By on October 12, 2015

2016 Chevrolet SilveradoNot since 2009 has General Motors ended a calendar year with more total pickup truck sales than Ford. Moreover, not since 2009 have General Motors’ full-size pickup trucks, combined, outsold the Ford F-Series.

As GM’s current generation of pickup trucks overcame their slow start and GM added midsize pickup trucks to their fleet – and as Ford entered a transition phase between old F-150 and new aluminum-bodied F-150s – 2014’s results were close. Yet even in those circumstances, Ford Motor Company sold 1,000 more pickup trucks than General Motors in the United States last year.

2015 is very, very different. As Ford gradually ramped up F-150 availability for much of the year and as the clear-out of remaining last-gen models ended, total F-Series sales slid 2.4 percent through the first half of this year. Meanwhile, GM’s full-size twins are stealing market share, not just from the F-Series, but from the Ram P/U range, as well.

2016 GMC CanyonBy the end of the third quarter, GM reported a 14 percent year-to-date increase in full-size truck sales in a full-size truck category that’s up just 6 percent. In addition, GM also sold nearly 86,000 Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons, a small figure by full-size standards, but equal to 32 percent market share in a small/midsize category that grew 47 percent so far this year.

Throw the Chevrolet and GMC foursome together, add 10 leftover Avalanche and Escalade EXT sales into the mix, and General Motors sold 688,225 pickup trucks in the U.S. during the first nine months of 2015. That represents a 30 percent year-over-year volume increase, an increase in pickup truck market share from 31 percent in 2014’s first three-quarters to 37 percent this year, and 123,774 more total pickup truck sales than Ford managed in the same time period.

Nearly have that new Ranger, ready, Dearborn?

To what degree Ford is concerned by the major gap in total U.S. pickup truck volume is something of an unknown due to three key factors.2015 Ford F-150First, pickup average transaction prices are shooting through the roof, so while Ford has returned to a No. 2 position in the truck arena, the latest generation of trucks can clearly still be Ford’s key profit generator.

As for the No. 2 position, GM’s sales split — 26 percent of GM’s full-size sales come from the GMC Sierra — means Ford’s F-Series is still the top-selling pickup truck line in America, 123,547 sales ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado through the end of September, and with that status comes the ability to advertise that status.

TTAC GM FCA FoMoCo sales chartAnd third, the F-Series is recovering rapidly in the second half of the year. Third quarter F-Series volume jumped eight percent, a gain of 16,059 units. The F-Series trailed the GM full-size twins by nearly 19,000 sales between July and September, but Ford managed to produce its two best months of the year in August and September.

Back at General Motors, the pickup success has proven all the more vital because of the downturn experienced across the rest of the automaker’s lineup. Non-pickup truck sales at GM are down four percent, a loss of more than 66,000 sales created largely by the car division’s 15 percent drop.

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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50 Comments on “GM Sold 124,000 More Pickup Trucks Than Ford In The First Three Quarters Of 2015...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Not a truck owner, but I really don’t know what makes a Ford truck better than a GM or Ram or vice-versa, but I’m convinced styling has a lot to do with it for a non-fleet – that is, private purchase. It’s a wash when you see any of them in Frigidaire-white with some contractor’s or highway department’s name on it at a job site!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Brand loyalty makes them “better.” As others have mentioned before, many won’t switch brands, ever. It’s why no matter what Nissan does, the Titan will be a flop.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Styling, package availability, and price. The three companies all make great full size trucks. Each has a section of fiercely loyal customers. Those that consider multiple brands consider what looks the best to them, who has what they want available, and what the price is.

      I know some guys that usually buy F150s that switched this year because Ford didn’t have the packages they wanted while GM or RAM was offering a great price. One doesn’t like his RAM as much as the F150 it replaced, but the lease price is cheaper and the truck he wanted was on the lot. Plus, they sold him a bed cap at a discount.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think RAM is about to misstep as they’ll apply that excessively huge lettering on the back and the bull-nose grille up front. It will send the switchers back to Ford, which by then will have year 2+ options fixed up.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I dislike the new RAM styling as well.

          RAM is killing it on the lease game right now. Their trucks lease out cheap. I don’t know if people will stay around, but if they like the trucks, they may.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The obnoxious (IMO) RAM grille and tailgate lettering will only be on the Limited (not to be confused with Laramie Limited) and the Rebel, IIRC.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            I finally saw my first Rebel on the road and I gotta say that in the photos it looks horrible….but in all black heading down I94 it looked mean.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        Exactly right. The segment is so fiercely competitive that there are no wrong choices. Consumers weigh the pros and cons and choose.

