Who Sold the Most HD Pickups in 2012?

2013_SUPER_DUTY_6507 II

The 2012 sales year was kind to heavy-duty pickups, which worked out well for truckmakers given these vehicles are significant profit centers. Based on 2012 R.L. Polk data from new vehicle retail registrations for full-size pickups in the U.S., the three-quarter-ton and one-ton market managed to get about 20 percent of the total pickup sales.

We've decided to split the 2500 and 3500 segments apart to give you an idea how the sales numbers differ. As you might expect, this segment is heavily dominated by the turbodiesel engine choice, with each manufacturer averaging above 80 percent in their respective one-ton truck offering. Of course, certain premium-level heavy-duty models are only offered with the diesel engine choice.

Interestingly, the overall take rates for their respective big-diesel engine choice (when calculating both three-quarter-ton and one-ton pickups together) is more than 85 percent for Ram HDs, about 68 percent for Ford Super Dutys, 55 percent for GMC and 45 percent for Chevy. As you may have surmised, the 2500 HD (both the Sierra HD at 50 percent and Silverado HD at 35 percent) trucks still sell a lot of gasoline 6.0-liter V-8s in the segment.

Next, we'll take a closer look at the midsize segment, as well as how well each of the pickup truck makers did for 2012.

2012 2500 Sales 2 II

2012 3500 Sales 2 II

2012 HD Sales II

 

Comments

So it looks like overall GM sold more light duty trucks than ford in 2012

What?

For whatever reason, GM just doesn't build that many 1 Ton Trucks! The largest local Chevrolet dealer in Central Texas never has more than 1 or 2 1-Ton trucks on the lot and they're usually base models. The smaller dealerships don't have any and the only way to get one is to order it or see if another dealer will trade. The 3/4 ton model seems to be GM's bread and butter for whatever reason.

I don't understand GM for building so few 1 ton trucks, especially since every publication has crowned it the better HD model (power, transmission, etc). Ford and Ram build a lot more upscale HD trucks than GM as well. You can go to most Ram and Ford dealerships and find a huge selection of HD trucks from diesels to gas to dually models.

It's still good to see that GM sold only about 8,000 trucks less than Ford, I would have thought that number would be a lot bigger! For now, Ram is selling more Diesels because of the urea fluid advantage, but from what I understand, that will be going away soon. The Duramax is still the best diesel out there and the Allison transmission is by far the best!

While the combined GM brands are number two overall, it should not be lost that Ram 2500/3500 outsells Chevy Silverado 2500/3500... and the Ram's 4x4 solid front axle has a lot to do with that. GM says they stay with the torsion bars for ride quality, but no one buys a dually for its ride.

Great to see these breakdowns!

So who get's the crown? Or does the Silverado/Sierra split the crown in half? LMFAO!!!!

This is good info, I still think Ford whooped in all in individual BRAND sales.

So now the GM trolls are bragging about how there are more registered GM trucks than Ford, but when the 2012 YEAR END SALES are tallied up the story is different.

So the difference in trucks Sales in 2012 is that there are thousands trucks that remain unregistered.

However, we all see the clear winner here.

This solid front axle crap has gotten out of hand. I don't understand why people think that SFA is the "best." Why? I don't see anyone ever complaining about GM's HD setup with the torsion bars, ever, except for a few copycats on here. GM has proven that it can get the job done just as well and with a better ride without the SFA. There was even an article on here about GM's setup and the "experts" didn't have anything but praise for the setup. It's an old wives tale that SFA is "better." A good friend of mine has a Chevy HD with the diesel and he loves the way it rides and has never had a problem with it. If anything, I've heard that the SFA doesn't stay aligned and it causes all sorts of problems with premature/uneven tire wear. Anyone that has had a Ford HD will tell you that this is true, unless they're a liar. GMC's Denali edition with the Duramax is the reason it outsells Chevrolet in Diesels. In Canada, GMC outsells Chevrolet HD's by a mile for whatever reason.

Why does GM only sell 50% of their HD trucks in a diesel? The Duramax wins awards and people rave about it, so how do Ford and Ram sell that many more diesel engines?

"The 2012 sales year was kind to heavy-duty pickups"
Was it?
2011 HD sales:
GM 114,671
Ram 93,009
Ford 202,759

2012 HD sales:
GM 111,555
Ram 77,583
Ford 119,338

2011 vs. 2012 %
GM -2.7%
Ram -16.6%
Ford -41.1%

What happened there? Especially with Ford. Is the old age catching up to SD?
Clearly GM has weathered the year best. Why such drop for Ram and Ford?

