t think that the mid size pickups are truly production constrained but instead strategically constrained to maximize the time until they have to start offering discounts to clear out excess inventory.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            GM has to be realistic too. The Tacoma still has them 2:1. Much beyond that and we’re talking bigtime cash on the hood. CA is still midsize truck central and Toyota is King.

            As we’ve seen, the midsize twins have been diverting consumers away from other GM autos and trucks in a huge way, many of them clearly more profitable and with amortization of their own to worry about.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            GM is in the unfortunate position that it’s Wentzville plant is producing as many Colorado Canyon pickups they can.

            So, your comment is really uneducated.

            A couple of years ago when GM announced it will bring the Colorado Canyon into the US market they stated that they will produce 120k per year.

            It seems they’ve hit that ceiling already.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – What’s the difference? Whether GM is just being realistic, or reluctant to put more than 10K of the twins on the ground each month, it’s still a “ceiling”. Point is GM could physically build lots more. Furthermore I thought the point was to sell ALL YOU CAN!!!

          • 0 avatar

            DenverMike, if they’ve hit a ceiling or not remains to be seen. I’m sure GM is watching and if they feel it is warranted they will expand production. I think you worry too much about amortization. If that was the overriding factor taken into consideration no new car would be launched ever. And don’t worry, your full sizes are safe in North America. The smaller twins will carve out a nice profitable niche for themselves while the bigger twins will go on selling robustly there.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hey Marcelo!,
            Another point our US commenters must realise is much of the development cost for the Colorado was done years ago.

            The US represents a small percentage of Colorado (as in platform vs model) production.

            There are currently four variants of the “Colorado” platform currently in production globally.

            GM has a far greater chance of making the Colorado a success than Ford does with the aluminium F-150.

            The F-150 is only competitive in one market region. The Colorado platform appears to be rather successful on a global basis.

            I don’t think GM will expand Colorado Canyon production to quickly. I think it’s “feeling” out the market first.

            I do know there will be some global Colorados with the US body. Maybe imported Colorados external to NAFTA is what the future holds to supplement US production.

            Believe it or not we used to have Navaras imported from Thailand and Spain.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al!

            Agree on all points. We too imported the Frontier from Thailand here, the new one, though I don’t know if that has been “nationalized” yet ( I think so).

            We call it Frontier because Navara would be endlessly embarrassing in Portuguese.

            Makers play on a global field. While there is still space for “local” offerings and some of them are great hits, makers think on a worldwide scale. North America is just a piece in the puzzle and people do forget that a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No the point is, or it should be, to make as much money as possible. It should not be to sell as many as you can w/o regard to overall profit. With the fact that 90% of their sales so far have come from people who already owned GM products only 1 in 10 sales are potentially resulting in an incremental increase in gross profits. The problem is that now they have to amortize the costs of the development work and tooling to bring it up to US specs/market preferences and those same expenditures for those other vehicles will have to be amortized across fewer units.

            So for every Silverado, Malibu ect that didn’t sell because of the sale of a Canyodo the other Silverados and Malibus became less profitable.

            Plain and simple it is looking like the midsize twins are a huge failure where it really matters, the bottom line.

            So it GM is really showing that Ford knows what it is doing by not bringing the Global Ranger to the US. Ford has repeatedly stated that the reason they are not bringing it here is because they don’t see it as profitable. The reason they give for it not being profitable is because it will cut into sales of their other products. And Ford even had the benefit of designing the Global Ranger to be the F100 in the US market from the get go so it would only be a matter of tooling up the US specific parts rather than the significant changes that GM had to make.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hey Marcelo!
            Is the Nissan Navara named from the Spanish Navarra region?

            If so who cares.

            At least in Spanish Navara doesn’t translate into anything nasty in Portuguese, or does it?;)

            Like someone from Oporto farting.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude,
            I’d have as much faith in your belief that most Colorado Canyon sales are cannibalised from existing GM pickups as that great Ford comment.

            “When we cease Ranger production and concentrate on F-150 production the Ranger customer will move over into other Ford products.”

            I suppose you believe that comment to.

            If GM is improving full size sales better than it’s opposition, then using the additional Colorado Canyon numbers would make it appear the sales are primarily coming from other sources than GM.

            It isn’t Toyota Tacoma or the Nissan Frontier either.

            Hmmmmm………flawed logic.

          • 0 avatar

            @Scoutsdude. Don’t think so. There are other considerations. Makers look into the future and hunt and feel out the opportunities there. By making the smaller twins GM is showing they think this is the way to go. If profits on A car are smaller than on B car it doesn’t really matter if the segment the A car is in is growing while the other car is in a shrinking segment.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al. It would seem the Navara is a “homage” to Navarra. Wish they would get the spelling right though. just checked and in Mexico and Argentina it is called Frontier while in Spain it is called Navara. Weirdly enough in Portugal it is Navara, too, so maybe there slang terms are different (lol).

