By on September 20, 2016

2015 Ford F150

Are the economic successes of Wall Street not being passed down to Main Street? Are concerns over the future post-November direction of the country fostering caution in the minds of consumers? Did certainty regarding forthcoming autumn incentives postpone summer purchases?

And might the benefits of a burgeoning midsize pickup truck class finally be inhibiting demand for full-size pickup trucks?

Whatever the reason, U.S. sales of full-size pickups declined in the summer of 2016 after growing much faster than the overall market coming out of the recession.

In fact, in August 2016, all six nameplates in the category produced fewer sales than they did one year earlier. During the same period, sales of midsize pickup trucks jumped 39 percent.

HISTORY
The severe slowdown in full-size pickup trucks caused by the recession — full-size pickup volume tumbled 29 percent in 2009 as the market slid 21 percent — met a forceful uptick in full-size pickup truck sales coming out of the recession.

In 2010, for instance, the overall new vehicle market grew 11 percent, but full-size pickup volume jumped 16 percent. Year-over-year full-size truck growth beat the overall market by more than a point in 2011, by more than nine percentage points in 2013, two points in 2014, and two-tenths of a percentage point in 2015. Even six years on, sales of full-size pickup trucks during the first-half of 2016 grew nearly four times faster than the market as a whole, with few signs of a slowdown.

Until July.

CURRENTLY
U.S. auto sales growth slowed in July 2016 as total industry-wide volume increased by just 0.7 percent. Pickup truck volume was much healthier, rising 4.2 percent, but that was almost entirely down to growth from midsize pickups. Full-size pickup truck sales grew just 0.2 percent in July, a 373-unit gain in a sector worth more than 180,000 sales per month. The Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Toyota Tundra all reported losses.

Full-Size Truck
August
2016
August
2015
%
Change
8 mos.
2016
8 mos.
2015
%
Change
Ford F-Series
66,946 71,332 -6.1% 527,847 494,800 6.7%
Silverado/Sierra
69,886 76,218 -8.3% 526,548 529,078 -0.5%
Chevrolet Silverado
52,408 54,977 -4.7% 380,176 387,179 -1.8%
Ram P/U
40,202 40,341 -0.3% 310,839 295,243 5.3%
GMC Sierra
17,478 21,241 -17.7% 146,372 141,899 3.2%
Toyota Tundra
9,875 10,057 -1.8% 75,315 81,582 -7.7%
Nissan Titan
1,248 1,268 -1.6% 8,490 8,443 0.6%
Total
188,157 199,216 -5.6% 1,449,039 1,409,146 2.8%

It got worse in August. If by “worse” we mean a quartet of Detroit full-size pickups still owning 12 percent of the overall market; if by “worse” we mean the three segment leaders still claiming the top three positions among vehicles overall.

Yes, the slowdown does not represent a full-blown cratering of full-size pickup truck demand. This sky is not falling; the truck market isn’t dying.

Total full-size pickup truck sales fell 6 percent in August, but General Motors spokesperson Jim Cain (no relation) says full-size pickups claimed a particularly high share of the auto industry’s retail market over the summer: 12.5 percent in August; 12.4 percent in July; both better than the 12.3 percent year-to-date tally.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax

TRENDY
As for the possibility of midsize pickups making headway at the expense of full-size trucks, Cain says that’s not happening, at least not at General Motors.

“The Colorado is not cannibalizing Silverado,” Cain told TTAC yesterday, “but it is conquesting F-150, Ranger, and Dakota.”

Cain also says that August incentives for GM’s full-size pickups, as a percentage of the average transaction price, were down 1.3 percentage points, while the same figure increased marginally at Ford and Ram.

According to PickupTrucks.com’s Mark Williams, “Fall typically brings out some good incentive programs as the big players head toward year-end market-share tallies and incoming new models need extra room.” Whether GM’s decreased August incentivization holds remains to be seen. GM had 78 days of Chevrolet Silverado supply heading into September, well below the Ford F-Series’ 95-day supply of Ford F-Series and Ram’s 102-day-supply of Ram pickups.

Midsize Truck
August
2016
August
2015
%
Change
8 mos.
2016
8 mos.
2015
%
Change
Toyota Tacoma
15,373 16,230 -5.3% 126,988 122,064 4.0%
Colorado/Canyon
12,605 9,537 32.2% 93,921 75,992 23.6%
Chevrolet Colorado
9,242 7,114 29.9% 69,664 55,898 24.6%
Nissan Frontier
9,537 3,645 162% 61,792 42,644 44.9%
GMC Canyon
3,363 2,423 38.8% 24,257 20,094 20.7%
Honda Ridgeline
3,437 4 85,825% 9,429 513 1,738%
Total
40,952  29,416  39.2% 292,130  241,213  21.1%

Nissan should finally report meaningful Titan numbers in the final third of 2016 as the regular-duty model joins the niche-market XD. Toyota has plans, via increased Tacoma production in Mexico and greater full-size emphasis in Texas, for the Tundra to rebound.

Whether full-size pickup trucks can recover from a summer slowdown or continue to show signs of peaking, total pickup truck sales are rising. The losses recorded by the F-Series, Silverado, Ram, Sierra, Tundra, and Titan — all six of them — were counteracted by the much smaller midsize market in August. The Tacoma, Colorado, Frontier, Ridgeline, and Canyon increased their share of the overall pickup truck market from 12.9 percent in August 2015 to 17.9 percent in August 2016.

GM’s data may show little midsize cannibalization of full-size pickup truck sales. But one small corner of the pickup truck market is increasingly not so small after all.

[Images: Ford, General Motors]

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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165 Comments on “Full-Size Pickup Truck Sales Are Suddenly Falling In America...”


  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Could be that most of the people hungry for a pickup truck went out and got one. Nothing satisfies like the main course.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      So I’m thinkin’, too. They sold a lotta truck these past few years.

      Locally, most folks I know with shiny new, optioned-up trucks are financially shaky with kids still at home or in college. I’d have not advised such a purchase.

      They may have to lose the truck but they’ll get their kids back in the basement. And grandkids.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Could be that most of the people hungry for a pickup truck went out and got one. Nothing satisfies like the main course.”

      That doesn’t explain why the mid-sizers are growing at such a high rate, only that they full-sizers are slowing down a bit. Those mid-sizers are taking market away from other vehicles, showing that demand for a more compact model is high and could be higher if the trucks got just a little bit smaller and still retained an average level of practicality (as compared to the grossly over-capabilities of full-size trucks.)

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        You were right all along, Vulpy!

        You’re smarter than the average small temperate forest predator!

      • 0 avatar
        alluster

        Does anyone remember the know-it-all so called B&B on this site were laughing at GM for predicting 90,000 Colorado+Canyon a year? It looks like the Colorado itself will sell about 130K to 140K copies this year. It would be nice if some of these “internet forum experts” would admit they were wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Did anyone know at the time how big they’d be? They’re really 3/4 full-size but many of us anticipated something smaller thus missing the Goldilocks Zone for people who can’t abide today’s full-size absurdities but don’t want the cramp of an old Ranger or S-10.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Kenmore – Ford said the global Ranger was 9/10th size of the F150.