        It’s strictly a coincidence that I have a Ford like my daddy.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Apparent tip: Avoid Silverado in Teal-Aqua metallic. Yucky.
    The Sierra looks like it’s had an allergic reaction and needs an Epi-Pen.

    More and more I become a Ford trucks fan, as the other options look ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      In fairness, what color *could* work on that blocky monstrosity of a Silverado?

      The Sierra at least looks like Apple carved it from a way big billet.

      But Ram trucks still have some pretty in the front.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Pearl white works! http://media.dealerfire.com/websites/1148/content/2015-Chevy-Silverado-1500-C2.jpg?s=87667

        I believe the future of Ram styling is here, as we see in the Rebel.
        http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/51/2015-ram-1500-rebel-inline1-photo-659259-s-original.jpg

        Because they’ve now applied to the high level Limited as well.
        http://preview.netcarshow.com/Dodge-Ram_1500_Laramie_Limited-2015-hd.jpg

        And the back end treatment is disgusting.
        https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–zAnPOpcg–/c_fill,fl_progressive,g_north,h_358,q_80,w_636/y7bbc2yn0bvgxqudmod5.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The Sierra looks a bit off because that’s a picture of a Canyon.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Whatever, early 90s is in these days. Teal all the way!

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The GM twins are solid trucks. They’re more conservative than Ram or Ford with the coils and aluminum. They don’t have anything cutting edge, but they do traditional very very well. Not to mention they’re respectivly a good deal. One can get an LTZ Silverado spec’d up like a luxury car for $38k.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Still seeing frames shipping via OTR from Elizabethtown, KY. Talk about a profit crushing supplier incident.

  • avatar
    RS

    The only advantage GM and Ram had over Ford was inventory. Now that’s changing.

    The F150 lineup could use a small diesel option like Ram has.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      From what I’ve seen heard, the take rate on the 1500 diesel is low. There was an initial surge, but after everyone who specifically wanted one got one, demand went down. Most people seems like either get the Hemi 1500 or step up to the 2500 Cummins.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It’s supposed to get one. Both a diesel and hybrid F150 have been in testing for awhile. Because of market conditions, Ford is taking their time. I’d expect the diesel in this generation though.

    • 0 avatar
      manwithnoname

      GM and Ram had a huge pricing advantage. It wasn’t until Ford dealers started throwing $10k cash on the hood of their new 2015’s that they started moving en masse here in the midwest. A Ford dealer down the street from my employer had the same 15 trucks sitting for 2 or 3 months. Most were Lariats optioned out to boost transaction prices. Meanwhile the Ram and GM dealers in town were stocked up with a wide variety of trims offering healthy incentives.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    You can tell CAFE is ramping up when the best vehicles in a given class are the ones that have been on the market the longest.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I wonder if it is due to the 100 commercials I see every week when watching NFL games.

    The awful bear commercial is out of rotation, but the “focus group” commercials are flat out awful and annoying. The worst is the one with the chick who goes “ugh” when the guy says Ford.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s not that I don’t like the aluminum F-150. It’s a competitive pickup. The problem is it is only competitive with current pickups. This is shown in the numbers moved.

    Contrary to what the author has written here the aluminium F-150 has not recovered if one starts to look at the breakdown of the F Series.

    The SuperDutys have increased in a similar trajectory in numbers with the GM pickups in numbers sold. Since Ford’s HDs represent proportionally a larger slice of the F Series along with the decline shows the F-150 is hurting Ford. It isn’t producing the goods as Ford would of liked.

    The added cost of Ford’s investment into aluminium, ie, new plant, thousands of additional employees, more expensive material, huge design and development costs means Ford’s bottom line must be hurting. I do know we will have someone mention how great Ford’s profit was this year. But this years profit is influenced by last year.

    The problem Ford has is the new aluminium F-150 really didn’t live up the the expectation of FE, like Ford had initially marketed hard. FE gains were rather dismal when one looks at a comparison with previous engines.

    So Ford went to the load and tow advantage. Who gives a [email protected] about load and tow. Most any pickup will suffice and meet what the consumer wants. 75% of pickups are cars and SUVs. So long as the truck can carry the 1.8 kids, go to Lowes, soccer and drive to work without breaking down, then people will be happy. Maybe tow a boat or something.

    I don’t see everyone in pickup in the US towing 10 000lb trailers, let alone 5 000lb trailers. Some do, but the load and tow hype is overplayed by Ford.

    So, it will be interesting to see how the aluminium HD will be received. Will it become a thorn in the side of Ford.

    Aluminium is great, but does the consumer really care what their pickup is made from? So, long as it can do the job expected the consumer will buy what is the better value product.