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Al as usual you don’t understand how business works. GM had to spend millions to make the twins legal to sale and acceptable to customers in the US. It was not designed for the US market from the get go. It is GM’s own press release that stated that only 10% of the vehicles that the buyers are replacing are non GM vehicles.

            The original intention was not to discontinue the Ranger it was to add the F100. However in the mean time the gov’t required stability control on all vehicles and the market for compact trucks all but dried up. So the Ranger was discontinued. The F100 was decided to be too close to the F150, in too small of a segment, to make good business sense to bring to market. The GM twins are proving that out.

            Marcello, yes it can be strategic to enter into a growing market but not if it isn’t something that will be profitable in any reasonable amount of time. The GM twins are not going to add to the bottom line. The investment was a waste it would have been smarter to invest that money in their vehicles in the midsize CUV the quickly growing segment that is getting more competitive.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            While profitability was sure to be slim in a fairly niche and low volume market, it’s compounded by the Colorado/Canyon eating away at GM’s own vehicles, with about all being more profitable than the twins. The Silverado/Sierra are way, way more profitable. Exponentially!

            Right now GM is losing one sale of a GM vehicle for every 9 of 10 Colorado/Canyons sold, and if that doesn’t change fairly quick, we WILL see GM limit Colorado/Canyon production even further, or completely pull the plug on North America midsize pickups..

            All this in-house cannibalizing has to come as a complete shock to GM, but you never know with them. And it’s not like they’re ones to admit a mistake.

            Deep down, GM had to figure the twins were probably going to be losers. And never mind all the OEMs that ditched their compact and midsize truck offerings in (OR RAN SCREAMING FROM) North America. They must not know what they were doing..

          • 0 avatar

            but scoutdude, it is not a waste, the truck was already here! for a company like GM federalizing the S10 cum Colorado whatever is not a huge deal. and they get 100 000 k sales a year. Why is that bad?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            They probably aren’t going to get annual sales of 100k units over the life cycle of the truck. The low conquest figures are a very bad sign, an indication that current sales reflect pent-up demand that will be burned off within a year or two.

          • 0 avatar

            STOP SHOUTING

            doesn’t help your case

          • 0 avatar

            @Pch
            Sure, but there must be a point there somewhere. if, as the current flimsy data points to, they are only gaining GM customers there will be hurt (not a world of hurt, but surely hurt), but GM can ride it out. Mid sizers make a lot of sense. As general prosperity goes on, having a truck like this will help in the US market. How many Tacoma buyers are legacy? How many can be brought into the fold? Can’t be done overnight, and can’t be done within a few years either.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Mid sizers make a lot of sense.”

            In this market, they don’t.

            In the US, small trucks gained a foothold as fun alternatives to compact cars that were more fuel efficient than the gas guzzlers that were the US norm before the OPEC crisis. The world has changed a lot since then; they are no longer so fuel efficient, and most of those lifestyle buyers have moved on to SUVs and crossovers.

            GM was fighting the trend by moving into a shrinking market. Of the major automakers, GM tends to make the most mistakes in its pursuit of unprofitable niches.

            To append to this, another problem is that the rise of crossovers replacing body-on-frame SUVs provides less opportunity for platform sharing, which means that it will take more sales or higher prices in order to justify the new crop of trucks. There was a time not long ago when this platform could have been also used by a compact/midsized SUV, which would have helped with the cost amortization, but that is no longer true.

          • 0 avatar

            I mostly agree with you Pch, but then again…
            If the midsizers have lower running costs, if American gasoline gets and stays high, GM has an alternative sold the world over. or else the market never moves and moves it does. Federalized it has been, selling it is. Better looking than most of the toys against it it is (personal opinion)…Keep at it GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            To make it work, it will require some combination of price and volume. It probably won’t have enough of either to justify the expense of designing it, retooling for it, promoting it and otherwise supporting it.

            Again, the evolution of the crossover makes it that much tougher. Toyota sells enough to justify it; at this point, it’s fair to wonder whether Nissan should stay in the game, let alone GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Marcelo, the Colorado was not here and what they had was not up to US safety standards. They had to engineer many changes to make it to meet the standards, tool up for those unique parts, make changes to the plant that produces it and then certify it. That represents a significant investment. I’ve heard that it was near $1b to bring it to market. So far they are only getting about 10% conquest sales. As PCH pointed out that tends to indicate that a lot of that is pent up demand. That means that the sales will be very likely to drop off significantly.