            @alluster – many felt that the small truck market was dying, functionally extinct so to speak. They just needed some up to date products on par option and ride wise with their 10/10th big brothers.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Lou, if the GM twins are comparable in size to the global Ranger then I guess Vulpy’s certitude about pent-up demand for littler trucks hasn’t really yet been tested.

            But I still maintain he’s smarter than most forest creatures.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            One of my son’s friends drove up this week in what I thought was a Silverado. After a few minutes I realized it was a Canyon. The mid-sized trucks are really full-sized and the full-sized trucks are mega-sized, not to mention mega-chromed.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The mid-sized trucks are really full-sized”

            no they aren’t, the proportions are different. I parked my 2011 PN150 Ranger SuperCab next to a 2016 P375 Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab, and they were within a hair’s breadth of length and width. the major difference was that the Wildtrak was about 8″ taller, had a much higher beltline and bed sides, and was a crew cab which the US Ranger was never offered as.

          • 0 avatar
            Higheriq

            The current Global Ranger IS 9/10 the size of an F-150. I saw one in Mexico a few months ago and thought it was a re-styled F-150.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It wasn’t me I said that they would move more than Nissan and less than Toyota which would have meant around 100k in the market as it was at the time that they were announced. Of course in the mean time sales in general have increased.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Vulpine
        If people are using them as mainly cars why not get a more nimble one more aligned with your needs

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Vulpine
          If people are using them as mainly cars why not get a more nimble one more aligned with your needs”

          When one comes along, I’ll probably get it, if I haven’t bought “second best” first. And no, I’m not talking kei (some here love to pull that gag) but I’m seriously keeping an eye out for the Hyundai and the Fiat Toro.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      That’s likely true, Blue. Further, fewer truck buyers today are business owners who trade in every four or five years. As the full-size truck has became the standard vehicle for many, it has reached into the market where people keep their cars eight to ten years. A slow-down would thus be inevitable.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        alexndr333,
        I do read many comments on sites by those who live in the past and remember how pickups were used 30, 40 years ago. Things are a lot different now.

        As I’ve been stating 75% of pickups are used as daily drivers and do sweet FA most of the time.

        The full size has been challenged by new and in some cases better vehicles. This doesn’t take into account that many businesses have now replaced their work vehicles.

        1. The modern Euro style vans are far more suitable for many applications that pickups where used for …….. and they are generally more economical for a business to run.

        2. The modern breed of midsizer is as capable as many 1/2 tons sold and just as refined. They are no longer these cheap horrible vehicles. They are as good as many SUVs as well. Take the C twins. Their payload and tow is more than suitable for most half ton customers.

        3. Business and private buyers have topped the market. Pickups are generally kept longer than sedans and CUVs as daily drivers.

        4. The resurgent midsize sales will keep on a little longer.

        I think Ford has missed the boat with the US release of the new Ranger and as it has been shown the new beaut aluminium wonder trux from Ford has not really improved Fords pickup numbers. GM still outsells Ford by a long shot.

        The new Titan will take sales from the Big Three as well. Very few but still if the Titan only sells a few thousand a month or so that is still a couple of thousand pickup Ford didn’t sell.

        Most pickups are sold as a “because I can” attitude. They are a very big want, that really are not of much use other than showing off.

        I think most of those who want a nice new full size pickup have nearly peaked. That is the “look at me I can”. So, midsizers will sell as they project a more conservative approach and impression on others in our society. But their sales numbers will die in the a$$ as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          GM splits its sales between 4 trucks while Ford has done it with 2 and soon to be, more or less, one. So while GM may sell more Pickups their development and distribution costs to do so are much greater than Ford’s.

          As the numbers show GM full size are down while Ford and Ram are up. So yeah who is making more money Ford who’s ATP is around $2000 more than GM full size trucks and only has to support what will essentially be 2 variations on the same platform or GM who has 2 variations each on 2 totally un-related platforms? Ford is clearly the winner with lower costs and higher prices.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            So. That means GM has a better business model. You are making excuses for poor decision making by Ford.

            Or …. Ford is unable to come up with suitable “brands” to improve its position.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            That additional couple grand (if what you are stating is true) is chewed up in development cost for the new aluminium vehicles. They cost a sh!tload to develop.

          • 0 avatar
            alluster

            @Scoutdude: Ford counts the superduty/mediumduty trucks as F Series even though they have nothing in common with light duty pickups. You can’t really assume profit margins when neither company breaks the numbers down and discloses this info. GM builds all their full size crew cabs (the best selling, priciest configuration) in Mexico. What does that do to margins? GM also sells about 200,000 more full size SUVs than Ford. The profit margin on a $55K Tahoe is miles ahead of a $35K Silverado with the same power train. Lets not forget pricier Yukons and Escalades. All things considered, I would say GM makes a $hit ton more on their K2XX platform.

            What is amazing is how well GM full size trucks have sold even with an additional 150,000 midsize trucks sold.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No that additional expense was more than made up for in the increased transaction prices. Ford clearly stated that the cost to go aluminum over steel cost them about $1500 per truck development and material costs included, while the average difference in ATP vs GM or Ram last reported here exceeded $2000 per truck. In other words their strategy had increased their avg per truck profit ~$500.

            Splitting fewer sales between more configurations and more dealers is not the better business strategy.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @aluster – Ford and Ram count 450/4500 as pickups. Anything bigger is tallied separately. The “Ford counts everything” myth is just that, a myth.

            @BAFO – I do agree that Ford misread the small truck market. I also agree that the current crop of small trucks have similar and in some cases overlapping capabilities with that of full sized 1/2 tons.
            You still continue to flap your gums about “daily drivers”. Post some proof. Another point, WTF by definition is a “daily driver”??
            My brother “daily drives” his crewcab HD Chevy a minimum of 80,000 km per year. His daily drive is called “work”.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I try to NEVER agree with Al, but I think he has something here. More and more on I-10 I see a slew of the mini-service/maxi-service vans (I mean, they’re really like 5 and 9 seaters, smaller than an actual 15-passenger van for sure, what do we even call them?). Mostly to businesses I guarantee a decade ago would have been using a stripper F-150/Ram Adventurer in white to do parts deliveries and basic service calls.

          The fact that mid-size trucks are now basically MY2000-sized pretty much makes them a viable option, in fact I may consider one if I don’t get a mini-/maxi-service van for my trike to haul on trips (Just need a 5-foot bed or a little less). Plus with my wood working projects both would suitably be able to hold an 8′ board or most of a sheet of plywood.

          There was clearly a huge splurge from 2010 on, probably with people holding of on buying trucks for 2-3 years, so this would make sense that people who held trucks upwards of 9 years before buying are satiated for now and the top-end daily driver market is starting to hit equilibrium.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Not so surprising; sales and market share can’t keep rising forever. Welcome to Peak Truck.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I was at the beach this past weekend, and one of the workers at the hotel I was staying at drove some old Ranger. (next-to-the-last generation?) Regular Cab, Standard Bed, manual transmission, crank windows. The only luxury I saw was that it had A/C (important on the NC coast in summer.)

