Ford F-Series Owns Full-Size Truck Market In 2016, General Motors Sells The Most Trucks, Pickups Reach Nine-Year High

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
ford f series owns full size truck market in 2016 general motors sells the most

Thanks to improved midsize-truck sales, record Ram volume, and the best annual results for the Ford F-Series in more than a decade, U.S. sales of pickup trucks climbed to 2.69 million units in 2016.

The 6-percent year-over-year growth rate among pickup trucks shamed the industry at large — auto sales grew only 0.3 percent in 2016. Yet while auto sales reached record levels, spurred along in part by pickup improvements, truck sales haven’t quite returned to the glory days. Not yet.

Americans acquired an average of more than 3 million pickup trucks per year during a five-year period ending in 2007, the last time total pickup truck sales volume was stronger than it is now.

Some things haven’t changed, however. Ford sells the most popular full-size pickup truck line; 2016 was the F-Series 40th consecutive year as the segment’s top seller. And America’s top-selling manufacturer reigns as the top-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks.

Of the 2.69 million new pickup trucks sold in the United Stated in 2016, 35 percent were General Motors products. Along with 796,556 full-size Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, GM also sold 146,174 midsize Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons.

That 942,730-unit total — for those keeping track — exceeded Ford’s F-Series total by nearly 122,000 units.

Ford, as of yet, offers no alternative to the Colorado and Canyon. A rumored Ranger has yet to surface.

While Colorado and Canyon sales surged to their highest level since 2005, the Toyota Tacoma continues to be America’s dominant non-full-size pickup truck. Ranked fifth overall in total sales, Toyota is increasing pickup truck production in order to improve upon the Tacoma’s record 2016 volume. Toyota reported 191,631 U.S. Tacoma sales in 2016: 62 percent of total Toyota pickup truck volume and 43 percent of America’s total midsize volume.

The small/midsize pickup sector’s share of the overall pickup truck category grew to 16.7 percent in 2016 from 14.1 percent in 2015. All hands were on deck, with Nissan Frontier sales rising 38 percent and the Honda Ridgeline, on hiatus in 2015, contributing 23,667 total sales.

In 2007, the last time U.S. pickup truck volume climbed this high, non-full-size trucks owned 19 percent of the overall truck market, helped along by entrants from Dodge, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, and Mitsubishi.

Full-size pickup trucks continue to be a driving force, not just in terms of the sway they hold in the pickup truck sector, but in the way they generate revenue. The 2.1 million full-size pickups sold by Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, and GMC — renowned for extraordinary profit margins – in 2016 accounted for more than one-quarter of Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles volume.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, 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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  • Tylanner Tylanner on Jan 05, 2017

    The most effective use of Ford/GMs time would be to spend every waking hour devising new, stylish lights and grill options for their next generation trucks and equally polished and targeted advertising.

    • See 5 previous
    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Jan 07, 2017

      @PrincipalDan There is also Limited, but AFAICT that is limited in the true meaning of the word--only x number of trucks made in one MY. Ford did a good thing IMO by replacing the STX, FX2, and FX4 trim levels with the Sport and FX4 packages, since they started out as packages anyway.

  • SD 328I SD 328I on Jan 05, 2017

    I have to say, trucks have always been my weekend vehicle. Used to pull a trailer or bass boat, but never for daily driving. That changed with my 2015 F150 2.7 ecoboost. This is frankly the best overall vehicle I've ever owned. It does your normal truck stuff, including towing more than my last V8 powered F150 could do, while getting me 23 mpg average commuting miles. That's just 2 mpg down from my last daily, a VW CC 2.0T on the same commute. It seats six comfortably and capable of 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. It's actually faster in a straight line than all the cars I've owned including a BMW E46s, E90 and Subaru BRZ. I also bought the first year of a complete re-design, just like my old Integra and E46s. So far flawless.

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    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jan 07, 2017

      @VoGo The poster formerly known as P71_Silvy is a fixture on these hallowed forums going way back. Let him hate. He gives the joint character.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.