By on August 17, 2015

TTAC COTD Tacoma since Colorado:Canyon

In each of the last 28 months, the Toyota Tacoma has been America’s fifth-best-selling pickup truck nameplate.

One might imagine, however, that its ability to succeed in its own sub-category of small/midsize trucks would have weakened over the last ten months. With the introduction of new midsize pickup trucks from General Motors, the best-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks in America, the number of Tacoma competitors increased from one, the Nissan Frontier, to three. 

Yet since the Colorado and Canyon arrived on the market, Tacoma sales have steadily increased on a year-over-year basis. Indeed, the rate of improvement has actually increased of late, as well.

Over the last three months, Tacoma sales jumped 29 percent compared with the same period one year ago. Toyota USA has twice sold more than 17,000 Tacomas in the last three months.

2016_Toyota_Tacoma_TRD_OffRoad_004

True, the overall pickup truck market is booming and Toyota is benefiting from added attention because of a refresh for the 2016 model year.

Meanwhile, Toyota may also be benefiting from increased attention in the category as a whole. The arrival of the Canyon and Colorado last autumn struck a chord with many potential truck buyers. Even as the two GM nameplates combine for approximately 9,400 U.S. sales per month, which didn’t exist for GM in the recent past, Toyota has added an additional 2,500 Tacoma sales per month through the first seven months of 2015.

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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33 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Toyota Tacoma U.S. Sales Growth Is A Thing To Behold...”


  • avatar
    NN

    Resale value. You can buy a Tacoma and know that it won’t break anytime soon and you’ll get a ton of money back when you go to resell it (and a buyer in about 20 minutes after posting your listing). That means at the end of the day, this truck is the best “investment” for someone wanting something new, and everyone seems to know it.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Plus today’s Taco is darn near as large as a ’90s full-sizer. I wonder how many Taco and Colorado sales are simply a result of rejecting modern monsters.

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        Here in Texas – Crew cabs are 80% percent of sales regardless of make.

        In the 90’s – I happily drove a full size regular cab with a short bed – which are still available today, but are only less than 5% of current Silverado sales. They are hard to find, but a base model Silverado can be had for $23K or $24K.

        The above mentioned basic, three passenger, full-size truck is about 1/2 a foot shorter than a Tacoma with an extended cab and a 6 foot cargo bed.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          They’re essentially the same length. 205-210 inches. Turning radius is similar as well. And both are similar to the longest sedans out there, so they both fit in well even in cities.

          The Taco bed is just a smidgen too small for almost anything that requires a bed of any size to begin with. Too short to sleep stretched out under a shell for 6+ footers, too narrow for the proverbial 4×8 Sheetstock. A bot of a pain with 2 bikes and virtually anything else. Too low to slip most lightweight, valuable things, like mtbs, under a hard cover…….

          It’s an awesome truck for virtually anything that just requires _a_ bed, though, as long as the size of the bed isn’t all that critical.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Meh, the current F150 is basically the same size as the 90s F150. Trucks haven’t grown all that much.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It depends on how you’re comparing. Crew cab 4X4 Taco to a regular cab ’90s fullsize 1/2 ton 2wd? I’ve got a stock ’95 fullsize crew cab 4X4 that’s a monster compared to any new midsize pickup you park next to it. But let’s see how your midsize can handle my fullsize, self contained cab-over camper. Yeah, *yikes* is right.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        As I predicted the introduction of the Colorado and Canyon has LIFTED the whole midsize segment. It is like any Automatiive segment, give more choices and overall demand increases,

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      No argument on the Tacoma resale value. They are outrageously high.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Resale, yes but you pay more upfront. You get an extra $6,000 back after spending $9,000 more at the start. Where can I get in on this amazing investment??

        Pickup trucks aren’t “investments”, unless they make you money/income directly, but all of them have better ‘resale’ than typical autos. It’s best to get what you want/need/enjoy and let the chips fall where they may, if your inclined to sell/trade-in.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          $9,000 more than what? A 4WD TRD double cab lists for $33,800 and actually sells for around $31.

          $22,000 probably isn’t getting you a 4WD truck at all let alone one you actually want. Hit the model year changeover and maybe you can score a 4 cylinder Frontier with jump seats and crank windows. Which is within a grand or two of a stripped down Taco that you also wouldn’t want.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Just throwing out “Resale Value!” means nothing without knowing how much more you paid upfront. And you did pay more upfront. That’s how it works. The deeper the discounts and rebates, the worse the “resale”. Except I don’t buy new pickups to sell them right away, but if I do the less cash I tie up for those years, the better.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “It’s best to get what you want/need/enjoy … “Resale Value!” means nothing … I don’t buy new pickups to sell them.”

            Absolutely disagree with that, if people bought what they wanted most of them wouldn’t buy Toyotas at all. Real world people are in the position of buying what they can afford and depreciation is far and away the largest cost of owning a recent vehicle.

