By on October 3, 2017

All-New 2018 Ford F-150 - Image: FordSeptember 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.

Rank Truck Sept. 2017 Sept. 2016 % Change 2017 YTD 2016 YTD % Change
#1 Ford F-Series 82,302 67,809 21.4% 658,636 595,656 10.6%
#2 Chevrolet Silverado 55,236 45,380 21.7% 418,590 425,556 -1.6%
#3 Ram P/U 47,142 47,792 -1.4% 374,901 361,086 3.8%
#4 GMC Sierra 18,106 18,068 0.2% 154,476 164,440 -6.1%
#5 Toyota Tacoma 18,058 15,723 14.9% 147,420 142,711 3.3%
#6 Chevrolet Colorado 11,271 10,383 8.6% 83,034 80,047 3.7%
#7 Toyota Tundra 11,159 9,507 17.4% 85,677 84,822 1.0%
#8 Nissan Frontier 5,111 7,596 -32.7% 55,208 69,388 -20.4%
#9 Nissan Titan 3,773 2,484 52% 35,549 10,974 224%
#10 GMC Canyon 2,922 2,949 -0.9% 23,269 27,206 -14.5%
#11 Honda Ridgeline 2,784 3,318 -16.1% 26,576 12,747 109%
General Motors 87,535 76,780 14.0% 673,969 697,249 -3.3%
  Ford Motor Company 82,302 67,809 21.4% 658,636 595,656 10.6%
  FCA 47,142 47,792 -1.4% 374,901 361,086 3.8%
  Toyota 29,217 25,230 15.8% 233,097 227,533 2.4%
  Nissan 8,884 10,080 -11.9% 90,757 80,362 12.9%
  Honda 2,784 3,318 -16.1% 26,576 12,747 109%
Small/Midsize 40,146 39,969 0.4% 335,507 332,099 1.0%
  Full-Size 217,718 191,040 14.0% 1,727,829 1,642,534 5.2%
  Total 257,864 231,009 11.6% 2,063,336 1,974,633 4.5%

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 Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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56 Comments on “September 2017 Was a Terrific Month For Pickup Truck Sales in America...”


  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    NOOO NOT FORD! Everything they do SUCKS! LMAO, bring on the mad boys.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup Bankruptcy is right around the corner for Ford, they just can seem to do anything right.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Don’t forget the endless recalls that no other automaker experiences, and every single one needing to be rebuilt every 20k miles, that explains why their sales are in the toilet.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        LOL – paging Big Al from Oz……………

        That diesel Colorado was a game changer for GM!

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Yeah, Loo, good comment.

          I do believe that the Colorado/Canyon combo was a great decision by GM as will the Ranger/Bronco decision by Ford.

          I also believe the Colorado/Canyon diesel do make up enough of an impact to make them worthy contenders in the market.

          It’s called choice. Not a bad concept for a business model, unless you believe only Trabants are the only vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “That diesel Colorado was a game changer for GM!”

          @BAFO – I believe that the Colorado is a decent truck and a needed one. I also believe that a diesel option is a decent one BUT my statement was meant as sarcasm.

          “Game changer”?????????

          No F…ing way.

    • 0 avatar
      No Nickname Required

      Something is wrong! Ford (Frod) must be lying. I distinctly remember “someone” saying that F-series sales would tank after they switched to aluminum. And that “someone” is ALWAYS right. /s

  • avatar
    thalter

    There has to be some limit to the elasticity of truck prices. They just can’t keep going up forever, especially with inflation and wages both relatively stagnant.

    I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, though. The profligacy of the average truck buyer helped pay for the piles of cash that Ford put on my 2017 Fusion…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Pickup truck prices aren’t necessarily increasing (rapidly) just the take rate of optioned-up trucks, 4 doors vs. extra cabs, associated with longer loans plus less rebates.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Also helping Ford this month is that September is when the 2018s were hitting the lots. Obviously with the new facelift/powertrain updates they offered less incentives versus the 17s on the lot (while the ‘17 was largely a carryover from ‘16).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      thalter,
      I do believe some good old fashion competition is needed in the US pickup market. This will push down prices and the consumer will benefit.

