September 2017 Was a Terrific Month For Pickup Truck Sales in America

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

September 2017 sales of pickup trucks rose to the highest level so far this year in the United States, jumping 12 percent to 257,864 units.

Prior to this point, truck sales had grown by less than 4 percent, year-over-year, averaging slightly more than 225,000 monthly units.

September’s big gain was fuelled almost entirely by improvements among the full-size pickup trucks that own 84 percent of America’s pickup truck market. And America’s full-size pickup truck gains were powered in large part by America’s best-selling line of vehicles: the Ford F-Series.

For the F-Series, September’s 82,302-unit total also represented the best monthly output in 2017. Perspective: the Ford’s 21-percent leap forward equalled 14,493 additional F-Series sales compared with September 2016, a gain greater than the total sales achieved by GM’s midsize pickup truck duo.

Continuing a common theme, Ford didn’t just sell more copies of the F-Series this September than last, the Blue Oval sold those trucks at higher prices, as well. Ford says the average F-Series transaction price grew by $2,300 compared with September 2016.

RankTruckSept. 2017Sept. 2016% Change2017 YTD2016 YTD% Change F-Series82,30267,80921.4%658,636595,65610.6% Silverado55,23645,38021.7%418,590425,556-1.6% P/U47,14247,792-1.4%374,901361,0863.8% Sierra18,10618,0680.2%154,476164,440-6.1% Tacoma18,05815,72314.9%147,420142,7113.3% Colorado11,27110,3838.6%83,03480,0473.7% Tundra11,1599,50717.4%85,67784,8221.0% Frontier5,1117,596-32.7%55,20869,388-20.4% Titan3,7732,48452%35,54910,974224% Canyon2,9222,949-0.9%23,26927,206-14.5% Ridgeline2,7843,318-16.1%26,57612,747109%General Motors87,53576,78014.0%673,969697,249-3.3% Ford Motor Company82,30267,80921.4%658,636595,65610.6% FCA47,14247,792-1.4%374,901361,0863.8% Toyota29,21725,23015.8%233,097227,5332.4% Nissan8,88410,080-11.9%90,75780,36212.9% Honda2,7843,318-16.1%26,57612,747109%Small/Midsize40,14639,9690.4%335,507332,0991.0% Full-Size217,718191,04014.0%1,727,8291,642,5345.2% Total257,864231,00911.6%2,063,3361,974,6334.5%

The F-Series wasn’t the only member of the full-size fleet to add volume in September. With a modest GMC Sierra uptick and a big Chevrolet Silverado improvement, General Motors produced 73,342 full-size truck sales, a gain of nearly 10,000 sales, year-over-year. GM’s share of the full-size truck market climbed one percentage point to 34 percent last month. Ford’s share jumped from 35 percent to 38 percent.

Because of declines at Honda and Nissan, America’s midsize pickup truck category posted only modest gains even as Toyota and Chevrolet reported meaningful Tacoma and Colorado increases, respectively. Year-to-date, midsize pickup truck market share is down from 16.8 percent in 2016’s first three-quarters to 16.3 percent in the same period of 2017. The quintet owned just 15.6 percent of the overall truck sphere in September 2017.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • EBFlex EBFlex on Oct 03, 2017

    Yay low profit fleet sales!!! Ford loves fleet dumping.

    • See 4 previous
    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Oct 04, 2017

      @DenverMike What are the fleet numbers? What is the average profit of each fleet transaction? I think you talk through a place where the sun ain't shining.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Oct 04, 2017

    From my simple arithmetic I do believe GM sold 5 000 more pickups than Ford. I would think the midsizers are pulling a hefty profit as big as the fullsize. These figures are also distorted in that they don't include the related platforms that increase the profits across the board. It seems GM with it's pickups and related SUVs should be taken into account. Ford has squandered a great opportunity when it redesigned the F150, steel would of been the better choice. Ford can sell sh!t tins of F Series, but someone has to pay down the massive cost of the changeover to aluminium. I see Frod's CEO has decided to "shave" $14 billion of Ford's expenditure. This type of talk and the fact Ford has INCREASED its footprint in the rental market by over 25% shows Ford ain't doing that well. So, yeah to the Ford knobs out there, you can sell lots of ice cream to kids for a quarter. But when they cost 30c each it ain't good for business ......... unless you are Ford apparently.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Oct 04, 2017

      @Art Vandelay L'il Al, How did you take away that? Man, are you DenverMike? Where did I state I dislike Orthodox Jews? I stated a situation where one (1) is in that position. If you read on I stated I judge those as individuals, as I judge you. I don't judge all on this site as low as I judge you. I mean, look at your name? Really numbnuts, grow up.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, both China and the EU use a standardized charger connection. About time the US & Canada to follow.Would take some of the anxiety out of an EU purchase and accelerate adoption. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.