By on May 4, 2017

2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab - Image: Nissan

After improving in 11 consecutive months, U.S. sales of pickup trucks declined 4 percent in April 2017.

8 of the 11 truck nameplates on offer in America sold less often in April 2017 than in April 2016, causing declines in both the dominant full-size pickup truck sector and in the until-this-year burgeoning midsize category.

One month does not a trend make, but April’s downturn didn’t represent the first batch of evidence suggesting a forthcoming pickup truck sales slowdown.

Granted, not all trucks are heading in the same direction.

Nissan Titan sales quadrupled in April 2017.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A quadrupling of Titan volume, year-over-year, translated to only 4,033 total sales, equal to 2.2-percent market share in the full-size category.

Nissan eventually wants 5-percent market share for the Titan in the full-size category, which would have required dealers to have sold 9,300 Titans in April 2017, more than double the number actually sold. But the trend line for the Titan is decent, as only once (in March) since the light-duty, second-generation Titan became available in the second-half of last year has the full-size Nissan generated better market share than it did last month.

Also performing markedly better in April 2017 than in April 2016 was the Ram P/U, which grew FCA’s share of the U.S. full-size pickup truck market by nearly 3 percentage points to 23.4 percent last month. For the second consecutive month and the third time in the last eight months, Ram was America’s second-best-selling truck line.

Truck
April
2017 Share
April
2016 Share
4 mos.
2017 Share
4 mos.
2016 Share
Ford F-Series
38.1% 36.7% 38.2% 36.6%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
31.0% 36.6% 32.6% 35.7%
Ram P/U
23.4% 20.9% 22.5% 21.9%
Toyota Tundra
5.3% 5.3% 4.6% 5.1%
Nissan Titan
2.2% 0.5% 2.1% 0.6%

Of course, GM’s pickup truck duo — Silverado and Sierra — still easily outsold the Ram. Yet while the Ram added more than 3,000 sales to its April ledger, the GM full-size tandem combined for an 18-percent year-over-year decline worth 12,967 lost sales.

The Ford F-Series, meanwhile, combined to outsell GM’s entire truck lineup, including the two midsize nameplates, by a 1,514-unit margin in April 2017. F-Series sales dipped slightly, a mere 117-unit drop, but the Ford truck lineup still garnered more sales than the Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon for the third time this year.

GM’s midsize truck decline in April was consistent with a category that has now reported year-over-year decreases in two consecutive months. Aside from the Honda Ridgeline, midsize pickup truck sales are down 8 percent this year, a far faster rate of decline than experienced by the auto industry at large.

April was surely not all doom and gloom for the American pickup truck market, as the downturn hardly represented a serious reduction in pickup truck sales volume.

2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD - Image: GM

Indeed, truck sales are up 3 percent so far this year. The class-leading F-Series is on track for its best year since 2005, and that’s before the refreshed 2018 F-150 potentially spurs further demand. Until capacity improves, the top-selling midsize truck, Toyota’s Tacoma, is in relatively short supply.

But if General Motors does not soon prove its ability to cut its truck inventory glut, the overall state of the U.S. pickup truck market will continue to appear decidedly unimpressive.

Even if Nissan Titan sales quadruple. Even if Honda Ridgeline sales are 6,455 times stronger this year than last.

Yeehaw.

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 @timcaincars.

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49 Comments on “Pickup Trucks Tanked In April 2017, Titan Quadruples...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Down 4 percent is “tanking” ?

    Drama queen clickbait.

    Tanking is my Cleveland Browns going 1-15.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    how much of the Titan’s increase was due to the XD?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      JimZ – good question. I suspect that the gas powered Titan is responsible for their sales jump. The XD’s weren’t big sellers.
      I just read a 3/4 ton diesel test and the XD was massively outgunned. A big complaint was rough shifts. My brother-in-law just purchased an XD. It will be interesting to see what he says about it.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Breakout the champagne, we went from four sales to sixteen per month!

  • avatar
    Joss

    I guess we can count on a Nismo…

  • avatar
    whitworth

    The Toyota Tundra really needs to be redone, maybe this time they can make it less ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I guess Im not a truck guy, but isn’t buying a pickup truck just selecting a degree of ugly regardless of the manufacturer?

      How ugly would you like your truck sir? “Ummm, thinking Toyota ugly will work out well for me this time around. Mmmm, maybe Ford ugly on second thought. MY GOD, I cant make up my mind”

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @thegamper – if you aren’t into trucks, then yes, it is a degree of ugly but as a truck guy, they each have distinct looks and to a degree, personalities.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Toyota has always been slow to revamp and/or upgrade any of their lines.