      More brands and choice is required. Australia with its tiny population compared to the USA of 26 million has 14 brands at our finger tips, not including the US fullsize pickups, more brands and models are arriving, so it will be survival of the fittest, not most protected and subsidised.

      For any model/style of vehicle to have as many variations and trims as is seen with the US pickup is another indicator for a lack of competition, along with price.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe a lot of replacement trucks were sold in Texas and Florida this month….

    • 0 avatar
      VoGhost

      Good point. Additionally, you have people going into business as contractors, and they need work vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGhost,
        If that is the case HD sales would rise quicker than a 1/2 ton.

        I saw an article discussing the decline in van sales in the US recently and the author was befuddled why the pickup market didn’t have the same impact.

        But, 75% of pickups are personal daily driving cars that tow little and carry less. My assumption would be a larger decline in the HD segment to match the decline in van sales as HDs are more common as a business vehicle than a 1/2 ton.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Bankruptcy?

    Can you explain or elaborate?

    I think Ford is pretty profitable these days. While I don’t think aluminum trucks or turbo truck engines are smart ideas, the public seems to like them a lot, given that Ford trucks are selling very well, outselling Chevy + GMC combined.

    And Ford is making money in Europe. They have ‘good’ small car expertise (unlike GM selling Opel).

    What am I missing?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The fact that some people who shall be unnamed (BAFO) has cried for a couple of years now that the Aluminum trucks were going to be the end of Ford because they would loose money on them like mad and no one would buy them. Funny thing is the F-Series sales have and continue to climb as are the average transaction prices and at a higher rate than that of their competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “What am I missing?”

      The sarcasm.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      tom,
      Um???? Ford has spent massively on the aluminium trucks. This money must be paid down.

      The Ranger cost $3.5 billon USD in 2009 to develop, and that is a traditional steel vehicle, with most components from other Frod products.

      Makes you wonder the investment made by Ford for the aluminium vunder trux.

      Ford has NO info on the cost incurred for the aluminium pickups, I suppose they don’t want the shareholders to see how much they blew.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yeah with the Al F-150 was introduced they plainly stated that the cost per truck, all in, including developing the mfg techniques, was ~$1500 higher than had they done it in steel. However Average transaction price has climbed much more than that and continues to climb, and now they have the technology that meant the additional cost to do the Superduty and Expedition was much less.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdude,
          Production and manufacturing costs don’t include product design and development.

          So, how much of that money was spent re-tooling?

          I would think Ford spent billions just on the re-tooling in Dearborn and KC for the aluminum trucks.

          Now how many F150s have been sold since the introduction of the new aluminium vunder trux?

          Divide 5 or 6 billion (I think the figure I gave is very conservative) into a couple million. It comes to a lot more than $1 500. Then add the additional cost of chassis manufacture, engine design and on and on.

          Ford need to make a lot more to pay down the F Series or it will take a few decades.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “While I don’t think aluminum trucks or turbo truck engines are smart ideas,”

      What? So you like rust? The reality is once you throw the paint on, a steel truck doesn’t look any different than an aluminum one. Perception is everything. Most buyers probably weren’t even aware they were aluminum initially.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Whats crazy is how efficient they are. A crew cab EB F-150 is as fast and fuel efficient as my old 350Z 6MT.

  • avatar
    brettc

    So I guess those stupid Chevy ads with “real people” talking about how awesome GM’s steel bed is aren’t resonating as well as they planned.

    I have no interest in ever buying a pickup, but those GM ads are ridiculously awful and would make me buy a Ford if I were to ever need a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Quote from one of those asinine ads: “I’m getting a hard-on (er, “goosebumps”)”.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      brett,
      GM sold 5 000 more pickups in Sept than Ford???

      This doesn’t count all the related SUVs, ie, Tahoe, Suburban, Escalades and GMCs alternatives.