    I know why they don’t sell such things any more (it’s not really very good as a daily driver, and few people will buy a new vehicle that will be needed only rarely), but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind having one. (Which is why used prices for ones that aren’t completely used up are so high.)

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      It’s mind boggling. 3 years ago I bought a used 2011 Ranger Sport 4×4, which had 15,000 miles on it. Today, I see listings on Autotrader for the same truck with 50-60,000 miles on them, and the listing prices are $2-4,000 higher than what I found mine for.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I know why they don’t sell such things any more (it’s not really very good as a daily driver, and few people will buy a new vehicle that will be needed only rarely), but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind having one.”

      I happen to own a ’97 Ranger that fits your description surprisingly well. Even with the 2.3 4-cylinder engine the thing is a surprisingly capable daily driver for one or two people. Yes, I do agree you can’t carry much in the cab of a regular cab model but the extended cab model improved on that greatly without necessarily sacrificing that much bed. I’ll grant that AC unit sucks down a significant amount of horsepower (I’m working on a solution to that, if I can find what I need) but with the AC turned off it’s a surprisingly agile little truck that offers the open-bed utility a lot of people want.

      What I’m interested in seeing is how well the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be accepted and if that might not open a new market for pickup trucks that is now forced to put up with closed-bed crossovers for their utility needs.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        Don’t base any opinions of the compact “truck” (anyone that calls the Santa Cruz a truck need their head examined) market on the Santa Cruz. Its manufactured by Hyundai which will inhibit sales just due to image. Honda can’t sell a truck with their sterling reputation. Unless Ford, GM or Toyota release something you won’t really know the market’s true potential.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Frylock350,
          Most half ton pickups sold are not trucks either. With generally less than a 1800lb payload in a platform that is large enough for a “real” truck that can carry tons makes them a life style vehicle for most.

          The Santa Cruz is as much a truck as many half tons and midsizers.

          • 0 avatar
            Firestorm 500

            I think my aluminum 2015 F150 is rated to handle 3,000 lbs payload.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Firestorm 500 – BAFO being BAFO.

            All of the aluminum F150 crew 4×4’s I have looked at had an 1,800 lb rating. Funny how BAFO plays with numbers to suite his liking.

            The Colorado crew is up to 1,800 but with any sort of option tacked on, they tend to run around 1500 lbs.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          If it’s got an open bed capable of carrying outsized objects that can not be carried in the interior of a “wagon”, then it does qualify as a truck. I agree with most that modern CUVs and some SUVs don’t qualify as trucks (my insurance company labeled my previous SUV as an SUW (wagon)) that open bed lets it carry things that simply wouldn’t fit in that ‘wagon’, like trees, or that you wouldn’t want to carry in the interior, like certain types of (quite aromatic) mushroom mulch. (And mushroom mulch in particular is rather inexpensive where I live, as long as you can carry it off yourself.) So yes, the Santa Cruz can qualify as a truck, as can the Fiat Toro and yes, even the smaller Fiat Strada.

          As far as reputation, Hyundai and Honda both have remarkably good reputations and the people who own the older version of the Ridgeline are VERY happy with them. The numbers above show that the newer version is picking up steam quickly, having already sold over 9,000 of them since their release about 4 months ago. It’s appealing even to me in many ways; far more intelligent than the brute-force monsters and more than capable enough for my needs–though still bigger than I want.

          However, as you say, people’s prejudices will have more effect on the market than the vehicle itself. This is constantly proven by the commentary seen both here and on other car-centric sites as the forums devolve into flame wars against disliked brands and even personal attacks. I have my prejudices as well, though for a class of vehicle (and one brand) but I don’t add to any flaming either way.

          My prejudices are based on personal experiences with brand and class and where I live now I’m amazed at how many of that class are on the roads considering how tight some of those roads are. When two of that class meet on one of those roads, they either both take two wheels off the pavement and keep rolling, or one will move mostly off the pavement and stop ’til the other passes (rare instance, that.) And yes, I’m talking farm roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That last paragraph is talking about width, right? Full-size pickups have been at minimum 78″ wide since 1961 (’60 for GM). And at that time (and well into the ’70s and ’80s), that’s all that farmers had.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Back when parking slots were bigger, that width didn’t matter. Back when parking slots began to shrink (roughly ’72-’75) that width did matter and smaller trucks like the older Ranger had no issues with those smaller spaces. You look at today’s mid-sized truck and those of just 20 years ago and there is an obvious width difference. Even as little as 4″ difference can make a difference as to whether you can squeeze into your truck or not in some parking areas.

            But no, what I’m talking about is the overall size of the truck, nose to tail, ground to rooftop, side to side. I’m willing to ignore side mirrors since so many can now be folded in either manually or automatically. I’ve owned a ’90 F-150; it felt huge next to my current Ranger but when set next to an ’06 or later F-150 it felt almost small (discounting its 8′ bed giving it the same length against a crew-cab short-bed.) Put it next to the ’15 Colorado (which I did before I sold it) and they seemed almost identical in size in every dimension. That is NOT what I want in a mid-sized truck.

            My ’97 Ranger has a 51″ wide tailgate opening, 40″ between the wheel wells, and approximately 64″ overall width not counting the mirrors. (Had to eyeball the overall width on the tape as I couldn’t guarantee the tape was perfectly lined up on the opposite side without a second person to mark and hold it there.) That width does, as best I was able, account for the wheel arches that extended slightly beyond the rest of the body. Comparing that means no less than 14″ difference with mirrors on the full-sized truck and I’ve read comparison charts that list a body width of 74″ or a full foot wider even discounting mirrors. Again, modern mid-sized trucks are notably larger as the ’15 Colorado comes out at 83.9″ wide (probably including mirrors) which still makes it at least a foot wider when discounting the mirrors.

            So again, the modern mid-sizer is almost exactly equivalent to the full-sized trucks of 20+ years ago while today’s full sized trucks are even larger.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I drew a base Ranger from the motorpool a couple years ago, all the sedans were out. Auto-tranny, but roll down windows. It was a surprisingly nice ride, and easy to park in downtown Portland. If I needed a truck, I’d consider one.

    • 0 avatar
      S197GT

      few months ago i bought an ’01 Ranger XLT Supercab 4X4 with the off-road package, LSD, and 4.0 SOHC. one-owner with 203k miles that i STOLE for $2600. Clean interior, there is minor rust on one of the cab doors and tailgate, both easily replaceable when I get around to it.

      LOVE IT! been doing work on it myself. lubed the slip yoke to get rid of the drivetrain play/clunking, replaced the original shocks which were DEAD. done some maintenance like fuel and air filter, serpentine belt, tensioner, idle pulley… need to continue working on the fluids, plugs, etc…

      truck is very easy to work on except for the rust weld on many of the bolts!

      as a daily driver i am really enjoying it! got some cooper at3 tires just waiting for some new wheels and then gonna do some light off-roading at the nearest OHV park.

      mustang and z3 sit in the garage while i drive this thing. my wife says she would be willing to drive it too.

      bought it as a test on how i would like a pickup truck since the last one i owned was a mazda b2000 back in 1995ish… i could definitely see purchasing a canyon or ridgeline someday, so the midsize pickup truck market will likely continue to “pick-up” as conquest buyers like me enter in.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Although GM likes to claim that Colorado/Canyon doesn’t take sales from Silverado/Sierra – there’s a wiff of bull$hit to that claim.