    So, far the consumer doesn’t consider an aluminium pickup any better than a steel pickup, only when the price becomes competitive will the consumer buy the pieces of aluminium.

    So, in the end the aluminium F-150 is only a pickup, that can only do what other pickups can, it was not a leap forward generationally either, like the Colorado/Canyon was for GM. That is what Ford needed to supply, a pickup that leapt in front of it’s competitors.

    The Ranger should help Ford. I do believe it will sell in larger numbers than the Colorado/Canyon. But, again the Ranger, like the Colorado/Canyon is a very refined pickup equivalent to a full size in many respects and it will reduce the aluminium F-150 even more.

    Ford has screwed up with the aluminium F-150. This is what happens when you allow a guy from Boeing to run your business.

    • 0 avatar

      Wjhen it comes to Ford, what’s your damage Oz? You get awfully exercised about them.

      • 0 avatar
        manwithnoname

        I can’t speak for BAFO but I was seriously disappointed with the final product after all the hype FoMoCo had built around the 15’s. When they initially announced it was going to be a fuel efficient truck with ‘military grade’ aluminum, I was fairly interested. Once weights were released and fuel economy evaluations provided, it was a pretty big letdown. It’s not unlike the letdown the 3.5 EB fuel economy has been. From the trucks I’ve driven with the EB, you have to granny it to even come close. It doesn’t take much throttle to get into the boost (which is tough, the torque is addictive) but the fuel economy nose dives.

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    Ford lumps in the F-Super Duties into their ‘F-Series’ number so its hard to get a firm grasp of just how many F-150s are sold; a marketing ploy in order to say they are the best selling truck.
    I happen to think the F-150 is still the best looking and most forward thinking truck out there however, I still don’t have a need for a huge truck on a daily basis.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      The breakout of sales by weight class is lumped together regardless of name, is it not?

      F-Series
      RAM
      Silverado
      Sierra

      Shouldn’t matter anyways, it’s just a marketer’s pissing contest.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Ford has claimed best-selling since 1977. At that time, half, 3/4, and 1-tons were all lumped together by everyone. It’s hardly a marketing ploy.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Well put, Big Al

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    As a 2015 Silverado 1500 owner I can attest that its the better “sum of parts” than Ford, Toyota or Ram and offers the lowest TCO of the spread. The 5.3L/3.42 offers a stellar blend of performance and economy (the DIC read 24.9mpg as a 50 miles best with my cruise set to 65!) and does so on 87 octane. The HEMI ram is slower and uses more fuel and requires midgrade to achieve advertised mpg/power (tall rear ends help the HEMI’s power, but then the fuel thirst just gets obscene). The ride quality is serene though. The F150’s 2.7L is a good match for the 5.3L, but again wants premium fuel to get the advertised numbers. Toyota’s 5.7 V8 performs nearly identically to the 5.3L, but its highway economy is barely better than the Chevy’s city rating. The rest of the truck is a combo of barely updated interior and hard ride with bad handling. I’m sure its reliable with good resale; but then again in the pickup class reliability and high resale are a given. The Chevy interior is class-leading IMO, with nice materials and a very ergonomic design. The Ram’s interior (Laramie vs LTZ) felt cheaper to me. The Chevy represents the best blend of power, economy, comfort, ride quality, utility and price; all while having the lowest TCO.

    The next Titan will be interesting. The current one’s ride quality would be embarrassing 20 years ago let alone today. It still won’t sell because Nissan lacks Toyota’s reputation. At least this time they’re taking a “hit ’em where they ain’t” approach, which could work better.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    F150 is still supply constricted. Irrational PUTC-level comments don’t change that. When the average transaction price is up more than $3200, to 42,500, that does not indicate lack of demand; it indicates that fleet is not part of the equation. KCAP is the fleet plant. I have yet to see a fleet spec P 552 F150.

    And it takes a grave misunderstanding of the North American pickup market to think that a new Ranger is going to provide profits that account to more than a rounding error on the F150 bottom line. And I own a Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I haven’t seen a 2015+ RCLB F150 in the wild. The only ones I have seen have been owned by Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I’ve seen one. It was a white XLT(!) with a topper. It might have had a business’s name on the side, can’t remember.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I do love a RCLB truck. They are sort of a dying breed though.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The RCLB is the purest form of pickup, but I understand why they’ve almost died off. Modern pickups are now meant less for hauling (in the bed) and more for towing, which was historically the job of the car or station wagon (think a 454-equipped Chevy Kingswood with those huge mirrors bolted to the fenders). Buyers now require a vehicle that can tow AND carry 5 people in comfort (6 if they’ve got the front bench, which IMO they should always have, but I digress). On a long trip, carrying people in the bed is a no-go–regardless of the legality, if you’re in an accident, bed passengers are dead.