      I own a 2016 Tundra 4dr 4×4 SR5+ with the TRD pkg, and it is pretty much the same as my 2011 Tundra was.

      It took Toyota decades just to upgrade their best-selling Tacoma, and that was only because GM came out with their new line of mid-sizers.

      Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Nissan is offering some crazy 5 years, 100,000 miles bumper to bumper on Titan XD and gas Titans. If I had the need for a huge pick-up, or the garage to park it, the XD would be it. I’ve seen base models of XD crew cab sell for as low as $37,000. That’s a crazy price for a diesel crew cab. Throw in the warranty…wow. I’ve been in one at an auto show. I was impressed. Very nice. Of course, it was some 55,000 platinum edition.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Even with the big warranty, it’s probably a good idea to wait 24 months or so to let Cummins and Nissan clear up any teething issues.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Crew cab Cummings for 37k? WTF their definately going to find out quick if they went the right direction. That’s not bad at all.

      The Titan Cummins is a great get around vehicle for someone who wants something efficient yet easily maneuverable. Unfortunately that doesn’t fall in my criteria.

      Actually scratch that, I just looked up what these trucks have been getting for MPG, doesn’t look very impressive for such a small engine. Basically the same MPG as the Ram gasser 6.4l.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Well Hummer, not sure I would call a 5.0 diesel a small engine. As for the mileage, they are not known to be fuel misers. That’s the 4 cyl Cummins in the Chevy Colorado. The 3.0 VM Motori Diesel in the Ram is great on fuel also. The Nissan is a very hefty truck also. I think when towing under load is where it beats the gasser V8s. As for the 37k price I saw, that included heavy incentives.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I think it would be an excellent engine for a SUV, but that middle ground it’s trying to own isn’t doing it any favors.

          If GM had put that 5.0 Cummins into the 3/4 ton Suburban or H2 it would have been a real gem of an engine. The IFS hurts it as a 3/4 ton truck as well as the lack of HP and full on 3/4 capability hurt it as a heavy hauler.
          The slightly highish price, again lack of HP, and lower than competitors MPG hurt it as a 1/2. The diesel repair costs isn’t just a problem for it as a half ton but the 3/4 segment isn’t going to want 2/3s of an engine with the whole repair costs.

          I can see some appeal but it’s the right engine in the wrong application. Or to the reverse the right application with the wrong engine.

          It’s a tricky situation, I love the engine, and Nissan has done a pretty decent job on the truck, but the “little” things hurt it.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The Titan XD slots directly into the old “heavy half” segment that the domestics abandoned during the HD diesel shootout wars.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not sure where I see the XD as less then other fullsizers. Dimension wise it’s the same width as a Superduty. It’s longer then a 2500 ram Cew short bed. It puts out the same power and torque that the big 3 did 10 years ago in their one ton trucks. It actually weighs close to most 3/4 tons. If your looking for a fullsize pickup to run around in I think a ram 1500 penta star would be the better budget bet.

  • avatar
    narcoossee

    A Nissan dealer here in Orlando has been trying to unload a couple of 2016 XD diesels forever. They’ve been advertised at $18,000 off list for the last few months and still haven’t sold.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Same thing in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nissan can’t get rid of these Titans.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Yes, Orlando is where I’ve seen them advertised for 37,000 a few months back. Haven’t checked lately because I am not in the market, but 37,000 is cheaper than a Ram 3.0 diesel and cheaper than a Colorado 2.8 diesel. You get a lot of metal for 37,000, with a great warranty.

  • avatar

    Most of the new Titans I see here are XD’s mostly with retirement age drivers and loaded so I’m guessing towing is the reason. Seeing more and more regular ones thou. I’m amazed Ram is stealing so much market share from GM with essentially the oldest trucks on the market. The GM products seem so much better then the Fords when I have driven them, but then again there was huge pent up demand for a new super duty.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Journalist have really done a number on the auto industry. The idea that a new model must be introduced every 7 years is a costly mistake. Especially on trucks where age improves the notion of reliability for a brand. Worse yet is automakers that can’t keep it a secret when a new product is about to replace the current product.

      I’m ready to drop a massive down payment on a new PowerWagon, what’s stopping me? Knowing (from FCA) that they are 2 years from dropping a new model. With that it will hurt prices on the outgoing PWs – additionally the chance that a new or updated engine option with improved HP numbers. Not to mention the possibility of production moving to the US which makes the decision significantly easier.