      I think GM’s platform is far cheaper and far more profitable than the aluminium Fords.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    The combination of GM’s Chevy Silverado, Chevy Colorado, GMC Sierra and GMC Canyon outsold the F-Series by 5,233 this month. That doesn’t happen every month, however. I wonder how the addition of the Ranger will change this dynamic .

  • avatar
    EBFlex

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

    • 0 avatar
      zip89123

      Agreed, Ford had 52,000 fleet sales last month. As a stockholder I’m happy the F series is kicking butt, but as for retail sales Ford isn’t looking good. With CEO Hackett saying the majority of Frod’s future $$$ will we invested in electric vehicles, Ford will cease to exist soon with that mindset.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Commercial fleet sales are not low profit. Rental car sales don’t make a lot of profit up front, however Ford gets to sell many of those twice thanks to the buy back agreements that accompany those big rental car deals.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Ford has upped it’s rental and fleet sales by 25%. Why?

        Ford is becoming more desperate, or the CEO football jock running the show would not be looking for $14 billion in savings.

        What car lines will Ford drop? Will Ford be in the same position as GM and sell some of it’s overseas investments?

        It seems the US with its purposely different market supported by protection and tariffs will end up like it was in the 70s.

        The UAW, manufacturers and government need to think long and hard at how to sustain the US market. Protection, like the chicken tax, differing engineering standards, etc need to be changed to suit where the rest of the world is heading.

        The US is on it’s own with it’s standards. Not good for business or consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @EB – It’s clear most Ford “Fleet Sales” are pickups, 3 classes of van/cutaways, and several classes of pure industrial/RV “cab-n-chassis\'” up to F-750s.

      Manufactures have fleet units flying off the assembly line, making scores or hundreds at a time, all with identical build sheets.

      Those are pure profit and they don’t run interference with retail sales. Buyers of fleet trucks run them into the ground and comeback for more.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Actually, for the last several months, Ford was outselling GM with just the F-series against all 6 lines of GM trucks. However, GM has put on a high level of incentives in order stave off market loss, especially after losing 2nd place for the Silverado against the Ram just a couple of months ago.

      As for profits per vehicle, at least for trucks, Ford has gained market share while having the lowest incentives and highest average price per vehicle.

      As for fleet sales, our company recently purchased 17 F150s, event though we could have saved $378 per truck by buying GMC. Winning fleet sales is not just about dumping metal.

      Probably a big reason for the F150s success is their use of new technologies, including aluminum. Not sure how dominant they would be if they stuck with steel. Even GM is switching to more aluminum for their 2019 trucks.

      As for your ice cream analogy, you realize the huge profit margin in trucks right? Ford is raking in the profits with there F-series, it’s holding up their whole portfolio. It’s been 4 model years of F150 with aluminum, they just added the Superduties and Expeditions to all-aluminum, I’m sure their profit to cost ratios is fine.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        There is more to a business than “outselling” you need to pull a profit.

        GM’s position of having the capacity to be more competitive with larger discounts is proof of the profit between the two companies.

        GM is in a better position than Ford and this is also reflected in share prices.

        In a way you supported my comment.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          How is heavily discounting their vehicles only to fall behind in total sales numbers putting GM in a better position?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            Um ????????????? WTF????????????

            GM outsold Ford by over 5 000 pickups if you are counting.

            GM is also in a far better position than Ford financially and with product development.

            I mean Ford NEEDS to axe $14 billion.

            So, now lets look at all the global manufacturers.

            FCA, where are they in the scheme of things. The Chinese don’t want to have a bar of them.

            GM, well, just look at Opel and Vauxhall of recent times.

            Ford, $14 billion to be clawed back somehow.

            Where is Ford with EV tech?

            I think your Frod Rose Coloured glasses are clouding your judgment.

            As I have been stating the US vehicle market needs lots of restructuring, this means removing many barriers and tariffs and align itself closer to it’s competitors.

