Who Sold the Most Midsize Pickups in 2012?

2013 Toyota Tacoma white II
It's no secret the compact/midsize segment is still going through an adjustment phase with the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota leaving some significant gaps in the number of options small pickup buyers now have. In fact, we've seen some interesting sales changes happening to this segment due to their absence.

Additionally, changes will be coming as GM plans to bring the next-generation Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon to the U.S. by next year. Likewise, there have been persistent rumors about a small pickup with a unibody platform in the works from automakers like Ford or Hyundai. And VW continually teases us about the possibility of bringing the Amarok to the U.S. as well.

It's worth noting again that the numbers we're using came from R.L. Polk, provider of automotive information, and are based on 2012 new-vehicle registrations for pickup trucks in the U.S. These numbers will vary slightly when compared to the monthly sales numbers we report throughout the year because that data is supplied to us from the manufacturers which only includes a recorded sale but not necessarily a state registered vehicle. 

We also wanted to look at the entire pickup truck category to see how the different truckmakers compared for the year. The results are interesting and hopefully point to another strong year for 2013.

2012 Midsize Sales 2 II

2012 Truck Makers 2 II

2012 PIckup Sales II

 

Comments

Way to go Toyota!

Wait for the next dakota!!

lol, I bet Toyota has been waiting. They are begining to yawn. This is how Ford must feel regarding the full size trucks.

Lol! Total trucks, Toyota is knocking on Ram's door!

Ford must have been desperate to close the Ranger factory! Of course, it's also easy to see that, although Ford lost at least 50k in sales of the Ranger, smaller trucks are just a drop in the bucket compared to 1/2 ton trucks.

I'm thinking someone got a GREAT deal on the Hummer.

Good job GM

@Mark Williams,
In the article about half-ton sales if all LD sales are added up they total up to be 1,015,326. Up here you have 988,326. Why such discrepancy?

A couple of comments for Mr. Williams. These look like retail registrations, not total registrations. It would be good to clarify that.

Also, the comment about manufacturer sales reporting being sales to dealers is wrong. Monthly sales reported by manufacturers are in fact sales to customers. They don't align with registrations, because customers have a grace period in which to register their new vehicle and states vary in their registration reporting timing. Also, some vehicles sold by a US dealer may go into the gray market (for example, Canada), so they don't get registered in the US.

Again, does Polk offer data on fleet vs retail registrations? Fleet buyers are usually most concerned with lowest costs rather than best mix of features...these numbers in an of themselves are interesting, but without differentiating between a fleet transaction and a retail transaction, they're fairly useless in terms of determining which truck(s) offers the best features, etc.

Here also, if you add up chart 2 it's off by 27K vs. chart 3.

I had a 2001 Tacoma 4x4 double cab for 10 years. When I went to get a new truck I bought a GMC Canyon cause the newer Tacoma's are to big for what I NEED. I am hoping the new Canyon/Colorado are not as big as the Tacoma.

Congrats, Toyota. Still, Tacomas are the only real choice and the only mid-size regular cabs on the market. The Frontier only comes in King cab or crew, and selling regular cab strippers are what OEMs want to avoid despite them being huge part of the mid-size market. Right now, the cheapskates and commercial fleet buyers are converging on the Tacoma. Thankfully, the Colorado and Canyon are on the way.

Toyota is in a unique situation where they don't care if Tundras are cannibalized by the Tacoma. The Tundra is not nearly as profitable as the Ram or F-150.

GM is in a unique situation where they can't fail no matter what they do.

If Ford does bring a compact uni-body pickup to market, it'll mostly cannibalize compact cars including Ford's own (Fiesta, Focus), rather than F-150s.

OEMs aren't stupid and if the mid-size market was worth going after, as opposed to surrendering it to Toyota, we'd have mid-size from Ford, Ram, VW, Mitsu, Mazda, Mahindra, Great Wall, Isuzu and others from around the world.

Sad, just sad if I were seriously in the market for a new mid-size today. Personally, I would love to see competition across the brands.... That competition forces all of the manufacturers to step up their game leaving the consumer with a better selection of new and innovative products at competitive prices. To sell my point, when was the last significant update to any of the current top three in this mid-size segment? Any substantial new efficient engine choices or tech upgrades? Yes, it's been awhile and the reason is because they can get by without changes because of the lack of competition.

On a positive note, it looks like with GMC/Chevy will soon jump back into the game. Ford has done all of the hard work in bringing the "global" T6 Ranger to every market but North America and could bring it here in a relatively short period of time, if they so choose. And then there's the rumors of a new Ram/Jeep mid-size and VW Amarok coming to NA as well. With that said, the future does look much brighter.