Good report, very interesting to see the break down of the numbers.

Ford won this round, but is LUCKY that GM doesn't make a 3/4 ton Avalanche and Cadillac EXT trucks!

Chris, the SFA argument is about reliability, not ability. Yes, the torsion-bar suspension can handle the weight, but the IFS is difficult to "bandage" if something happens while out on a job. The Jeep Wrangler is still SFA for the same reason - the customers prefer it.

Good to see the breakdown. I thought with the Cummins the Ram would have sold more trucks in the 1 ton segment. All in all i see GM has kept their sales fairly consistant and Ford and Ram have dropped in HD sales in the past few years. I think with fuel costs less people are buying the HD trucks for daily drivers now.

people with work trucks want sfa, they are tough and reliable, snow plows is an example, yes chevys can use them, but there is more strain on the front tie rods and assembly and you always read about cracked frames/gussets and such, also i believe the ifs is part of the reason for the low slung frame, no lockers available etc....google chevy ifs and get some popcorn and start reading...

if your truck is destined to be a pavement princess and not do any real hard work (and your preference is GM) then by all means buy one :)

@Chris - I'd be nice if we could spec trucks as follows: "I'll take a 6.7 Cummins, Allison trans on a Superduty 3/4 ton" Then we w'd know what's driving current brand preferences. It just seems that most HD Ram buyers are more interested in the Cummins than the truck.

Speaking of "wives tales", wives likely tag along for test drives and prefer the IFS of GM 3/4 ton 4X4s. When it comes to 1 ton 4X4s, wives may have to stay in the kitchen.

I don't think IFS 4X4 trucks ride that much better than SFAs, and I also don't think SFAs are that more reliable than IFS or have that much more articulated traction, but the facts remain.

Does Polk differentiate between consumer registrations and business registrations? Fleet buyers typically aren't concerned about capabilities -- they just look at short and long-term cost, and they usually buy the cheapest version of whatever truck is available.

If these fleet trucks were pulled out of the numbers, we'd get a much better idea of which trucks individual consumers choose vs. which trucks sell best because they have good fleet pricing.

Glad to see Ram catching up remember where they where 20 years ago wow lol. Anyway as someone else said it is odd I see GM HDs (especially Chevy I see GMCs all the time but not very often GMC 25/3500s) but rarely 3500s, is that b/c when it comes to diesel people view the powerstroke/cummins more favorably? Not my idea just a guess

It is hard for me to see so many ignorant people buying a one ton truck with a weak frame compared to the competition. I guess the old saying that you cannot fix stupid is still alive today!

From what I see, GM outsold Ford in 3/4 Ton Sales and Ford outsold GM in 1 Ton and above sales. I agree with a previous comment where it was noted GM seems to focus on their 3/4 ton segment. Sales are irrelevant though as industry testing shows the clear winner. Ford HDs haven't won a single challenge on this site or any other, and there is a reason for that .... Here's hoping RAM also makes a big hit with the 2013 HDs so Ford falls to a distant third where they belong.

question: Do these figures (and the 1/2 ton figures) include fleet sales? I know Ford sells more to commercial ventures and upfitters which helps explain the 1+ ton category. I do see some Ram 4500 & 5500's out there doing commercial work as well but it is obvious that GM doesn't sell a competing pickup so they are losing on morket there.

If Ram can package the smaller VM diesel into at least the 3/4 ton as a mid range option I see them increasing thier market share drastically.

For all the GM IFS haters out there just google "Dodge Death Wobble" LOL...

I am surprised by how few GM 3500's there were. The ratio is completely off. GM doesn't sell the popular crew cab short bed in a 3500.
The lower diesel take rate at Gm might be because it was the most expensive option (IIRC).
If the IFS on the GM trucks were really a problem for most buyers, then GM wouldn't have sold more 2500s than Ford.
The more I think about it though, GM's numbers might be inflated by lots of cheap 2500 fleet trucks- 2wd gassers.

Any news on when an all NEW Super Duty is supposed to be out?

@DenverMike: would that be like saying people just buy the Chevy for the transmission?

Still dont get why they (GM) mount the torsion bar a couple of inches away from the the lower control arm center pivot, which makes the bar bend as well as twist. They did that in back in 1962 as well. GM=slow learners.

I know the Ram solid axle ones have a much smaller turning diameter then the GM and Ford.

Plenty of links on youtube and google about what happens when that IFS link breaks at highway speed. It usually does not end good. That makes the death wobble look like a kiddy park ride. No thanks I would take the SFA of a Ram of Ford anyday. As far as the frame on the Ford being outdated then I guess every 18 wheeler and dump truck on the highway are outdated as well since they ALL have C Channel frames. Ford keeps it like that for the aftermarket crowd. Good chance it will be fully boxed on the update around 2015.