    The number of people who are going to buy a truck in any given year is some sort of finite number. More choices (ie: robust competent midsize choices) means that those customers are going to get more divvied up among the choices.

    There’s nothing wrong with that until a product’s volume falls to the point where it can’t be profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Considering that YTD The F150 and Ram are up, but Silverado/Sierra are down, they are the ones competing with a midsize in their showroom, I’d say the midsize are having an effect.

      Considering that the GM twins equalled the F150 in sales YTD, and then add 93,000 midsize sales, GM probably isn’t crying.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Give the credit to Auburn Hills for putting the squeeze on GM.

        With Ford competing above it and Ram competing below it, GM ends up taking the hit. That guy with the sweater has made Chrysler more competitive, and that is reflected in the numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’d say there is more than a whiff of BS to that claim. Full size GM units are down much more than Canyado sales are up.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The slight drop of the S-twins does not fully explain the sharp rise of the C-twins. That also ignores just how rapidly the Honda Ridgeline is rising right now in actual sales numbers even considering the Ridgeline has been mostly off the market entirely for nearly two years.

      There’s clearly a market for smaller trucks. The Ridgeline was a very popular truck for those who owned them, even though it was panned heavily by “hard core” pickup owners. The new Ridgeline fits in well with the current round of mid-sizers and even the Nissan Frontier is doing surprisingly well despite not having any major updates in the last ten years. The truck market itself is growing but the market it’s tapping is not wholly the full-sized market. I’d say at most it would work out maybe between 5%-10% of former full-sized buyers are downsizing. That roughly fits with the numbers given in the article.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        They are not rising sharply in real numbers, just relative to themselves. The full size GM twins are down 3,000 units YTD for a .5% drop while the 23% increase in the Canyado seems impressive until you look and see that it only accounts for 18,000 units. Meanwhile F-series are up 30,000 units and Ram up 15,000 units YTD.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Read what you wrote, Scout; then compare to what I said.

          GM full size down 3,000 units. I said “slight drop”
          GM mid-size up 18,000 units. I said “sharp rise”.
          That’s 6x more mid-size units growth than full-sized units dropped. As I said, that slight drop does NOT account for the GM mid-sizers’ rise.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You are right that the drop in full size is less than the increase in the Canyado which is only relevant if the only thing you are looking at is GM sales. However GM sales do not exist in a vacuum.

            So GM up 15,000 units total compared to Ford’s 30,000 sales increase. Ram managed to match GM’s net increase on a product that sells even fewer units on average.

            So yeah the drop in full size sales is almost certainly due to the Canyado stealing sales from the full size. If the Canyado wasn’t increasing 18k units maybe GM would see an increase in sales instead of a drop. So sorry but it is highly likely that the increase in Canyado does account for the drop instead of increase in full size sales.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re going off-topic, Scoutdude. Refer, again, to my original statement. I was, specifically, talking GM mid size against GM full size and was stating the difference had to be coming from a completely different class of vehicle, supporting GMs contention that the mid-sized trucks were having little effect on full-size sales.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m not going off topic I’m just looking at the big picture instead of focusing on a small portion of the picture, like you are, in an attempt to prove your bias.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If you’re talking about my bias against full-sized trucks, you’re wrong. I was very clear in what I said and you have attempted to take it beyond what I said. THAT is what I’m arguing about now. So what if Ford has gained 7%? So what if the overall full size market is up 3%. All power to them. The mid-sized market has apparently grown 21% with the Canyon/Colorado making up a decent portion of that rise.

            And as I said, that growth has to be coming from somewhere. If it is not from full-sized trucks then it MUST be from some other class.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            A lot of it is from full size trucks and the full size trucks they are hurting are the ones they share the showroom with.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Your previous words argue with what you just said. How about making up your mind instead of trying to refute my statements all the time? You wemble more than Wembly! (See if you can figure out the reference.)

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No they don’t argue with what I previously said. I said from the beginning that the Canyado is cannibalizing GM full size sales. That is what the numbers show, the other real players in the full size segment are up year over year while GM is down.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “I said from the beginning that the Canyado is cannibalizing GM full size sales.”

            And again I say, That slight drop in GM full-sized sales does NOT account for the sharp rise in GM mid-sized sales. I don’t argue that SOME of those full sized sales may be going to the mid-sized models, but those mid-size models have so far sold six times as many units has full sized sales have fallen. Those mid-sized sales have to be coming from somewhere and by the numbers in the sales charts above, they are NOT coming from either Ford or Ram and not even Toyota’s Tundra losses fully account for the rise in GM’s mid-size sales even when added to GM’s full-size reduction.

            I’m talking hard numbers, Scoutdude, not percentages.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      PrincipleDan,
      I agree with you. I also think the midsizers, especially the newer ones are taking a little from all.

      If someone really wants a diesel pickup, I’d bet they will look at one of the C twins and a Ram EcoDiesel. In the big scheme of things the difference in these two size pickups has little to do with capability, I think pricing is a great attraction as well.

      The same goes for someone who wants to tow 5 000lbs. A new midsizers is more than capable of moving a trailer this size and most don’t even tow this much.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’d guess a chunk of those sales are to people that don’t want a full size truck and would have gone CUV, but now they can get a truck that actually fits in their garage.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      PrincipalDan – agreed. GM’s Cain is full of sh!t.

      “The Colorado is not cannibalizing Silverado,” Cain told TTAC yesterday, “but it is conquesting F-150, Ranger, and Dakota.”

      They don’t make Ranger or Dakota anymore.

      I bet that GM’s self cannibalization rate is higher than the F150 conquest rate.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “‘The Colorado is not cannibalizing Silverado,” Cain told TTAC yesterday, “but it is conquesting F-150, Ranger, and Dakota.’
        They don’t make Ranger or Dakota anymore.”

        True. But people currently driving those models and wanting to replace them could well be trading those older mid-sized trucks in for the newer ones. I’m betting the F-150 trades are also older models (10 years old or older is my guess.) It may not be a conquest in the truest sense of the term, but switching from any other brand to a different brand can be termed a ‘conquest’ as the buyer shows little loyalty to the old brand.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Vulpine – it is hard to be loyal to Ford and the Ranger when they don’t offer it.

          Ford executives did feel that most Ranger buyers would go out and get a Ford econobox or small van or go to a F150.

          Obviously, they were wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Kind of the point, my friend. When a brand stops making what you want, you go to whomever does. That’s still a “conquest” in the business world.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Praise Jesus! My commute was starting to look like a farm equipment parade.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    One word: Crossovers.

    The CUV/crossover is, quite simply, the most practical vehicle you can buy in the eyes of many. Trucks are gas-hogs and minivans have some sort of stigma about them and perhaps have gotten ‘way too large.