      Ford really milked the super duty platform which, I think, really improves the trucks reputation (Minus 2 horrible engine options that consumers put up with) and gives customers high hopes for the new model. Important since those consumers may want to try out the new and improved trucks after millions of miles of business use with the outgoing trucks.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “For the second consecutive month and the third time in the last eight months, Ram was America’s second-best-selling truck line.”

    Second-best?

    Looks like third in the chart AND the following paragraphs?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Second if you count GMC separately, which the chart doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Whether second or third place, RAM is a contender. Which means they’ve come a long way from where they were in the past. The redesign helped.

      The F150 may be the most popular truck on the market, but discerning pickup truck buyers favor the Tundra, even with its dated design.

      In 2007 the Tundra was way ahead of its time with its 5.7L V8, 6-speed tranny, floating-caliper brakes and 10.5″ differential ring gear.

      All the other pickup truck makers were comparing themselves against the 2007 Tundra. Tundra even pulled off that stunt about towing the Space Shuttle. Blew all the other contenders away.

      Now all those trucks have copied the engineering features that set the Tundra apart from them in 2007.

      Amazing, the impact the 2007 Tundra had on this segment of the industry.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        “The F150 may be the most popular truck on the market, but discerning pickup truck buyers favor the Tundra, even with its dated design.”

        Oh, stop. Discerning pickup truck buyers are staying away from the Tundra in droves. The 5.7 is an underachieving gas hog that doesn’t start to pull until over 3k rpm. Dodge (OK, Ram…) gets more power and torque out of the same displacement pushrod design with 2 valves per cylinder.

        Ford is selling more F-series because it’s a better truck. Up here in the northeast, fleet buyers who maintain the machinery religiously but don’t spend a lot of time washing and waxing kinda like the idea of a truck that won’t rust away to nothing while the interior, powertrain and running gear are still good for another 150,000 miles.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Hey, to each his own.

          A couple of my Elks Brethren did trade their F150 for a brand new Tundra, and I had nothing to do with it. A couple of retired AF buddies traded their Silverados for a Tundra.

          And these weren’t cheap Tundras either. More like the last truck that they bought during their lifetime.

          Tundra will never sell as many as Ford sells F150s, but the people who buy Tundra do so because they want the better truck.

          My reason for buying my 2 Tundras and Sequoia is that magnificent all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, 5.7L V8. The Rolex of truck engines. People’s eyes just glaze over when they see it and listen to it run.

          Contractors are using a number of Tundras as their work vehicles in MY area.

          Different strokes for different folks.

          Rust in not a problem in the Desert Southwest.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Is this a joke?

          • 0 avatar
            TOTitan

            Hey hdc Talk about a well built engine… my 04 Titan has a 5.6L all aluminum, 32 valve DOHC V8 with 6 bolt mains that pulls like a freight train. My Nissan motor has proper timing chains while Toyota has belts that have to be changed after x miles for some pretty serious money. I can pull the grapevine towing a car on a trailer and never drop under 65-70 or see a increase in coolant temp. I will admit to upgrading the front brakes to the current 14″ versions, a two degree bump in the timing, and Firestone airbags in back. At 13 years old 140,000 miles it still doesnt leak or use a drop of oil ever. I like it and since I only use it when towing or hauling I have no reason to sell it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The current Tundra engines use a timing chain.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            TOTitan, the Endurance-series engines are good ones.

            The Japanese did a great job improving on ye olde Chevy 350 cubic inch pushrod V8 design, heretofore the design standard of the V8 engines.

            And the Titans are VERY popular with the military guys at the nearby bases.

            We see them everywhere.

            I was going to buy a Titan in 2006 but ended up with the F150 5.4L XLT because……………enormous discount. The dealer made me an offer I could not refuse!

            By 2011, the Tundra had been around for four solid years and the feedback I got was that they were superb half-ton pickup trucks.

            My excellent experience with our 2008 Japan-built Highlander was the deciding factor to go Tundra for 2011.

            I wrote about this before, years ago.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While that is encouraging news for Nissan, 4 times very little is still not much.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Like Tundra, the Titan was marketed as an alternative buy to Ford, GM and RAM.

      Neither Tundra nor Titan could ever produce as many of their trucks as Ford and GM. They simply do not have the capacity for doing so.

      But every sale of a Tundra or Titan takes money away from Ford, GM and RAM.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Toyota has the capacity for additional Tundra in the dedicated plant that they built just for it. Their distant 4th place volume is due to lack of demand rather than capacity.