@Mark Williams, What do you know about an upcoming HD Ram trucks with a 6.4L Hemi v8?

@ greg

what do you mean you cant fix stupid................. wait i agree with the comment LOL LOL.

BUT....................... your saying that in reference to the Super Duty frame vs. the ram, and GM twins in relation to boxed vs. not boxed frames........... in this case you are simply misinformed.

I will NEVER make it any secret that i am FFFFAAAAAAAAARRRRR from a Ford fan. matter of fact most on here would think i hate them, i really dont. The FACT is the frame design of the Ford Super Duty is FAR better than the frame on the new GM or Ram. If i've said it once i've said it THOUSANDS of times ; RIGIDITY DOESNT EQUAL DURABILITY!!!!! a boxed frame is a STUPID Idea on a truck and removes the whole point of having a seperation between the bed and cab. ITS SUPPOSED TO FLEX! Look every SEMI on the road, its a C-channel so it will flex.

Not taking sides here, but u just cant beat an sfa, and for those who say it rides worse u need to go for a ride in a new gm 1 ton vs the ford, ford is a bit smoother over the bumps and twists, the only part I think the ifs handles better is washboard.

@Hemi, boxed frames flex too, just more like the Millau Viaduct and less like a trampoline. Unfortunately when a frame flexes like a trampoline, the body will try to flex with it. But they aren't designed to do that! So that's why the GM videos got the tailgate to brake on the Ford when they twisted the frame. I love Super Dutys, but they really need to go to a new frame.

Ford has lost sales in the HD ranks. 3 diesels in a decade probably account for most of that. Does the frame issue come up in the real world? (read beyond cyberspace). I never hear guys complain about weak frames on any HD.
The Super Duty is overdue for a remake but Ford does understand the psychology behind selling trucks therefore I doubt they will change the overall looks much.
@Greg -true, you cannot fix stupid. Thank you for proving that comment once again.

The next SD will look like the Atlas.

Lou is a good example that you can't fix stupid.

@Pablo - spoken like a true sheep herder.

I can verify that Lou is a good example that you can't fix stupid. Get me out of this ugly Sienna!

@Lou's wife,

GUTS
GLORY
CLASS LEADING 30 MPG
RAM!!

Oh Lou, you really got me on that one. You!

@Pablo - yup, just like how your first comment really got me.
On the topic of "can't fix stupid", do you have anything relevant to contribute to the topic at hand ie. HD truck sales?
or are you just trolling?
Greg seems to be full of relevant posts, just like you.

I would like to see the figures on forward control LCF/MCF sales in the US also.

I have read that Mitsubishi have increased truck sales by over 250% in 2012 compared to 2011.

From what I saw in NYC at Christmas there are a few around. (I even have photos, but I haven't worked out photobucket yet).

I do know they run a 3 litre diesel with about 150hp and 300ftlb of torque in the LCF. If that is the case then the Transit and the Fiat Ducato/Ram van might be quite viable. Especially if they can come as a cab chassis.

They should be cheaper than an HD and for work thats a bonus.

It's good to see HDs selling well, but are forward control trucks increasing at a faster rate?

@Lou
Like you as of late I have become less tolerant of some of the stuff.

I'm supposed to be mellow at my age.

@Mark Williams
Why don't you provide articles on cab over LCFs and MCFs that are not of the traditional HD mould.

If Mitsubishi trucks have increase sales by that much it is obviously eating into the traditional NA style market.

I don't think you get it Al. EVERYONE I know(many)who has a HD pickup that doesn't use it solely for work. Nobody rides around in a flat nose truck to make the daily rounds. Why would they when they can have a comfortable roomy truck that doesn't look like crap.

@tom
Then are you saying Ford and Fiat/Ram (your favourite brand) are making bad decisions coming out with Transits and Ducatos?

Is GMC making a bad decision selling the Izuzus?

What about cutaways?

These types of vehicles do compete with the HD's.

"While the combined GM brands are number two overall, it should not be lost that Ram 2500/3500 outsells Chevy Silverado 2500/3500... and the Ram's 4x4 solid front axle has a lot to do with that. GM says they stay with the torsion bars for ride quality, but no one buys a dually for its ride."