    At present, I’ll still take a regular car, tho’ that may always change, but I still dream of having a nice red Chevy short bed, standard cab pickup!

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Zackman. CUV’s may not be sporty, and they may not be “real trucks”, but they do enough things well that they’re a reasonable choice for someone who can’t afford multiple vehicles.

      Last time I bought a new vehicle, I considered a crew cab Tacoma. (Part of me would still love a domestic pickup, but they’ve grown too darned large and cartoonish.) Problem with a truck is that they’re a pain to park in tight spots like a hospital parking garage, and most of the time that bed would be hauling air. A wagon would have been nice, but the domestics and Japanese are pretty much out of that market, and I am not masochistic enough to subject myself to another European car.

      So I ended up with an Escape. (Sorry if that makes the Baruth brothers cry in despair.) It does what I need it to do reasonably well, and has not made me spend all of my free time in a repair shop waiting room. And, unlike pretty much all modern cars equipped with CVT’s, I can tow a utility trailer without difficulty.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “…and has not made me spend all of my free time in a repair shop waiting room.”

        Are you saying that full size trucks are so unreliable that you’d be in repair shop waiting rooms more than not?

        There are plenty or reasons to choose a CUV over a truck. I haven’t really heard of a pick-ups unreliability being one of them. I have been wrong before though.

        But, if that particular reason works for you, so be it.

        It be interesting to see some type of research on how many people choose CUVs over pick-ups. IMO, it’s not as many as you think. If anything, mid-size sedans are the ones being pushed to the curb.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “but they’ve grown too darned large and cartoonish” Ford said that the global Ranger is 9/10th size of F150. The Colorado is basically the same size as the global Ranger. (I’m sure BAFO will correct me if I’m off a few millimeters)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This has nothing to do with trucks; the whole market has peaked. Trucks are but one indicator – albeit a meaningful one. We’ve discussed the decline of midsize cars, too.

    Now that trucks have peaked with cheap gas, look out for a painful downturn.

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      I’ve always liked trucks, but the current generation of domestics are all over-priced, over-sized, over-lifted, and over-chromed codpieces.

      • 0 avatar
        TomHend

        Could not agree with you more EMedPA.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        1. Take $10,000 off the MSRP and that’s what you’ll actually pay.

        2. When comparing apples to apples, a modern full-size pickup is only slightly longer in the front and taller than one from 20 years ago.

        3. You don’t have to get them with a lift.

        4. You also don’t have to get any chrome at all.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “4. You also don’t have to get any chrome at all.”

          Depending on the trim level you want, you can’t avoid it, even if you wanted, for instance, the grill surround body colored. The high-end trim packages almost all come with chrome to a greater or lesser extent and you simply can’t get rid of it without going to a different trim level and then manually ordering whatever got left out. Let’s say, for instance, that I want a King Ranch F-150 but I hate that bright, in-your-face grill. I want it either body-colored or a different, less obtrusive grill appearance without going black. The Limited grill isn’t too bad, but now you’ve upped the trim package and the price by over $5000. Or maybe I want the Lariat trim package but want the XL’s blacked-out nose. Between the XL and the Limited, you have no choice of LESS chrome but you do get the choice of MORE chrome. Now, I do know you can order “blackout package” on some GM models, but that also means you have to go with black paint. Where’s the choice. No matter which way you go, you end up paying more to get less.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Actually, there’s a Sport package for XL, XLT, and Lariat that does away with all the chrome for a body-color-and-black-grille look:

            http://www.tfltruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2015_ford_f-150_xl_sport.png

            https://carcostcanada.com/ResearchPhoto/11172/Teaser_alt.jpg

            http://cdn.getauto.com/photos/4/161314/1c/1FTFX1EF7GFB02301-1c.jpg?201602101841

            Since they came out, the XL Sport kinda took the place of the old STX trim (and STX is returning for ’17) and XLT/Lariat Sport took the place of the old FX2/FX4 trims (FX4 has returned to being a package, rather than a full trim).

            For ’16 only, there’s also a Special Edition Package on XLT and Lariat Sport that basically carries on the tradition of the “FX4 Appearance Package” from the previous generation. It’s kinda neat IMO but not really worth the money:

            http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aHIAT7enq4s/VYpRWUl4GuI/AAAAAAAAw7c/ecQo4pf0yZ0/s1600/2016-Ford-F-150-Lariat-Special-Edition-Appearance-Package-3.jpg

            My father just got an XLT Sport and the only chrome anywhere is the tailpipe (which seems to be inescapable). It looks just like the second pic but with the 5.0 and 6.5′ bed. I prefer a more conventional chrome look myself, but it’s his pickup. He actually only went the Sport route because it’s the only way to get the console with a console shifter on XLT.

            The guys that get King Ranches or higher generally want chrome and lots of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I like comfort but I don’t like bling. You know?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’ll only be “painful” for anyone who expected 17 million car & truck sales to go on forever.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’m gonna agree that we are at a sales peak in the market. I think the signs have been there for at least a year when you look at things like loan lengths, percent of subprime borrowers etc.

    Hopefully this means everyone gonna really start throwing incentives out there. For those still in the market, could be some tasty deals in the near future.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Hehe, Tim writing about himself in third person is funny to read.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, I’d have assumed previously the Silverado and Sierra were very close in sales volume. Is loyalty (or fleet sales) of the Gold Bowtie causing the difference?

    Doesn’t everyone view the GMC as slightly more prestigious for almost the same money?

  • avatar
    krohde

    “The Colorado is not cannibalizing Silverado,” Cain told TTAC yesterday, “but it is conquesting F-150, Ranger, and Dakota.”

    Really, Mr. GM Spokesperson, the Colorado is conquesting a vehicle Ford hasn’t made since 2012, and Dodge hasn’t made since 2011, but it’s not conquesting Ram, Tacoma and Frontier? Seems a bit weird.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    What’s going on with the Nissan Frontier? Is there a new one? Is the new Tacoma engine so badly suited to truck use that people are picking the ancient Frontier over the Tacoma for the first time? The Frontier outsold Chevy’s Homer pickup in August. That seems worth a mention.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      YTD, Tacoma is selling better than ever, but supply is limited. Thus the need to increase production in Mexico.

      As for the Frontier: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/07/still-truck-nissan-selling-frontiers-like-2006/

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        That explains an increase in Frontier sales, but not why it outsold the Chevrolet Colorado, which is offered at a multiple of the number of dealers and was designed since we abandoned the rule of law.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Is it possible for you to make a single comment, ever, on any subject, without political snark?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The Nissan Frontier has one advantage over all the others; it’s smaller in physical dimensions than the up-dated Toyota, GM twins and Honda. It demonstrate a demand for a truck that’s smaller even than the current round of up-sized mid-sizers.