Until this anemic segment improves with some innovative new trucks, I'll continue to drive my 2002 F-150 SuperCrew. I refuse to go to a new (larger) full size and will not settle for any of the current mid-size trucks.

Either way you look at it, that's a lot of pickup trucks sold. Great for the industry and great for the economy. Awesome!

its only a matter of time before Toyota PASSES Ram. it will happen, its only a matter of time now.

Its so funny to see how close these numbers really are ESPECIALLY when you have the clueless people post on here like Toyota is insignificant to trucks.......

Toyota is gaining on Ram pretty quick, but I think Ram will have a good year with the new eight speed and the Diesel will help next year. I think the new Tundra will do okay but they need to do some minor powertrain improvements to improve efficiancy in their truck line.

VW said that they would have to sell 100,000 units a year in USA to make it worth while. They have a goal of becoming the worlds number 1 auto maker, but they are not going to get there by making stupid decisions like GMC had in the past.
I think that the Amarok could sell but its price would be right in the middle of 1/2 ton trucks. It would have to get stellar mpg to sell well since price would be hgher than the Tacoma with a diesel.

@Gregory J - Actually, Mr Williams is right, OEMs consider their vehicles "sold" when they're shipped to dealers. Essentially, they ARE sold as dealer are separate entities.

The discrepancy obviously comes from vehicles sitting on dealer lots (months or years, even) before sold at the retail/fleet level.

There's no reason for dealers to delay registering new vehicles with the DMV past the 1st business day of the new year. Also, it's not up to new vehicle 'buyers' to eventually register their new vehicles. The dealer does all the DMV paper work.

Gray market (exported) vehicles are "used", technically, as you cannot import "new" vehicles to any country unless you're the OEM (if at all). Other than a 'bill of sale', you'll need a (signed-over) title issued by your state's DMV.

@DenverMike, good posts both. I also agree the Tacoma is the only real choice for a midsize truck. A very good off road machine as well. I kind of thought they might have a small fight on their hands with the new Chevrolet Colorado but after seeing the design elsewhere in the world, I'm not impressed. The exterior looks are dreadful, the interior is poor and the off road capability is questionable. I predict Toyota will continue to dominate this segment. Not that I personally want them to but I just don't see any real contenders.

@DenverMike,
But both data come from the same source. Shouldn't they match than if R.L.Polk is counting registrations not deliveries?

70,832 is the sales number for 2011 for Ford Ranger. 2011 last full year of production.
Ranger sold as many trucks in 2011 as #2 Frontier and #3 Colorado combined sold in 2012.

Bring back a compact truck Ford!

@Gregory... I can't agree more about Ford bringing a new compact truck to North America. Even with some of the +70K being fleet sales, that number is fairly respectable considering no R&D had been pumped into the Ranger since the early 90's.

I say bring the T6 "global" Ranger here! It will sell like hotcakes for sure!

@Gregory J - RL Polk and Carfax just collect statistical and VIN info from insurance companies, DMV, etc. They're completely independent from OEMs or they're (sometimes shady) accounting methods.

OEMs are correct though. Dealers buy the vehicles from the factory, (with working capital or loans) but technically, OEMs have to buy back (and pay to ship) what doesn't sell. Of course they rarely do. That's what rebates are for.

@Lou - The VW Amarok doesn't even offer a regular cab, (or extended) and no mid-size could survive in North America with out a regular cab (base stripper). VW is wise not to build a reg cab because the profits aren't there. Some other OEM can take the loss, as far as VW is concerned.

Look at how bad Nissan Frontier sales are. And the Frontier at least builds an extended (King) cab. There's simply no way the Amarok would outsell the Frontier.

That's the inherent problem with the NA mid-size market. Everyone wants the base stripper. But when they want anything bigger, full-size is the better answer.. And often cheaper!

Remember, mid-size extra cab equals full-size regular cab. And mid-size crew cab (which is really too cramped for adults) equals full-size extend.

@FYI
Actually the numbers of truck sales are an indication of all the monopoly money that the US Dept of Treasury is printing. The nation's economy still sucks, but low interest rates make homes, trucks and autos affordable. The market for HD trucks is going to collapse if small business owners stop hiring and stop making capital purchases. The price of groceries and fuel have gone through the roof in the last few years. All because of the cheap money policy in Washington. Re: the trucks. The Tacoma is a sorry substitute for a truck unless you are under 6 feet tall and skinny. I can take about 10 minutes in a Tacoma or Ranger before I want to bail. Too small.