@RoadTrip, You're right. And they are pretty dumb to keep claiming that as the reason. Ever since they made the torsion bars thicker on the 2011 and up HD's to compete with Ford and Dodge front end loads ratings all advantage in ride was lost. And I back Chevrolet quite a bit on this forum. I've been in the new HD though and it rides like a brick. There's no give in those bars at all. My Super Duty rides so much nicer with it's coils. Swing arm coil suspensions are super nice for ride and comfort. This is one thing Dodge got right before everyone. Much better than the old leaf packs us Ford guys still got stuck with for awhile. I often wonder if Dodge had a 10 year patent on the design? There's also the lower frames on the Chevy HD's which is a negative in my book. Not only for ground clearance but they look pretty bad when they get all rusty. We have a spray-in bedliner place that does a ton of the Chevy guys frames here just to keep them black. They sand them all down and do a really nice job making them look better. And the urea tank placement on the Chevy is just unforgivable. They're like 5 inches from the road when you see one driving down the street. I do like their Duramax and Allison.

"The more I think about it though, GM's numbers might be inflated by lots of cheap 2500 fleet trucks- 2wd gassers."

@MrKnowitall, they do sell lot's of 2wd gassers to fleets. I suspect the same. If I was in the market for a 2wd gasser, even I'd take a look at the upcoming Silverado. Not the current one though because of quality concerns of the truck itself. I do like Chevrolet's engines. When it comes to 4x4's however, all bets are off. There's just too many suspension and frame negatives on the Chevrolet to warrant a 4x4 purchase.

"Ford has lost sales in the HD ranks. 3 diesels in a decade probably account for most of that. Does the frame issue come up in the real world? (read beyond cyberspace). I never hear guys complain about weak frames on any HD."

@Lou, I agree with that. Never once have I heard a frame flex complaint on the Ford's. I suspect they'll make it tougher for next years model anyways just because. Especially after the Chevy video they made with that screwball Howie Long. Ford diesels though, oh boy. Not even I would buy one. Not until this new one had been in the field a few years longer. I buy gas engines though so I suppose it doesn't matter.

@Tom, I agree with you. HD pickup trucks are for owner-operators, LCF's are not. You buy an LCF as part of a fleet for your company that your employees drive. But you don't rule out HD pickups for that either because they have the work truck models to keep the price down. Plus, they can be optioned with 4x4, which makes sense in America. America really gets its pickup trucks right, sad that the big 3 haven't put any real effort into exporting them.

Isn't it interesting that when it came to the 1-ton trucks RAM took #2 over the GM twins--even when combined?

So who get's the crown? Or does the Silverado/Sierra split the crown in half? LMFAO!!!!

This is good info, I still think Ford whooped in all in individual BRAND sales.

So now the GM trolls are bragging about how there are more registered GM trucks than Ford, but when the 2012 YEAR END SALES are tallied up the story is different.

So the difference in trucks Sales in 2012 is that there are thousands trucks that remain unregistered.

However, we all see the clear winner here.

Posted by: Frank | Feb 25, 2013 12:36:16 PM

Too funny! We have a troll calling other people trolls. I would have thought that the blog police would have thrown him out to the curb by now.

On the argument about flexibility vs rigidity:

I know many of us enjoy watching demolition derby on TV or at the local fair. Interestingly, the cars that seem to do the best are the original body-on-frame cars vs the more modern 'unibody' styles. However, I'd like to note that the truck derbies are a little different.

This last County Fair where I live saw a demolition derby featuring nothing but trucks and vans and I have to say the only reason most of them got knocked out was due to getting stuck in the mud rather than being truly immobilized by anything other than engine damage. However, one pickup truck really exemplified the issue with "flexible" frames--the thing literally folded up. That's right, the frame bent to the point that it was dragging the ground between the wheels, lifting the rear wheels clear of the ground after its last hit.

Honestly, I don't want a truck that's so 'flexible' that the frame itself is a spring; that frame is meant to hold weight--not bend. A fully boxed frame is far less likely to bend and as such more likely to survive outsized or overweight loads. A truck is meant to carry/pull cargo, not ride like a Cadillac. My guess is that the FCs that Big Al and a couple others are talking about are truly becoming the Work Trucks because these others simply can't handle the loads any more. Why else would such big trucks have such low carrying capacity?

Oh no... GM beat ford in HD and 1/2 ton!

But but but all those "We own work" work commercials said that isnt true.

Guess the two truck line model is working out just fine for GM, more market exposure than forcing people to chose one.

"For whatever reason, GM just doesn't build that many 1 Ton Trucks!"
Posted by: Chris | Feb 25, 2013 12:22:25 PM

The simple economics of supply and DEMAND.
There's just not that much demand for GM 1 Ton Trucks.

devilsadvocate, since when is 111,555 more than 119,338. Check your math.



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