            For the 3% of people keeping it long enough to get out of depreciation costs and into repairs it’s rare that one doesn’t closely track the other.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So how much does ‘resale value’ really impact your ‘new car’ buying decisions? Don’t tell me; you own a Wrangler, right??

            It’s no doubt something to take into consideration, but really? Just make sure you’re looking at all the costs, especially what you’re putting out up front, after rebates, discounts, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          LectroByte

          > You get an extra $6,000 back after spending $9,000 more at the start.

          LOL, you need to check out the prices on Fronteirs and Canyons, and take that giant stick out of your butt. You are really trying to argue that Tacomas go for $9k more than their competition? LOL again.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Clam down. It’s just a ‘for example’. But the ROI % is about close to that. But the point is, “Higher Resale Value” means absolutely nothing without knowing how much you overpaid upfront. Or did your dad buy it for you and you get to keep the *Resale*? Then it would make perfect sense to just base things on resale values.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL clam down.

            What the squid are you talking about?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Somebody is inevitably going to bring up that for the price of a well-optioned Colorado or Tacoma you can get yourself into a full-sized truck. While true, depending on how you option these out, I think the sales figures reflect the reality that not every truck buyer needs to tow 10000 pounds and is willing (or able) to pay 60k for a fully loaded full-sizer. For a lot of folks a well-optioned Tacoma or Colorado hits the sweet spot.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      $60K? Sure a lot of people hate full-size pickups. The F-150 extra cab 4X4 is $37.5K in XLT trim, except with rebates that’s a hair over $30K. So you really really have to hate the thought of a fullsizer.

      Except in reality, there’s not a lot of cross shopping going on, between fullsize and midsize. People that hate fullsize pickups probably hate a lot of things, cars, etc.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    The mid sizers are holding their own.

    Toyota could sell more Tacomas – if they could build them fast enough. There is about a 17 day supply on dealer lots, which is not bad for an old set of bones that will be getting a refresh in 2016.

    The Nissan Frontier is usually less expensive and it is not doing as well as it did last year before the GM Canyon and Colorado debut.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I believe the trend is directly attributable to the GM twins. GM brought a fresh perspective to the genre of mid size truck that appeals to many who just don’t want a full size rig, regardless of the price comparison. Where the Taco is winning is the well deserved brand cache, if you are going to buy a mid size truck, the Taco without fail is the safest decision you can make. Period.

    I think the Frontier sales dropping like a rock is far more of an indictment of Nissan and just how bad the product is, when compared to the Taco and GM twins.

    For fans of the Taco, I think the real ‘win’ here will be when Toyota decides that they would like to continue to own this market segment and applies some R&D dollars and ups the game even further in the Taco.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Of course sales are way up. Cheap gas and cheap car loans have working class people buying toys again. The Wrangler is kicking ass too for exactly the same reason.

    10 years old as it may be they still look cool, run forever, and hold their value like almost nothing else. If I were 6 inches shorter I’d be in one too.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Looks like there were two sorts of people previously – the majority which bought the Tacoma, and the minority who (stupidly) chose the Frontier.

    Now there are two sorts of people. The majority which buy the Tacoma, and all other people who buy the Colorado/Canyon.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    What? A lot of people don’t want a full-size truck, and are willing to pay for something that better meets their needs and wants?

    The deuce you say!

  • avatar
    Rday

    From what i have read the new gm’s are not up to snuff. So no wonder the taco is doing so well. Who would want to buy from a company like GM anyway. They cheat the customer at every opportunity just like Ford and FCA.

  • avatar
    rileyru

    Saw a thing to behold at the local dealer this weekend. The least expensive four door Tacoma on the lot was over $28,000 – not through the addition of many desirable options, rather it was a base model with Southeast Toyota fees on top of dest/del fees. The amazing thing was it had a 2.7L four cylinder (I popped the hood to verify) and claiming ALMOST 160 horses, with a FOUR(!) speed auto. It also had A/C, power windows, a radio, and… I think that was about it. This was a brand new 2015 model. Stepping up two cylinders and one trans gear jumped to well over $30,000 even before adding four-wheel drive or an SR5 option package. It appears the 2016 redesign should address the powertrain but with 100% or more of domestic full size pricing, I just don’t see the appeal.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      If you go on Cars.com you can find Tacomas for reasonable prices. A friend purchased one in 2008 with the V6/automatic, extended cab, Prerunner, and the same level of creature comforts as a decent rental car for less than $20K off a San Diego new car lot. Today you can buy a 2015 equipped like that for $22,572. There’s only one listed in the country though.

  • avatar
    Kato

    The most logical explanation for the Taco sales bump has not yet been mentioned: There was pent-up demand for mid-sized trucks pending the Colorado/Canyon debut. Once potential buyers had a look at the GM twins there was no compelling reason not to buy a Taco, ergo sales bump.

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