"These numbers will vary slightly when compared to the monthly sales numbers we report throughout the year because that data is supplied to us from the manufacturers and include the number of pickups that have been delivered to dealerships and not actual sales."

Wasn't or isn't GM doing this. This can't be true for all mfgs.

I don't like the seating position in the Tacoma, the seat is low to the floor like in a car and the windshield is close to your face. Just not very comfortable, I like the Frontier comfort wise better.

Now why is it these numbers don't jive with the end of December truck sales numbers?

Lol, do your happy dance, Toyota boys (any gals?) They barely got close to Ram HERE, but where not close to them on the end of December sales?

Sure, most of the rest of the midsizers left the markit, and gas prices are soaring again. A global Ranger/BT-50, Colorado, or whatever Ram/Jeep decides to do (whenever....) will cut right into it.

But for you Toyota lovers that THINK you are close to RAM, here is something to think about: what do you get, same ol Tacoma in 2014? Tundra? Finally a new interior, yet they made it ugly, with barely any powertrain advances.

Ram: 1. New v-6 trucks have just been on the lots barely a month, and there are so few out there yet, meaning one lot might have one, and it's not like having 20 choices of model, 4x4 or 4x2, crew, quad, single cab, colors, gear ratios....Just saying they are barely out there, and some people that want one maybe are waiting for the one they want. Unlike when you shop v-8 trucks, you have many choices. Give it three months. They will have alot more v-6 selection.

2 Hemi 8 speeds. They are on the way! Wow, a Tundra 4x4 is EPA rated for a whopping 13/18, new 4x4 Ram 8 speed Hemi? 15/21! I am sure hemi lol will chime in and say "that's EPA!" Yeah, well, there is SOME REASON IT IS RATED HIGHER EPA. Could it be it gets better mileage? Anyway, they will be selling more.

3 The new HD Rams: They have done alot of work there, incresed capacity. They will be out soon.


That's before we get into air systems, and crewcabs with 6'4" beds.
Hey, what's new for Toyota for this year anyway? Oh, wait....silence! I know!....A commercial with the Tundra towing a stripped down space shuttle, heavy yes, but I'd bet it aint the weight they release to the public! Now lets see if the Tundra can stop with 1000 pounds (well less then it's max payload) in the bed....Nope, not that good!

Lets see, we can only get a 5 speed AUTO with that little v-6? With the longbed. It is nice they have manuals trans available, too bad it doesn't get that great a mileage. I guess they are a good truck for kids, or people that just want to offroad. Or city people that need a small truck to fit into their garage. Those families that feel like they in for an adveture and say "We will just take the truck!"

@hemi lol; It's only a MATTER OF TIME before people realize they can get BETTER mileage in two fullsize trucks then a cramped Tacoma.

It's only a MATTER OF TIME before Ram gets their full lineup out. They have barely made 2013 2500s.

You got it right, it is a matter of time! Enjoy the current high you are on!

The Rams not much better for Room, its right thier with the Silverado/Sierra for least front and rear leg room and not much head room either.

@denvermike
VW Amarok is available in regular cab. Has been since at least 2011.
http://drivemagazine.co.za/drive-test-vw-amarok-single-cab-bitdi-4motion-trendline/

VW has indicated ZERO interest in truck market north of Mexico. Amarok would compete against full size trucks, poorly.
Saviero compact car based trucklet is segment with no competition, this is where VW could be successful. http://www.vwcomerciales.com.mx/es/models/saveiro.html
GM and Fiat have compact car based trucklets they could sell too.

I don't think any of these numbers, the Polk or the manufacturer YTD numbers, are very accurate.

This article here says Polk Data is state-provided registration data. The state provided data can lag 90 days after a sales month. So that could mean November and December sales are lagging or not included. http://www.4wheelsnews.com/mercedes-benz-beats-bmw-in-2012-us-car-registrations-says-polk/ .

The article also claims data from the manufacturer can be fabricated, "Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of Mercedes' US sales unit, suggested in a Bloomberg Television interview in January that BMW fabricated its sales results, thus giving its rival the 2012 luxury crown in the US."

Who can you trust? Can't trust the states. Can't trust the manufacturers.

I'll also add that the GM channel stuffing was funded by the bailout and loans from the US government itself.

GM Recovery in Reverse as Earnings Disappoint
by Mark Modica on Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:23

General Motors released its disappointing earnings report last week to the sound of crickets. While financial TV news networks (along with most analysts and journalists) ignored the negative aspects of the release, share price has fallen over 5% in less than a week since the news hit. The earnings release and subsequent SEC 10K (annual report) expose the fact that GM's recovery is not the success that the Obama Administration and media portray. The lack of the fanfare that typically comes with GM earnings releases is as good an indication of the meaning behind the numbers as is the decline in share price.