          This bodes well for the Hyundai Santa Cruz and potentially the Fiat Toro, which is bigger than the Strada but still smaller than any of the others now on the American market.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Vulpine,
            Actually the Frontier is slightly large than the C twins.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not from what I’ve seen, BA. The Frontier is just about the same size as the older twins but it’s very visibly smaller than the newer ones– unless you’re talking the Global version of the Colorado? Even with the crew cab on the Frontier, the 4-door version of the US Colorado is notably longer and taller. Interestingly, Chevy chooses NOT to show rear overhang length AND specifies “without rear bumper” in that no-data heading Overall length also specifies no rear bumper and gives a “TBD” (to be determined) statement to hide the difference in length. Neither Nissan nor Chevy post overall height. The Chevy does claim almost 4″ longer wheelbase, however. Insignificant for some, perhaps, but that pretty much means the overall length WITH bumpers will be at least that much longer (advertised front overhang of over three feet) while the Nissan short bed claims a total length of 205″ or 17 feet. That front overhang on the Colorado looks quite a bit longer than the Nissan’s in their photos.

            So while they may list as similar in size, the Nissan still appears significantly shorter and lower when viewed side by side.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            The Colorado/Canyon is taller, wider, and longer than the Frontier.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’d say a lot of potential customers were playing the wait and see game before replacing their less than full size truck. They found the Canyado unacceptable and the Tacoma too expensive so the right sized and low priced Frontier was the winner.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I’m guessing cash on the hood versus the supply contained Tacoma and Canyonado?

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I’d imagine heavy duty sales are down as a result of the new F250/F350 being due out soon.

    Add in the number of pick-ups purchased on the oil fields – low oil prices may mean fuel economy is less concerning, but it also means all those tradespeople may hang on to their vehicles a little longer while work is tight. In the “good days” we knew people who’d have a Ram Laramie in Alberta, a Ram Laramie in Atlantic Canada, and they replaced each one every two years. Because they were being paid silly money. Now they’re all going broke, struggling under massive truck payments.

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      I’d be curious to know how many tradesmen have moved to vans. For an awful lot of applications, they make a heck of a lot more sense than a pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        And vans come with a free cap.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “And vans come with a free cap.”

          This. If you cap your truck there’s no reason for a truck.

          Fokk, I hate caps. I like to easily hop in the bed for securing load & sweepouts.

          • 0 avatar
            cdotson

            Kenmore,

            Normally I would have agreed with you but as I’ve gotten into RVing I’ve learned things most people don’t consider that lets me play devil’s advocate with respect to truck caps.

            If you’re towing a standard family-sized travel trailer it will weigh 6,000-8,500 lbs loaded for camping. In this size/weight class there are few 5th wheel models and the towing stability benefits of 5th wheel towing aren’t as important until you get heavier. This means pickups and vans are both theoretically suitable for towing. We’ll forget SUVs for now, as you’re only talking about the big GM BOF trucks and the Expedition/Navigator so you can easily tow as much with a pickup for $10k+ less MSRP than the SUVs.

            The only passenger van on the market that can tow that much is the Express/Savana. Passenger models of which are increasingly rare, and decreasingly acceptable ergonomically. The Nissan NV passenger V8 can tow that and not much more, but they’re rare as hen’s teeth (I’ve been scanning for a couple months, and rarely do I find more than 2 available within 75 miles of Richmond, VA).

            Towing a conventional travel trailer with a pickup presents aerodynamic difficulties due to the open (or covered) bed. A cap would much more effectively blend between the cab and trailer, plus secure whatever outdoor/camping gear you don’t want to cram in the trailer. Besides, it’s nice to keep your trailer hall clear for flushing out the sewage tanks at dump stations. Trucks are more common, capable of towing more, and are more comfortable than vans. Use the truck with cap until you upgrade to a 5th-wheeler, then sell the cap.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            OK.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Kenmore – you can remove the cap on a pickup. I used to do that all of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            *gasp*

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            When I was an infant my father had a cap on his truck because people kept stealing his tools and we were too poor to buy an Aerostar or Astro :(

            But then he got moved to management and we got a Caprice (long story) and GRAND Voyager :)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’m slowly starting to see more Transits and ProMasters running around with company signage. I think it helps that these Euro-style vans can be had from the factory with various wheelbases and roof heights; you no longer have to spend the additional money to have an upfitter butcher the thing just so it’s tall enough for you to stand up inside.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          So many Transits. Ford should sell 140K full sized Transits this year. That is more commercial vans than the other manufacturers combined.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            To be fair the Econoline when it was Ford’s sole full size van offering regularly had more than 50% of the full size market.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            If you include the Transit and E-series together, it’s even more ridiculous. Ford is still going to sell at least 50K E-Series vans this year.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Ford should sell 140K full sized Transits this year.”

            F-word indicating astonishment and admiration.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “If you include the Transit and E-series together, it’s even more ridiculous. Ford is still going to sell at least 50K E-Series vans this year.”

            that’s going to go on for a while, until upfitters come out with more bodies/beds and equipment compatible with Transit. Doesn’t happen overnight. Ending E-Series production now would be handing a good chunk of volume over to GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Jim Z, I have seen my first short bus on a Transit Cutaway, so they are ramping up availability.

            While dropping the E-series would not be a good move I seriously doubt that it would cause many people who use Cutaway based vans from making the switch to GM. Fact is the GM vans can’t hold a candle to the E-series in longevity and cost of operation which is why they have such a small segment of that market. They just won’t last the 350K miles that a bus conversion needs to last nor handle the load than many high cube customers demand.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If the GM vans are worse in bus duty than the E-Series I can’t imagine how bad they must be.

            Our local transit agency tried two separate generations, made by two different makers, of E-350 cutaways with the legendary 7.3L engine. In true transit service, both were complete crap and were retired well before the end of their FTA useful lives because of chronic powertrain, drivetrain, and suspension issues. Since then the agency has only bought “real” buses even though a “real” 30-foot bus costs well over twice as much as a cutaway. The lightweight van chassis just can’t stand up to stop-and-go use 12 or more hours per day.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This just reminded me, my high school bought 3-4 Chevy van bus things (22 passenger or something(?)) back in around 2004 for field trip and band transport use, replacing ANCIENT Econoline vans and this pair of old flat nose buses.

            They still have them, still in full-time use.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Dal, I thought you lived in the Seattle area where Metro was the local transit agency? King county still has a lot of buses on E-450 chassis and they are not retired until they have an average of 350K miles on them. Yes most of them are powered by the V10 which seems to be original when they are surplussed. Even the crop of them powered by the plagued 6.0 weren’t in the auction yard until they hit 350k. The majority of them were still running and driving though they almost certainly had a history of major engine repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Corey and the reason those GM units are still in use is that they are in a low use situation. The school I work for has a number of mid 00’s GM chassis short buses just for the field trips and sports teams and the ones I’ve been in have something like 40~60K on them.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hmm, I dunno though, the band/track/choir/field trip is pretty constant throughout the year. They service the whole school system.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Corey, that may be the case that they are used year round but most likely they are not used on a daily basis and I don’t know about your district but around here the trip to another school for a sporting competition is usually pretty short distance. Field trips can be hit or miss on how far they travel per event. Either way it is far different than transit use where they are in use all day every day, not just one or maybe two trips per day some days of the week.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh I agree there. It’s not anything like an MTA level of usage. Schools are far apart in rural-ish Indiana, and the areas covered per division are large.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I used to work for King County Metro.