            Given that it’s almost required that a pickup has have a larger cab, you’ve gotta take the same space out of the bed if you don’t want to drive a barge. A 6.5′ bed with the tailgate down and a bed extended is essentially 8′, and is available on every cab.

            It’s been complained that CAFE will be the end of the RC pickup, but this is only partially true. Given that CAFE requirements are calculated by footprint (WB x track), most RCLBs should be okay. Ram and Toyota’s RCLB half-tons are on the same WB as their other pickups. From 1997 to 2014, so was the F-150, but the ’15s are actually 4″ shorter than before, because apparently people said the RCs were actually too big. GM’s have never been on the same WB (usually a full 12″ shorter than an extended cab/6.5′), but it probably would never become an issue.

            CAFE regs may spell the end of RCSBs, but it would only be accelerating a trend already in motion. RCSB full-sizers took a big hit in the early-mid ’80s, when the Big 3 finally made their own compact pickups, because they had essentially the same bed space (6′ or 7′ vs. 6.5′) with better MPG and a nimbler footprint, so they were also “funner.” After 7′ beds on compacts were discontinued, RCs themselves were soon to follow, because it wasn’t worth it to have to put up with a tiny cab if you weren’t getting a larger bed in return. Most RCSBs, be they compact, mid-, or full-size, are bought as “lifestyle” trucks (to the best of my knowledge).

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        There are obviously some major launch issues that we aren’t privy to besides the frame supplier. My understanding was that the long beds weren’t even scheduled to be built until July. Given Ford’s past issues chasing market share, as a stockholder I’m happy to see that ATP is at record high and incentives remain relatively low. FCA and GM don’t seem to have learned that lesson.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      rocketrodeo,
      I do disagree with your assumption in what is driving up Ford’s average price for the F Series. Remember the prices are not that of the new aluminium F-150.

      If Ford is moving more HDs with less overall pickups sold, then I would assume the average transaction price would go up.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I think that the aluminum F-150 with ecoboost magic is an engineering and marketing failure. All that expensive aluminum and tricky turbo-charging to yield 1 mpg better than a V-8 Chevy Silverado (Consumer Reports real-world test results).

    Meanwhile, most reports put both the RAM and the Chevrolet ahead of the F-150 for ride and handling.

    How did Ford spend so much money and come up with such a weak result? I’m reminded of the most-expensive-ever Taurus redesign of 1996, which was a dismal failure because the design and executive teams got it all wrong.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Kudos to Chevy/GM…their truck is a traditional model with a myriad of configurations. While the Chevy does little for me, the GM is a great, relatively conservative design…far better than anything else on the market IMO. Not sure why they had to rush a remodel since the current models are doing well – certainly with strong incentives but they’re still making money.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The grille job is par for the course. Maybe not so quickly (only 2 years in to this model run), but they probably wanted to make the full-size trucks look similar to their mid-size counterparts, which is understandable.

    • 0 avatar
      manwithnoname

      I see the remodel as a way to keep the product fresh to avoid the situation Ram is in right now. I have a hard time distinguishing a 2013 Ram 1500 from a 2016 model. The lack of fresh features, styling, etc. makes it tough for dealers to keep transaction prices up. With a styling refresh, GM can perhaps bring in a decent crowd of owners of 2014’s that want to trade in for the latest styling. I’m sure the ability to pair the 5.3 V8 with the new 8-speed will help sell trucks too. It may also buy GM time to roll out their aluminum body strategy. FCA is planning a major half-ton refresh in 2017. I’m surpised they’ve waited as long as they have, but when you look at Toyota and Nissan’s half-ton efforts, perhaps the product cycle looks more reasonable.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The F-series will remain the most profitable pickups, which I think is the bottom line here. That’s even when combining Silverado and Sierra pre tax profits.

    Except a large part of GM’s current fullsize pickup sales success is lost F-150 fleet sales, down about 50%.

    GM’s midsize twins can only help erode the extremely vital profitability of the Silverado/Sierra.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “The F-series will remain the most profitable pickups, which I think is the bottom line here. ”

      So you must have costed BOM’s from Ford, GM, RAM, etc. to make this claim. WOW!!! How did you get your hands on that? It’s generally proprietary information at any company I’ve ever worked at. In fact I know one person that got fired when they leaked cost information to a customer mistakenly.

      Sorry if you don’t know what it costs to build a truck – which you don’t, you have ZERO clue about who’s trucks are the most profitable,

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