        Discerning pickup buyers consistently buy trucks that rank better in comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The fact that some people choose Tundra and Titan must really stick in the craw of Ford, GM and RAM.

          No doubt each buyer has their reasons. I wonder why I never see $10,500 off MSRP on any Tundra?

          But I sure see a lot of those discounts on Ford and GM trucks.

          Maybe Tundra attracts a better-heeled clientele………

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The Tundra is a boutique pickup truck. A buyer of one wants a 1/2 ton, normally hates Ford/GM/Ram, had a Nova, Torino or Pinto, etc, that fell apart back in ’72, wants to send Detroit’s Big Three a *message*, know nothing about trucks, don’t really need or depend on a pickup, a secretary, nurse, chiropractor, retired, and or just have to be different at all costs, and are more than willing to shoot themselves in the foot in the process!

        That’s sums up every Tundra owner I know or have met. YMMV.

        But don’t get me started on Titan owners!

        • 0 avatar
          TOTitan

          Go for it Denver. All aluminum DOHC V8, fully boxed frame, in 13 years and 140K miles no leaks, no rattles, AC is still cold, no oil usage between 10K oil changes. Other than the exhaust manifolds and brakes that were changed under warranty nothing has ever malfunctioned and I use it exclusively for towing and hauling (big brakes, Bilsteins, and rear air bags added by me). Whats not to like?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            TOTitan, I’m certain there a some people like DenverMike describes.

            But when I chose Tundra for the first time it was because I had already owned a 1988 Silverado, a 1996 RAM Cummins Diesel and a 2006 F150.

            I already had the rest. What was there to lose by trying the great Tundra unknown?

            Tundra turned out to be the best.

            However, to each his own.

            I’m perfectly happy with those magnificent all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, 5.7L V8s in my 2016 Tundra and 2016 Sequoia.

            Probably the last vehicles of my lifetime, and they truly are the best in my experience.

            Seriously!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m sure your Titan is a great truck for your needs and wants, but for the vast majority, the others do it better, even the Tundra!

            Nissan just hasn’t been putting in the effort/investment, compared to the others. Some would say it’s put in the wrong places.

            Or what’s your take? Why are Titan sales so dismal, relatively speaking? What can Nissan do to really compete with the rest? And do they really want to??

          • 0 avatar
            JD-Shifty

            are you really bragging about a truck still running good at 150k? LOL, Japanese buyers are such sheep.

          • 0 avatar
            TOTitan

            No not the miles so much as 13 years with no malfunctions. In 2004 when I bought it new it had the most power and best handling of any 1/2 ton on the market. Ive owned multiple Fords, Chevy/GMC, Dodge, and International trucks before the Titan and none of them had that kind of power and reliability. I admit that since 04 everybody else passed Nissan with newer and more powerful product however since mine has been paid off since 08 and doesnt give me any trouble it didnt make sense to buy something else. I will also admit that Nissan screwed up by using too small of brakes and differential on the early trucks. For me it was no big…I spent a few hundred bucks and installed the 14″ brakes they came out with later and a Mag-Hytec finned aluminum diff cover that doubles the oil capacity. So thats the deal and it works reliably for me. Next time try to express yourself without resorting to childish name calling.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            Friend of mine has a Tundra. He noticed the Frame was cracked just out of warranty and Toyota told him tough luck. Strictly true, but it had been in for a major front end rebuild under warranty (steering column occasionally would bind up and he would be unable to steer the truck).

            Pretty much the entire steering system and front suspension was replaced and nobody noticed the cracks right behind the suspension attachment points?

            It was at the dealer for close to a month while they threw parts at it, he was really wishing he would have bought the Ford he was going to.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    I have also owned every brand of pickup made including a cornbinder way back when, but now Im more of a vehicle for every purpose guy. The Titan with the factory tow pkg, utility bed pkg, off road pkg, and my mods of big brakes, Bilsteins and air bags is a fantastic tow rig and more reliable/trouble free than any of the others ever were. For a daily driver to run errands around town a ’16 Golf Sportwagen tsi built on the new MQB platform feels like it was machined from a piece of billet, and for long distance high speed road trips a BMW 335d which will, when wide open space is available, deliver 30 mpg at a 100 mph cruise…..effortlessly.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I’m down to three vehicles, if you count my run-around-town 1989 Camry V6, I bought used from my best friend.

      Although initially leery about buying the Toyota brand for the first time in 1988, I’ve become a fan, so I am going the whole hog on all-Toyota, all-the-time.

      At my age I am lucky to still be driving, in spite of the State telling me I have to pass a vision test and renew my license every year after age 75.


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