            In fact when the last Colorado was discontinued they stated they had no intention of bringing its replacement to the US, which of course is why they didn’t make it US ready from the get go.

            As PCH pointed out GM does not have a track history of making smart choices, and this will go down in history as another one of those bad decisions.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Scoutdude! Thanks for keeping it civil. Again, my “thesis” on this thread is: GM has a credible worldwide “midsizer” in its hands. Though hardly poised to throw the Silverado out of whack ((in the American market) it does throw a kidney or 2 into the Hilux’s virtual monopoly on the market, More choice are you against that?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Variety is not the spice of life when it costs several hundred million dollars to add a flavor that few people want and that could have been satisfied by another GM product.

            One of the hidden costs of offering this is the sales lost to some other platform that was already developed and would have otherwise been bought if this had not been available. So not only did this cost a lot of money, but it took profit (or loss reduction) away from something else. That’s a lot of expense just to add perhaps 5,000 conquests since the launch.

            “I’ve heard that it was near $1b to bring it to market.”

            GM claimed that it spent $380 million on the plant in Missouri. (Perhaps some of this would have been spent anyway, but it’s not hard to believe that this was necessary.) http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/company_info/facilities/assembly/wentzville.html

            I can’t recall where I saw it, but I believe that the cost of federalization and upgrading to US spec cost about $300 million.

            Of course, those aren’t the only costs. So $1 billion is probably in the ballpark.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m certainly not opposed to more choice. So far it doesn’t look like they are any threat to Toyota at all. I expected them to be more of a threat to the Nissan who seemed to pickup the most of the fleet buyers that had been purchasing the Colorado and Ranger. Though with the initial model mix they are clearly targeting the consumer. That does indicate good business sense. Start with the high end models and limit discounts to get maximum profit from the pent up demand. Then when that starts to slide turn up the base model production.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            So we are at about $680m before tooling that isn’t in the plant, stocking the parts supply channels, marketing ect. So maybe that is only $800m. So $800m to gain maybe 100k total incremental sales over a 10 year span. So $8,000 per unit to “buy” those sales. There goes that profit and we are not including the profit lost on other lines due to increasing the per unit cost by amortizing their costs over fewer units.

            Yes at this point the Colorado and Canyon certainly look like failures where it matters most, the bottom line. If it turns out that the current sales are mainly driven by pent up demand then the outlook is even worse.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude,
            Your views on business and investment appears to be at best marginal.

            So, if the Colorado Canyon will fail due to a 120k annual sales rate with a $800 million investment (cough).

            Then;
            The F-150 is already a flop. $10 billion has gone into that vehicle already.

            Using your numbers even if Ford sell 1.4 million F-150s per year it is a failure.

            Your numbers don’t add up.

            I’d believe the North American VW CEO comment regarding the manufacture of pickups for the US market. He made a statement on bringing the Amarok into the US market and stated it wasn’t viable because VW needed a 100k market per year to manufacture the Amarok within NAFTA.

            The only other option for the US to receive the Amarok was the lifting of the Chicken Tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101,
            So, your comment states that no vehicle should enter the US market if it poses a threat to another “established” competitive model??

            This comment cements my total opposition to your belief on the role of vehicle manufacturers.

            You are totally anti competitive. A complete Luddite.

          • 0 avatar
            bizzarodave

            @Big Al

            Where are you getting your $10b figure from? Was it published anywhere, or is this your own estimate? FWIW, I bet the full-fat investment on the new F150 is something like half your number.

            Manufacturing hasn’t cost that much since the days before flexible bodyshops and fewer truly hard tools that work for only one program. The only way it could have cost as your estimate is if an entirely new plant was built, and even then maybe not.

            I realize that AL content probably meant a larger changeover for the bodyshop than other programs, but even still most of the line in final assembly was probably reworked rather than scrapped. The paint shop would be fine since that’s probably carryover.

            I just can’t find my way to $10b. Is there anyone out there saying that? For reference, someone who worked at Ford in the 90s told me they thought the final tally for Contour/Mondeo was about $6b all in, and that had very little common engineering or tooling, was installed in 2 different markets, was done before flexible bodyshops, etc. I just can’t find my way to our $10b figure.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bizzarodave,
            It is partly my estimate and from information I’ve gathered.

            I do think you need to read up more on the cost of bringing a completely new platform to the market and at that using new materials and manufacturing technology.

            The cost doesn’t include the massive amount of money Alcan had used in developing the technology for Ford to use. Alcan developed the bonding technology for the F-150. I think Ford is the only company allowed to use it as well.

            If GM goes more toward aluminium I don’t think they will go down the same path as Ford. GM will replace panels, door, etc and use a high tensile steel body/chassis.