            The current E-450s are not used for general transit service but for paratransit, which is far less demanding (fewer stops, fewer passengers, fewer hours of usage). After two attempts in the early 2000s to use them for lower-volume general transit routes, both of which resulted in sale of the fleet within five years, Metro hasn’t tried again since.

            Although I tried to avoid them I couldn’t always do so, and I spent some time driving the vans from the second batch. They really didn’t hold up well to abuse.

            There are also some vans on the road that are privately owned by DART contractors. They are replaced often, presumably on the theory that they are so much cheaper than real buses that using them still saves money.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            When the catalog comes out for this http://www.matherauctions.com/assets/kc-oct-brochure.pdf take a look at the listed mileage for those E450s I’ll eat my hat if the vast majority of them don’t have in excess of 300K and closer to 350K on the clock.

            Yes it may not be as demanding as regular transit use but Paratransit and DART service is far from gentle.

            You’ll also note that all of the private Paratransit companies with their massive fleets of wheel chair lift vans that are all over the freeways surrounding Seattle are almost exclusively E-series. They don’t usually retire those until 350k either.

            I know I prefer a high top van for the uses I have a van for and figured one of the private company vans could be had cheap, but alas no, they get $5000 for them with 350K on them.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’m sure they do have 300-350k. A true transit bus can accumulate a million or more if it’s in freeway service, and 600-700k if it’s used exclusively on the harshest city routes. And it does so with far less difficulty.

        • 0 avatar
          EMedPA

          I think it help that vans tend to have lower load floor heights.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          JimZ – vans are great for plumbers, electricians etc. I’ve said it before, they are like a Home Depot on wheels for tradesmen.
          Pickups are better for odd sized loads. Pest control companies all favour pickups. The driver’s compartment is physically separated from the chemicals. Same can be said for pickups carrying fuel in construction and logging.
          Vans and pickups both have their advantages and disadvantages.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Vans are great but can’t match the versatility of pickups, especially when the work is done. Family time? Play time? Dinner and a show??

            But then pickups have actual resale value. What can match the value of a crew cab 4×4? With vans you’re lucky to get ‘scrap value’ in 8 years.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        It’s anecdotal, but the amount of new work vans I see is astonishing. I didn’t see any of them last year and now I see 10-15 during a regular drive.

        The vans make a lot of sense – especially now they’re so high. I know they’re not the best for construction and towing. But for guys who need to keep their stuff out of the elements / haul tools, and cargo, they seem pretty good.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      theonlydt,
      I wonder how much of an impact some of the new half ton pickups are having on the lighter end of the HD segment? The light end of the HD segment is quite large, look at Ford’s reliance on the lighter 250s. The F-150 is not the biggest selling pickup like many try to put across. Ford’s reliance on it’s HD is more prominent that the other manufacturers. Have they taken a bigger hit than the 1/2 ton pickups? That will even make the aluminium F-150 a bigger issue for Ford.

      I believe if one can find out what trailers are being sold one can determine if the need for ever larger, more powerful pickups is sustainable.

      Just having the mostest, biggest, quickest, widest and every other word ending in ‘est’ might not be enough to keep on with the truck wars.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “I wonder how much of an impact some of the new half ton pickups are having on the lighter end of the HD segment?”

        I am seeing more fleets switching over to 1/2 ton pickups that are used more for surveying, and lighter duty work. 1/2 ton trucks have improved in durability to the point where they hold up well on gravel roads for long periods of time.

  • avatar

    At some point there are only so many full size pick ups that will be sold, lets call it Peak Truck. August is a poor indicator since most manufacturers will hold back on incentives right in the middle of summer. Hold back on incentives test the market, and perhaps step up incentives to conclude the 3rd quarter.

    The mid size pick ups, are an alternative to a utility especially the Colorado/Canyon which is more utility with a bed instead of a tailgate. The Tacoma is a truck, and its the same size as a pick up from a decade ago.

    Do you want a utility with a liftgate or one with a tailgate?

    These mid size pick ups offer an alternative to folks in urban areas where a full size is simply too big. As well these mid size trucks are all down on power with small engines, compared to a full size pick up.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    True, but I think Mr. Cain meant that those who currently own a Ranger or Dakota and do not want a full size pickup are buying Colorado/Canyons which is a conquest in that those buyers are going to GM instead of Ford or Ram. This could be said for Toyota, Nissan, and Honda as well if those same buyers are buying their midsize trucks. Also how many crossovers or station wagon owners like those owning a TDI VW are going to midsize trucks. I know someone with a VW TDI wagon that had their car bought back from VW and then went out and bought a new Nissan Frontier crew cab.

    I agree with several comments above that peak sales have been reached. Many who wanted or needed a new vehicle and especially those that held off replacing their vehicles due to the 2008 financial crisis have for the most part bought new vehicles. The large pent up demand for newer vehicles has for the most part subsided. There are only so much demand for a new vehicle and demand will fluctuate depending on economic conditions and the average age of the vehicles still on the road. This is true of most consumer goods in that the demand for them is elastic and will fluctuate depending on the economy and if the consumer deems it urgent to replace their older vehicle.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Looking at the numbers, it does appear that the midsizers took the full sizers lunch, both in August and YTD. Plus aren’t there a lot of new midsizers that got released this year?

    Similar to how “compact” cars have grown to become what was considered midsize for decades, so it seems the “midsize” truck has filled in the shoes of the full sizer. Obviously for many nothing will do but the biggest and baddest- from what I’ve seen mainly out of fear and confirmity- but for people with an open mind it looks like the midsizers deliver more value. Especially considering now that the stigma of a truck without a V8 is dying out. For good reason too… a Ridgeline is a low 15 second, 0.8g on the skidpad truck. Those were sports car numbers not long ago.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Also, the new mid-sized trucks are the size the full size trucks used to be. Those that need a truck to haul things and don’t need a huge bed do fine with the new full sized mid-sizers.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Flipper35,
      The new midsizers are shorter and narrower. They are larger on average than the older midsizers.

      But, the new midsizers are far more capable and refined than the older midsizers. This is what people feel and want when they drive a vehicle.

      They are no longer those cheap, nasty vehicles. They make a fine replacement for a full size or large SUV/CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The size the full-size trucks used to be? Maybe in the late ’50s. Compare apples to apples (that is, the same configuration), and a new mid-size pickup is still smaller than a full-size, except in height. And modern vehicles are just taller across the board.

  • avatar
    hurricanehole

    Add me with the van is the new practical pickup. If you checked out new style van sales with pickup sales maybe there’s a correlation. There’s a new factory being built for vans in SC. I just had a choice of a new pickup or a van. Van won. Easy to load and the load is inside and secure.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    Is part of the problem the longevity of these things?

    I wanted a nice truck, but the only one I could afford in the trim I wanted was very high mileage. There is a very good chance my truck has many more miles of driving left in it; I got excellent maintenance records and I can fix most things myself (then again, the engine could slag on me tonight).

