Pickup Shake-Up: Supply Chain Headaches Stir the Pot

pickup shake up supply chain headaches stir the pot

To say the first quarter of 2022 was a strange period for car sales would be to sorely understate the situation, akin to saying Vesuvius just barely covered Pompeii. Toyota kept its crown in America, models long out of production recorded sales, and GM beat Ford over the head in trucks.

Wait, what?

There’s no hiding the fact that just about every dealer has been severely impacted by the chip shortage, with plenty of room for tumbleweeds to blow around their empty lots. It’s certainly had the effect of creating a tremendously short turn time, one in which most rigs are sold very shortly after they roll off the truck, if not long before. Uneven production and delivery schedules have created some strange sales numbers, particularly in the red hot (and profitable) truck market.

See? While there’s no change in the overall pecking order for full-size pickups, take a gander at the vanishing delta between perennial top dog Ford and its competitors. Those of you who passed basic math can take a moment to sum up the total for GM’s duo versus the Blue Oval. For everyone else, we’ll tell you that Silverado/Sierra was 13,000ish units adrift of F-Series this time last year – the final quarter before everything hit the fan and production turned all topsy turvy timey wimey. In the bizarro world in which we currently find ourselves, they now outpace the king by about 35,000 units combined. Even if that has happened in the past, it’s always notable, kids.

Here’s a fun fact about truck sales numbers: Ford and Ram conveniently roll all its full-size pickups (1/2 ton and 3/4+ ton) into one report. GM chooses to break them down into Light Duty and Heavy Duty numbers for Silverado and Sierra, revealing that Heavy Duty trucks from Chevy and GMC comprised about one-third of sales for the S&S twins last quarter. In a headache-inducing bout of corporate acronyms, GM chooses to call its biggest trucks (those 4500+ Series chassis cab brutes) medium-duty pickups. The mind reels.

Other tidbits which can be parsed from this data include a robust showing for the new Frontier. We’re apt to compare its success against the achievements of its competitors in Q1 rather than blindly parroting the news that it doubled sales volume versus this same time in ‘21; remember, that was a transition year for the model. It’s also worth noting that the Maverick is handily outselling the Ranger so far in 2021.

Any other ruminations on these numbers from the peanut gallery? Sound off in the comments.

[Image: Ford]

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 09, 2022

    Lol...if you eliminate the normal Mustang and just count the Mach E...the Mustang still outsold the Camaro

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 09, 2022

    And the Challenger outsold the Camaro. If I were picking from the 3 I would go with the Challenger with a bigger trunk and a roomier rear seat. Always liked the looks of the original 70 1/2 Challenger.

  • Redapple2 I hope i fit in the new version.Wanted one since 1990
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  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.