            Here are some examples of design, development cost of pickups.

            1. Global Colorado; initial spend $2.5 billion (2010). The Colorado project was cut short due to the GFC. Hence the delayed rollout in the US. The US Colorado is what the Colorado should of been.

            2. VW Amarok; $3 billion (2009)

            3. Global Ranger/BT50; $3.5 billion (2010)

            So as you can see if we are talking in 2015 dollars the increase will be around 15%-20% more for the above vehicles.

            This would bring the old school or conventional Ranger, which within reach of your estimate for the F-150.

            Also, the Ranger didn’t have to invest into engines or drivetrains as they existed.

            Much was taken from the US F-150 as well.

            The aluminium F-150 might end up being a very large white elephant for Ford.

            Unlike the Edsel it will sell, but maybe not in a large enough quantity. The resources consumed to bring it to market would give many a top level Ford exec sleepless nights.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Even with the 10 billion you pulled out from nowhere, it’s completely doable with F-series obscene profits. The F-series has been averaging around 2.5 billion in pre tax profits a year, consistently for the last 20 years. After 4 years into production (if 10b was close to being true), and it’s all gravy. The next redesign will be much cheaper, and that could be up to 20 years away!

            So it’s real silly to bring up the new F-150’s upfront losses to compare to the Colorado/Canyon’s. World of difference. It surely helps that the twins have global sales to help with R&D, but combined profits are nowhere near what fullsize (Detroit) pickups draw in.

            Combined, the Hilux and Tacoma rival F-series production figures, but F-series profits are in another dimension. Meaning profits of the global GM/Isuzu Colorado can’t be much to write home about.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The number of reasons to ignore a post from BAFO exceeds the number of dollars spent on developing the F-series.

            If he is claiming that the R&D for the F-series was $10 billion, then that only proves how dimwitted he is. That would equal about 1.5-2 years of Ford’s total R&D spending, company wide, for everything.

            He’s a clown. Just scroll past him and ignore his “wisdom.”

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Big Al even if Ford did spend $10b developing the F150 it was still a great business decision. It is their best selling and most important model which competes in a growing competitive segment.

            Additionally the money spent on the F150 was not spent on purely the F150. The spent a lot of money on developing new technology, process and 1 new engine. That technology processes and engine will make it to other models in the future. Maybe not immediately but it will eventually make it down to other models. Meanwhile competitors will be forced to meet that technology with their own which will be more expensive since A. it will be done with inflated dollars and B. Ford earned a number of patents on the new technology either locking out the others or facing them to pay royalties.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            I think all of the big 3 looked at coming CAFE standards and how to take them on. Dodge is in with the eco diesel and transmissions with more gears than an 18 wheeler. Ford went all in with turbos and aluminum. GM apparently missed the boat and figured maybe they could shrink the full size since their new truck was the same old same old. They must be concerned that this isn’t the right call since they have decided to go to Aluminum on the full size rigs. I predict the twins will end up withering on the vine eventually just as pretty much every mid size truck in this market does. Even the successful ones have really long lives between model changes. GM will likely drop it with a whimper in a few years.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I wouldn’t say GM missed the boat, but rather took the best approach, though Dodge isn’t far behind.
            The 5.3 is doing 16/23
            The 6.2 is at 15/21 or 15/22 in SUVs

            While Fords ecoboost, in the expy is only doing 16/22, so for a far more reliable engine with less moving parts, and more HP you lose one city MPG. And real world testing has already shown Turbo gas engines to be all talk no MPG.
            The 5.0 is about the same as the 6.2, but less power.
            The EB in the 150 does do 18/25, if you ignore what people are getting in the real world.

            Either way Dodge is in the best position, they have power and MPG availible for thousands less than either Ford or GM, they just don’t have the fanboyism that keeps people blindly buying their trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I just love reading the crap “published” by my NA counterparts.

            Most any comment they use to justify their arguments are tainted and can be exposed as shams.

            From, we can’t introduce any competitive product to enter the market as it will affect “established” brands/models, to the misconceived views on the performance of Colorado Canyon and it’s numbers.

            I pity those above for their limited ability driven by emotion and not logic.

            1. This FE issue regarding CAFE. Ford was the heaviest of the full size 1/2 ton pickups. Yet these people will argue until they are blue in the face on how good it is that the new aluminium F-150 lost 700lbs and it’s good for FE…1mpg is all they found!!!!!

            2. Yet, these very same people argue until they are blue in the face about their perceived view on the pitfalls of the FE advantage in a midsize, even though they weigh 1 000lbs less. They claim they return the same FE as a full size.

            What did Ford (and the above commenters) expect with a 700lb weight reduction from the heaviest pickup, if a midsize can’t get better FE returns with a 1 000lbs less and a smaller frontal area (according to them)?