    Point is, I bought this instead of a new one. If I’m lucky I won’t be truck shopping again for at least 5 years. Are there just too many trucks out there that won’t die?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Part of the problem is looking at same month sales vs last year without looking at last year. For the F150 there wasn’t full availability until late last year, heck you couldn’t put your hands on an order sheet for a fleet spec F150 until late April/early May. So the F150’s best months were July/Aug. Overall year over year the F series is still up a decent amount.

    Responding to full availability of the F-150 led to GM piling on the discounts to try and maintain the momentum they had early in the year which also led to strong sales in the later months of the model year.

    Overall year over year sales are still up significantly for Ford and Ram. GM on the other hand is seeing their full size sales being cannibalized by their Canyado showroom mates despite what GM may claim. Sure they are probably getting a significant number of people who are trading in their defunct brand less than full size trucks but I bet the same holds true at Nissan and Toyota, probably even more at Nissan given their massive uptick in sales.

    It is also important to note that market share of trucks is still climbing and the miniscule numbers, relatively speaking, of the less than full size trucks are not the big driving force behind that. The big driving force is a return to a normal market where the large number of people and businesses who had put off a purchase due to economic factors have largely already purchased their overdue replacement.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Scoutdude,
      The F-150 has not been the biggest selling pickup in the US for a while.

      Ford has been quite reliant on the profits from the steel HDs. I wonder how much of a hit Ford will have with the new aluminium HDs?

      The development costs for these new aluminium pickups and SUVs from Ford has to be paid for. I’d the cost per vehicle is much higher for Ford than GM, Ram, Toyota and even Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yeah Ford’s development costs are way higher than Nissan, Toyota and even Ram since they haven’t spent money on their trucks in as much as a decade in some cases.

        Ford did spend a lot going aluminum with the F150 but their increase in transaction price exceeded the increase in development cost.

        The switch of the SuperDuty to Aluminum will further increase Ford’s profits through lower per unit costs of the cab sharing which will further increase their profits. It will also increase their sales, and not just sales overall but increase the take rate of the higher trim levels just as it did for the F-150.

        Meanwhile GM will desperately attack Ford in their ads and spend more on advertising their full size as their sales continue to decrease. Meanwhile Ford’s sales will continue to increase as they spend less on advertising.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdude,
          You are playing with words and data.

          ie,
          “The switch of the SuperDuty to Aluminum will further increase Ford’s profits through lower per unit costs of the cab sharing which will further increase their profits. It will also increase their sales, and not just sales overall but increase the take rate of the higher trim levels just as it did for the F-150.”

          Your comment above is using the new status quo. That is based on aluminium pickup sales alone.

          What improvement has Ford made in pickup numbers or better still, what we should be looking at market share with the move to aluminium?

          Ford has not improved market share. It’s current improved numbers is in line overall with all of the other manufacturers, roughly speaking.

          So, Ford has not gained ground.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Lets see Ford F-Series up 30k units YTD which equals the total increase of Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, Canyon, and Ram combined. So who is gaining market share? Hint it isn’t GM or Ram.

            Total full size sales are up 2.8% while Ford sales are up 6.7% or increasing more than twice as fast as the segment as a whole. Meanwhile GM is down .5%. Yeah Ford is screwed and should just pack it up and go home.

            Your less than full size BS is just that BS as it isn’t impacting full size sales of companies that aren’t playing in that less than full size segment.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “You are playing with words and data.”

            Heaven’s NO.

            Ford is after market share but even if they maintain status quo, making more money while doing it matters too.

            Ford’ switch isn’t a short term plan. The F150 WAS the heaviest truck in its class. The HD’s body and frame are as old as the hills and needed a big upgrade.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            Again ……… you play with data to fit your argument.

            I do believe GM sells more pickups than Ford ….. ????

            What about the C twins, they are as much a pickup as a full size, and I’d say are pulling a higher profit than the S twins.

            Really, if you also look at this logically, the midsizer is in a more direct competition with a full size 1/2 ton (which are the major full size sellers) than a 1/2 ton vs a 1 ton …….. don’t you think????

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    Today’s full-sized pickups are grotesquely oversized and comically over-styled. Here in Houston, I’m amazed by the number of them crammed into driveways in the suburbs (with back bumper or hitch often hovering over the street) and the number of these crammed into downtown parking garages. Conversely, Colorado/Canyon and Ridgeline remind me of the more elegant early 2000s F-150 SuperCrew and Silverado Crew Cab size.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      JLOLDEN,
      I do believe they look overly animated. This might be a similar tactic as used by cigarette companies when designing the packaging for cigarettes. An attempt to attract a child, so when he grows up he buys a pickup (joking).

    • 0 avatar
      TomHend

      JL GOLDEN how is your Impala doing? I like that car.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The Colorado/Canyon and Ridgeline are still smaller in every dimension than an ’01 SuperCrew F-150 or ’04 Silverado 1500 crew cab.

      Comparing an ’01 F-150 to a ’16, the only dimensions that are larger are WB and OAL (and that’s only because of a 6″ cab stretch in 2009) and bed height. Comparing an ’04 Silverado to a ’16, and the bed is slightly taller as well; all other dimensions are essentially equal.

      The percieved size difference between then and now is almost entirely due to the more squared-off hood jutting out into space.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Yeah, well. I’m looking at my ’99 Suburban 1500 in the parking lot of my corporate campus right now.

    That’s roughly 5,500 pounds of ‘Murica. A 42 gallon tank and if I am lucky, 15 miles per gallon doing mixed driving.

    Gas yesterday was $1.93 per gallon. I put 15 bucks in it and I should be good for the rest of the week AND this weekend (I have a ten minute commute).

    Enjoy your cramped compartments during your morning to-the-office shuttle. As for me and the ‘Burban, as prehistoric as it may be… it’s a comfy ride.

    Long live the full size pick-up and the descendants of such. Cheap gas for the win.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I prefer to buy a vehicle and keep it for at least 10 years. I put less miles on my vehicles than I did 10 or 20 years ago. I realize I am not the norm but being able to retire without debt and enough savings to live in a comfortable manner are more important than a depreciating piece of metal. The value of a vehicle goes down rapidly during the first 3 to 5 years of ownership and if the vehicle has been well maintained and is not a lemon there remains many years of low cost ownership. There have been books and articles written about how to drive a reliable and safe vehicle for many years past what is considered its useful life with proper maintenance and diving a vehicle in a much gentler manner.

    Many people who have good jobs spend all their money on cars, clothes, housing, and recreation and never have any savings. Many buy more vehicle and house than they can afford. Nothing wrong with buying a new vehicle but do most people need a new one every couple of years? There are always some who use their vehicles in their business and put above average miles on their vehicles and maybe they do need a new vehicle every couple of years, but most people it is a waste of money that could be spent for more important things or saved for their retirement. The best way to save is if your employer has a matching retirement plan where you can contribute earnings that are tax deferred which means the contributions are not taxed until you withdraw them which for most people should be when they are retired and are paying less tax.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    Now that I don’t absolutely have to have a full size pickup for work, I traded it for a used BMW X5 sport. Those huge things are just not fun to drive and I hate to think what happens when they need to make an emergency stop at high speed.

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