            This will improve its customer base. The US just can’t rely on protected pickups. If you believe that you then can’t complain about FCA and the way it is managed.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      You do know that it wasn’t that long ago that Chevy + GMC full size trucks used to regularly sell as many or more than F-series. Now they need the Canyado to the same.

      Now it is true it is hard to say how much of their loss of full size market share is due to the Canyado and how much is due to the fact that the F-series leap frog-ed the rest of the pack, and how much is due to the even deeper discounting that is going on over at FCA with their ancient trucks. But no matter how you cut it GM is not in good shape and part of it certainly is thanks to the high costs with bringing and maintaining 4 pickups in the market.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “But no matter how you cut it GM is not in good shape”

        You’re ignoring GM’s big profit full-size SUVs.

        The F-Series has sold 86K more units than the Sierra/Silverado so far this year, but GM’s BOF SUV sales advantage over the Expedition/Gator is 141K units. And the SUV sales gap between the two companies has been sizeable for awhile now.

        The new Ford SUVs will be hitting lots soon (if they aren’t out already) so we’ll see how the numbers look this time next year.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          ajla,
          You need to add the Colorado/Canyon numbers to the overall pickup numbers.

          I would think there is competition in common between a midsize and fullsize 1/2 ton than comparing a 1/2 ton to a 3500.

          When you do add in the Tahoe/Suburban/Escalade and GMC bretheren SUVs GM is far in front of Ford.

          Then deduct from Ford the multiple billions spent on their courageous aluminium journey.

          Fords gotta be hurting far more than GM even in the pickup market.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “But no matter how you cut it GM is not in good shape and part of it certainly is thanks to the high costs with bringing and maintaining 4 pickups in the market.”

        What???? How do you figure GM is not in good shape with all the expensive PU trucks and FS SUVs they’ve been selling lately. Unless you have access to their costing you have NO clue what it costs them to maintain 4 pickup lines & how that affects profitability. WTF -Give me break.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “From my simple arithmetic…”

      @BAFO – F-series and GM fullsize pickup “profits” are astronomical compared to anything else Ford and GM sell, including midsize pickups.

      Yes fullsize SUVs add to the “equation”, plus overseas sales of midsize pickups, but you’re completely insane if you think GM “midsize” pickup profits rival those of GM fullsize.

      They’re not even in the same ballpark.

      It’s obvious the “lost sales” of Silverado/Sierras thanks to the coming on board Colorado/Canyon and cannibalizing sales of their bigger brothers, hurts as much, or probably more than it helps, considering the tremendous disparity in profitability, fullsize vs midsize.

      But somehow, dramatically increasing “market share” or maintaining it by having more lines of pickups is “worth” a small or decent-size loss for automakers.

      Although it’s worth noting the US Ranger will share its platform with the Bronco and another Ford BOF SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Huh?

        What’s your argument?

        Where is your “story” going?

        Comprehension is lacking on your part.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          I don’t get your hatred of Ford Al, I figured you’d be a fan since you and Henry shared similar views on Judiasim.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Li’l Al,
            True story this;
            I have a very dear friend in Miami and he’s Jewish, great guy. His family were very Jewish to the point where one of his brothers moved to Israel and is Orthodox.

            Now he has 14 kids and he expects the world to tend to his needs. He even expects others to defend his position on politics as well.

            My friend on the other hand is quite liberal in his ways, which is great.

            He doesn’t tell all that he is Jewish, people who find the need to express their ethnicity are not secure on who they are.

            So, my views are not related to what flavour or colour a person is, but on their individual personalities and traits.

            I judge all as a person first and foremost.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            So because you know an undesirable orthadox Jew all orthadox Jews are s#!t (your words in another post, not mine)? Jeeze a couple middle eastern males blew my truck out from under me on multiple occasions yet I still manage to not look at them all as members of Al Quadi Iraq. Your argument now is far from what you said the other day and frankly sounds alot like “I’m not racist…I have a black friend”. I’ve had many disagree means with you over the years but I never had any reason to doubt you were anything but a decent person but calling orthadox Jews all $#it was beyond the pale.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            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.


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