            2. It seems Ram has found the best solution to improving FE in large vehicles. This is by the use of diesel. Maybe large commercial trucks, ie, tractor and trailers should use diesel engines, this will save them money.

            3. It appears Ford has spent $10 billion to find another 1mpg in real terms. As I’ve pointed out the other gains were primarily made through engine/drivetrain choices.

            I wish Ford would of given me $10 billion to improve the F-150, I would be living the life with my own private jet on the French Riviera or Monaco and provide the most competitive pickup for Ford.

            4. GM is going down a slightly different path than Ford. Hopefully GM has learnt by Ford’s mistake in the complete adaptation of aluminium. I’d bet GM will only use aluminium on any part that is “bolted” onto the pickup and possibly the bed.

            The best possible solution in the US would of been to adapt to what the rest of the world is doing and remove those draconian protective measures like the chicken tax, CAFE, etc that protect large vehicles in the US like the US 1/2 ton pickup.

            But, the above paragraph is anti American I believe.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – What could a global OEM possibly throw at fullsize pickups, including Titans/Tundras, to make a dent worth mentioning? The lifestyle Colorado was expected to set the US pickup market on fire. Other than minor damage to GM pickups, yeah right.

            If global OEMs can some day come up with something that can lure America away, who says they’d want to put up with us??

            As if they can’t see the Titan/Tundra/Ridgeline struggle from way over there. Plus all the other failures since the ’80s Mini-Truck Trend/Craze/Circus.

            I’d say global OEMs know a wee bit more than BAFO. The little Colorado/Canyon experiment just reinforces what’s been known for decades. Midsize pickups are hardly on radar of fullsize pickup buyers/lovers. Not any more than compact roadsters..

            And mostly midsize pickups and the Titan/Tundra/Ridgeline are just as “protected” as any other pickups. Or does the Chicken tax only protect the Ram, Silverado, Sierra and F-150???

            They’re just protected by AWESOME. Or is there an advantage to midsize, other than size (sometimes) that America just doesn’t realize? Well speak up son..

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – what ever it cost Ford, it wasn’t just aluminum, but an all new generation with enough techy features to embarrass a German luxo barge. Besides the 10B you pulled out of your arse, around 3 billion was what it takes for an all new, but simple/limited by comparison, midsize pickups.

            But do not worry your pretty little head what Ford spent on F-150 R&D. Lots more reasons for aluminum trucks than mpg. But marginal “fleet” improvement from aluminum F-series ( yes F-150 R&D went to Superdutys) is HUGE considering F-series volume.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Cool Story Other Al. Tell me more about the “perception” that midsize trucks have similar fuel economy to full sizers. In 17,000ish miles my Frontier has averaged 17.28 MPG. The best I have ever gotten out of a tank was 23MPG between Louisville and North Georgia. I love the truck, but fuel economy is NOT the strength of any of these trucks. I put up with it because: 1. It replaced an 80 series Land Cruiser that averaged just under 10MPG and never bested 14 on the highway and 2. I love the VQ40. Anyway, those MPGs are pretty close to observed fuel economy in full sized trucks (They seem to do a little better). This is a 2013 Frontier…Nissan actually threw a couple of MPG improving tricks at it (lower friction pistons and some stupid aero tricks). I just hope they have fixed the “Mixing coolant and transmission fluid” and the “Self Destructing Timing Chain Guide” tricks. I keep my eyes peeled for both so I’m not sweating.

            Now I know you will come back with the “we don’t get the good versions” argument. I would counter with the argument that there is no reason the OEMs don’t sell the “good ones” here other than the millions they spend on market research says they won’t sell. The Chicken Tax is out since these are trucks on sale here already and specifically in the case of the Frontier it is a global model…the motors would drop in. Mine has all the mounts for RHD under the hood so it isn’t that different. That and all of those same part numbers on chassis components on a Navarra I was under. I have driven the “good ones” and my VQ40 destroys them in day to day situations and is vastly more fun. I like diesels in certain situations but most of the diesel love is I think a case of the grass being greener. I have a friend with a 60 Series Land Cruiser with a newer JDM diesel. It is fun, but man the maintenance regimen makes my old 1FZ-FE seem like a corolla by comparison, and that thing had an intensive maintenance routine.

            I love me some midsize trucks to the point I spent 22k on one. But had I had 30k to spend I would be driving a bigger truck. Honestly what I want is my truck (base S trim) with the pro 4x running gear. But I really only need 2WD and the 4WD would likely hurt my fuel economy. I am not an outsider on MPG either…checking the forums shows I am on the high end for a crew cab.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            And Hummer, you may be right about Dodge being in the best position. I think Ford is right there because they have the many geared transmissions in the pipeline and they have access to global diesels in their portfolio should the ecodiesel catch on. Those are quicker to implement than Dodge going on a diet. I just don’t know about GM but you are right about their motors…they are solid.