The most glaring red flag in the latest financial reporting by GM is the unusually high amount of one-time adjustments to earnings. I previously reported that GM would have had about a $30 billion loss for the year if it did not rely on a $35 billion tax benefit, which was recorded as income on its statements. This wiped out a huge loss, much of which was caused by...

Again, the reported figures give the answers. NA inventory at dealerships for GM have increased over 20% since the end of 2011. Specifically, GM reported that there are 717,000 vehicles in inventory at the end of 2012 compared to 583,000 at the end of 2011. That would account for the reported "growth" of revenue as GM is able to record vehicles that go to dealerships as "sales," even though consumers haven't purchased them. I calculate that the increase in inventory (known as channel stuffing, a ploy used by GM in the past) accounts for about all of the NA revenue growth. If inventory had not increased so much in 2012, GM's overall revenue would have actually fallen by about $2 billion. And this during a perceived "great auto industry turnaround."

http://nlpc.org/stories/2013/02/21/gm-recovery-shifts-reverse-earnings-disappoint

*Last paragraph talks about the inventory being counted as sales, aka channel stuffing, more at the link. GM was the worst offender of this.

"That would account for the reported "growth" of revenue as GM is able to record vehicles that go to dealerships as "sales," even though consumers haven't purchased them."

Didn't GM have like 200 days of inventory supply when the normal supply is like 60 days? No wonder GM sold so many half tons? They were cranking them out left and right and counting them as sales and those they did actually "sell" were often sold for less than the dealer paid (see article I linked in a previous post.)

I am glad that midsize trucks are still being made. I would be content with either Frontier, Tacoma, or Ridgeline. I don't need or want a full size truck. I might buy a Tacoma next time which would make me a first time Toyota buyer. I will look at any manufacturer that still provides a smaller pickup.

@Rascall: "The Rams not much better for Room, its right thier with the Silverado/Sierra for least front and rear leg room and not much head room either."

It's alot more room then a Tacoma. Isn't that what I said?

Besides, what can you get with a Tacoma? A cramped single cab, a place to throw your bag in the back with an access cab, or maybe your 5 year old (nothing near a quad cab.) and a double cab? You can compare it closer to a Ram quad, then you can a bigger crewcab. LOL!

Bedsize? Still laughing! I had a Dakota which had the quad cab and 5'4" bed, bigger then the typical Tacoma bed. The Dakota one wasn't big enough though. Wish they had a long bed, atleast the size of the club cab Dakotas longer bed. But the Tacoma one, is still very narrow. You can't even get the manual trans with the longbed Tacoma, and they barely make them!

Now bedspace of a Ram that gets better mileage then a Taco? No comparison!

Oh, I didn't even say a thing about diesel 1500s...it gets worse and worse for the Toyota folks that THINK (but dont think too hard) that Toyota will catch Ram!

@Dave & Frank, It dissapoints me that the YTD sales numbers are a farse (channel stuffing), and that these Polk numbers from government agancies may be lagging 90 days and may not be accurate at all.

ford sold alot of commercial ranger trucks because they are bullet proof.When they do need something it is cheaper to buy parts for.Same with full size 150's

Toyota doesn't do alot of commercial sales not because they don't want to but because they cost to much to operate.They cost more up front and cost more to repair and with all the recalls toyota has had with sudden acc. rusting issues and the tundra bed bounce most commercial people don't even consider a toyota. The prius is in another 575000 recall again this week for faulty stearing.Toyota is in a stead decline and its only a matter of time before we'll see the bottom drop out.The law suits against toyota keep getting longer and longer.

@Gregory
The Amarok only comes as a Diesel. VW seems more interested in the expanding South American or Asian markets. Do not know how they will do in Asia.

@Robert Ryan

Gasoline engine is available in Amarok in some markets. 158 HP 2.0 four cylinder. Not enough power in our market for anything other than single cab Amarok.

@TRX4 Tom.
A typical Tacoma bed is 6' long and that is in regular cab, accesscab and doublecab. The only trim that does not have a 6' bed is a version of the doublecab with 5' bed. This may be region specific, but that configuration is very rare in Canada. Granted, that may be because Toyota Canada offers double cabs with 5' beds in manual only and double cabs with 6' beds with automatics only. No regular cab available up here at all. The result is that 95% of Tacomas are split between accesscab 6' bed and doublecab 6' bed. It may however be different in US, I don't know.