            Funny thing is I drove a rental transit 350 with the V6. I would like to see a truck on that platform with F100 badges on the side. It is a solid vehicle. I am sure a lighter duty version than the 350 would be great as a truck for what most private owners use their F150 for.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s time that the US resumed its above-ground nuclear testing program. The Australian Outback would be perfect.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Big Al for Oz Smaller trucks are not the answer to CAFE, larger trucks are the answer. The bigger the footprint the lower the required MPG. Make a truck with a small footprint and it needs significantly better mpg than the big truck.

            The long term answer is aluminum and other light weight materials, umpteen speed transmission, small turbo gas engines, and hybridization.

            Dodge decided to buy multispeed transmissions for now, since they don’t have big bucks to spend on development.

            GM is starting with the multispeed transmissions soon and aluminum shortly after that.

            Ford started with the small turbo engines when everyone else were sitting on their hands. Then they went to work on lightweighting, which is here now, umpteen speed transmissions which will be here next year and hybridization which will show up in a few more years. They have also hedged their bets by certifying a small turbo diesel for the Transit.

            So the score as it stands right now:

            GM 0, with a ball in play that will score next year and another ball to put in play.

            Ram 1 with no ball to put in play anytime soon.

            Ford 2 with a ball in play that will score next year and another ball to put in play.

            Yes Ram has a small diesel but the prospect for that being a long term solution is small since the current conventional wisdom says that 2020 emissions standards will eliminate that option.

            Ford has a diesel in its pocket that it can pull out for a slam dunk anytime it wants. If they decided to use it in the short term they could have it to market in just a few months since it is already certified.

            Seems to me that Ford is far in the lead.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdued,
            Oh, boy. You just keep on arriving at silly comments, like your friend DiM.

            I never stated that. You are the ones who create these imaginary problems.

            All I have ever stated was the removal of barriers that are protecting US commercial vehicles. That includes the chicken tax.

            Then use what we use as import controls. I’m not saying Japan, EU or whatever. So don’t go down that avenue.

            We don’t deny full size pickups, so there is nothing to worry about. External to the US full size pickups aren’t manufactured, so don’t worry about that.

            What my belief is, why not allow the consumer, the American the freedom of choice to buy what they want.

            Not what is regulated for them. In the US you can buy any pickup you want, only if it’s made in NAFTA.

            That’s my point.

            You guys are the ones who keep on dragging it out by generating dumb ass claims on ways to not allow true and free competition in the US light truck segment.

            If full size pickups are as strong in the market as you claim, then why stop imports?

            And don’t say we already have enough choice. Because there is a lot more choice out there.

            Why not allow for free enterprise in the US is all I’m stating.

            Why don’t you guys just state the truth. You feel the competition is to large and it will impact the American Big 3. There can be no other reason for your views, as they hold no logic.

            Or you are driven to your comment through political affiliations and the like.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – if Ford did indeed spend 10 billion on the change over to aluminum that cost is not going to be amortized by the F150 alone. The F250, F350 and F450 will also become aluminum.

            Aluminum will most likely be of greater benefit for the HD class since they all tend to sit at the top end of their respective GVW classes.
            People don’t buy many F150’s with max cargo in mind but they sure as hell do buy F350’s and F450’s with max tow or haul in mind. Ram and GM will be unable to beat ford in the HD capacity wars if those trucks drop 700-1000 lbs.

            Ford also stated that aluminum would be an option in other products. In their mind it made the most sense to do the changeover with their most profitable and largest volume product.

            Saying that the F150 is an entirely new product isn’t entirely true. With the exception of the 2.7 Ecoboost the drivetrain is a carry-over. The interior, body and frame are new. Other than the snout and tailgate, the truck doesn’t look much different than the previous truck which was deliberate on Ford’s part.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            It would be nice to know which vehicles were being traded off on Colorado’s and Canyons.
            It would be a benefit to GM if it was from a lower cost model into the Colorado. I haven’t seen many but all of the one’s I’ve seen so far have been closer to the high end of the trim scale.
            A high trade in rate on 40K Colorado’s that currently don’t have rebates (at least in Canada) is a win for GM.

            Comparable GM full sized pickup are selling with 8-10k factory rebates. That would indicate that the Colorado/Canyon duo in higher model trim is going to be more profitable than a discounted Sierra/Silverado.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            I haven’t stated otherwise.

            My concern is Ford will not be able to challenge the other pickup manufacturers.

            Ford will have to command a higher price in the future.

            Also, the regulatory controls is creating a commercial vehicle sector that will make the US closer to becoming a Jurassic Park.

            I think it’s beyond the point of return the differences that are being created in the US market.

            This will come back to haunt them. At least the Canadians are looking to the EU, this might end up being your savior.

            You know my views. The US’es share of the world is shrinking year by year. The rest of the world is travelling down a different highway.

            It will cost the US consumer,it already is. My proof. They are paying 22% more for a pickup than a car.

            Are those jobs worth the hundreds of billions wasted every year?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Al, in case you missed it Ford did raise their prices, anywhere from about $750 on the cheapest models to near $3000 on the high end models. They have also been able to avoid the up to $8~9,000 discounts that GM and Ram are using to move their trucks.

            For my zip code here are the current incentives.

            Ford $2550 for 2.7 XLT, $750 on other versions 3.9% for 60mos

            Ram $8000 for premium package, $4000 on others 0% for 60mos

            GM $8500 for crew cab 4×4 LT, $2250 for other versions, 2.9% for 60mos

            So not only did Ford raise prices they lowered incentives for a double boost to profits. So far they are still holding their lead as the best selling truck even with the higher prices. Ford has stated that profits are more important than taking the best selling title and so far they are boosting profits significantly and holding on to the best selling title despite the fact that they are limiting fleet sales to meet retail demand.

            Here are the YTD stats on pickup sales. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2015/05/usa-pickup-truck-sales-figures-april-2015-ytd.html

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            “BOF pickups are ugly expensive to build”

            I do think you have made another dumb ass statement.

            Here’s a cut and paste to whet your appetite;

            ” Morgan Stanley analyst as saying the Ford F-Series is responsible for 90 percent of the company’s 2012 profits”

            Read the link;

            http://www.autoblog.com/2013/06/11/pickup-prices-rising-at-2x-industry-average/

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude,
            You’re sounding very much like DiM;)

            That is not any proof. Since a 25% profit is gained from them.

            We’ll see what the profit at the end of the year is. That will tell me what it is costing Ford.

            Read the link I just gave to DiM your symbiotic twin;) If you get my drift. Hopefully there can’t be two of you on TTAC;)

            Okay, DiM;)

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Ford has not tried to hide the fact that the Aluminum F150 costs them more to build, in the range of $1250~$1500. So yeah they are eating some of the extra cost on the base trucks and on the high end ones they were able to increase the price about double of the increase in cost. Add in the fact that they were able to reduce incentives significantly and the profit margin increased significantly.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Subaru looks like they will pass VW Group in sales this year.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Looks like Honda is still paying the price from all those sales the pulled forward with the bigger than normal discounts at the beginning of the year. Reeks of “the old GM” where they have big discounts that only draw demand forward and cut into profits.

    So it will be interesting to see if they bring out some big discounts in a month or two which results in pulling even more demand forward. leading to a bigger drop off in sales when that particular program expires. Then just keep repeating with ever increasing discounts and lower and lower profits.

  • avatar

    Actually Chrysler had the biggest month over month increase but it is not mentioned in the article.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Well Porsche, but seriously what happened over at Chrysler? That had to be the 200 alone didn’t it?

      Minivans haven’t restarted production yet I don’t think, and I don’t see the 300 magically doing that…

      Yep, just looked, the 200 has doubled its year-to-date sales over last years figure. In fact the 200 is the only midsize car to increase sales last month, every other midsize posted losses.

  • avatar
    raph

    Another good month for Mustang double digit sales again.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Lou_BC,
    The thread is becoming rather long.

    No, HDs will not benefit more, unless they are driven more.

    Using CAFE the car is the vehicle that will benefit most from lighter weights. Cars must meet more stringent FE requirements than any other class of vehicle in the US under CAFE.

    Cars only produce a 3% profit, so aluminium is out of the question due to the chance of gaining a return or making a loss. Plus the US only needs to grab Asian and Euro platforms that already produce the desired FE targets. Engines/drivetrains exist externally to the US.

    HDs fall outside of pickups in that their 8 500lbs attracts a different system of FE evaluation, similar to how the EU measures it’s vehicles.

    Under CAFE 1/2 ton pickups are given a lax formula in comparison to cars. This allow for the use of larger engines. The HD formula is even more lax. It’s almost a sliding scale as vehicles get larger in the US.

    I’d bet the driver behind the F-150 being chosen is primarily driven by the profits it attracts. Also, pickup design isn’t that complex in comparison to a car. So, a pickup would of been easier to produce.

    It’s odd that more business orientated vehicles are adopting a different system, closer to what is used in the EU.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It’s not almost like a sliding scale it is a sliding scale, increase the footprint and the required MPG goes down.

      The heavy light duty trucks class 2 & 3 will benefit even more from the reduced weight, drop the curb weight and the payload and GCWR go up by the same amount. Plus the many of the Class 2 and 3 truck buyers do use their trucks more both in terms of miles per year and amount of time they are used loaded near or at capacity.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @BigAl – MPG isn’t usually an issue with HD pickups but capacity is. Currently HD pickups are capped at the class 3 and 4 limits. They don’t want to move into class 5 or they will have to be built to different standards. If the F450 for example drops 1,000lbs that means it can be rated to carry that much more and still be a class 4 vehicle. Price sensitive operators who drive on paved roads can save a ton of money by using a HD dually pickup as opposed to a commercial variant. If Ford keeps the cargo ratings the same then that amounts to a performance increase at max load i.e. overall the truck is 1,000lbs lighter.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC,
        Then from your comment price sensitive operators will like the Euro style of truck and it will win out over the US style of trucks.

        The larger “HD” 250 Transit with a flat bed and the 3.2 PowerStroke or as we call them Duratorq will be a far more efficient and cheaper vehicle for a business to operate than a HD.

        HDs do have fantastic towing ability, that is about all they can offer. That would be the only reason to buy a HD over a flatbed Transit.

        I’d expect a boom in Transit style trucks then.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Big Al from Oz – there are many jobs you cannot do with a cargo van. I don’t see any loggers with vans. All have HD pickups or class 4-6 service bodied trucks. Same can be said for mining, oil/gas, and agriculture. The only place where vans make sense over pickups are in towns and cities were secure storage is needed.

          Pickup design has become as complex if not more complex than that of cars. Pickups (1/2 ton) regardless of end use need to be designed for work but provide ride and comforts of a car. Ram has chosen the car end of the spectrum and Ford and GM have the work end better covered.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Did I say van?

            You are making mention of Classes of pickups that I term as a truck, not a pickup.

            So, in the forestry industry there is a far greater choice of product available to do what HDs are doing.

            You made mention of the capability of pickups as a work truck. This only represents 25% of the trucks. The rest are cars, hence the fluffy interiors and suspensions.

            The Transits (and many other trucks) also will also come as a cab chassis. Transits from the onset are designed as a work truck.

            A cab chassis style Transit would suit probably more than what half pickup are currently used for in the work environment.

            With a cab chassis a bed can be added that is far more versatile for many businesses.

            What I’m stating according to your comment the “working” pickups can be replaced with alternatives that are just as good and in some instances are cheaper to operate and maybe even more reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Your logic is stuck in reverse. You should have that checked. But do really you expect a fullsize pickup to attain the fuel economy of a car? As as in ‘same’ CAFE standards?

      Beside weight working against them, unloaded of course, the aero drag is horrendous! There’s no getting around that. If they did, they’d no longer be what we refer to as “pickups”.

      So please explain how the EU would do it? That’s right, they’re more lenient on heavier vehicles. Imagine that!!!

      Otherwise, they’d just ban larger vehicles. For work, play, commute, holiday, wouldn’t matter one bit, right? Riiiiight!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Yes BOF pickups are ugly expensive to build. But what does that have to do with the F-series being obscenely profitable? #1 most profitable car in the world, btw.

      So it does take massive profits to offset those horrendous costs of building pickups. This has little to nothing to do with MSRP. High volume is absolutely vital in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thank you DiM,
        Then there is no reason for the Chicken Tax according to the statement you just made.

        Increased competition will force the US manufacturers to reduce the price of pickups.

        Who is getting ripped off?

        The consumer.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – It’s stup!d to think the Chicken tax creates 25% profits for pickups, since importing OEMs easily get around it by something we like to call “loopholes”.

      25% is just an arbitrary number. It could just as well be 2,500,000%

      But if it guaranteed 25% profit, the Tundra, Titan, Frontier, Ridgeline would enjoy that too. And we’d still have every pickup ever sold here, STILL SOLD HERE!!! Why would they go away? Some ran away screaming actually.

      People reward BMW and Mercedes with something pushing 50% profit. Is there a Double Chicken tax involved?? Various BMW and Merc cars (S-class, 3-series, etc) are in close formation, following Detroit pickup’s wild profitability, while only selling a tiny fraction of the those 3 pickups.

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  • Goatshadow: Infinite scrolling is one of the really bad parts of Kinja though. Seriously this site needs to ditch...
  • dukeisduke: Does he own an old Beetle with one of those faux Rolls Royce front ends?
  • dukeisduke: The car I recently bought (2014 Kia Forte LX) for Daughter No. 2, after she totaled the 2013 Cruze LS...

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