Some people just do not want or need a fullsize truck. I agree with you however that with the current selection of midsize trucks, it is very difficult to recomend one over a fullsize.

@Dave, you're spot on. And it doesn't surprise me. I also wonder how much they begged or paid RLPolk to count their truck sales as all GM instead of two seperate divisions. If that's a precedent for the future sales it will be pretty sad. They might as well lump Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM, Buick sales together for any given car, suv, cuv or truck sales number if they want to throw out false statistics and really give their numbers a boost.

GM truck's
GM suv's
GM cuv''s
GM midsize cars
GM compact cars
GM sports cars

On and on. It's ridiculous. They either need to stop with the BS numbers or they need to cancell all of their so called brands and just name everything GM. They can't have it both ways and expect to have any respect or even shareholder support. Really, they should have just called everything Chevrolet from the BK and bailout forward. As much as I can respect old Chevrolet's, this GM company get's more bizarre by the day.

@paul w - I disagree. Toyota has publicly stated that it will not undercut pricing to compete in the fleet market. Rental fleets are a near zero profit margin for car companies and it is well documented that resale of rentals fleets have an adverse effect on the residual value of private vehicles.
Toyota has a high resale value. That lends some credence to the rental fleet market hurting resale.
I've read that large commercial and government fleets are more profitable. Car companies would rather sell vehicles into those markets.
Reliability or durability data is looked at by fleets but if those factors are close, they will go to lowest bid every time. There is a local company in my area that has a fleet of Tacoma's, Tundra's, and Ford F350 crewcabs. It is an interesting mix and they actually claim that the costs are lower with the Toyota products. It basically offsets the higher retail cost.
I know a few guys that use their pickups for work. Both had Tundra's and said they were the most reliable trucks they owned but what killed it for them was the fact that they were 1/2 ton trucks. They both upgraded to HD Chevy trucks which also have a good reputation for reliability.
Large fleets tend to stick with a single brand when purchasing bulk. Toyota automatically loses out for not having a 3/4 ton truck.
Fleet sales IIRC is in the realm of 20 - 30 % of total sales. That is the entire product mix, not just trucks. A while back Ram had announced that they were reeling back fleet truck sales to focus more on selling to personal use customers. It is beneficial to Ram since they are selling well so it improves their bottom line. Why pay overtime to a UAW worker to meet low margin fleet sales when one can simply shift sales to retail sales.
I know you have a hate on for Toyota since you had a really bad experience with the Tundra. It still doesn't change the fact that most people who own them love them.

@ Gregory
We not get that..bit underpowered anyway. The Amarok has a niche here, but overshadowed by the new introductions from Ford, Holden, Isuzu etc. Still it is the best Pickup Off Road and has the most refined road manners of any Pickup on the Australian market.

@someone - Toyota does not sell a regular cab in Canada. They pair the long box with an automatic and the short box with a standard.
I've noticed that most of the Tacomas or even Frontiers I see in Canada are closer to the "loaded" end of the spectrum. That does fly in the face of conventional wisdom that says that guys buy compact trucks because they are cheeper. The most common plane jane truck I see is the Ranger. That truck sold primarily on price point. I don't know anyone other than fleets or "no children in the house" cheepskates wanting a regular cab small truck. That may be a Canadian phenomenon. I do think that if there is too much overlap with 1/2 tons, people will cross-shop other than those who are adamant about owning a smaller truck.

Bring us a Dakota mini Ram with Pentastar or Diesal power, coil springs and a nice interior.

1)Toyota Targets Fleet Sales With 2010 Tundra Work Truck
http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2009/01/07/2010-toyota-tundra-work-truck-fleet/

2) Toyota originally tried to build a “nice” fleet truck back in 2007, with features that most fleet buyers didn’t want....

Contrary to popular belief, commercial truck fleet sales are very profitable. Toyota has been trying for the fleet market but hasn't been too successful. Though they did pick up some of the Orkin account when the Ranger was discontinued. Toyota wishes they had big fleet sales for their trucks.

@Brian in NC
I've been over this many times, imagine now a mid sizer with the same diesels you have. They are very competitive against a full size truck. But, before anyone starts I do think have full size and mid sizer in the market side by side.

@Lou
They are going to produce the Amarok in Germany soon and apparently we want them in Australia. The Argentinian Amaroks are supposed to have very good build quality.

But I have heard the German ones will be as well put together in true German fashion and surpass the Argentine ones.

@DenverMike
There you go again, know what you are on about. It takes a few seconds to search????

A single cab Amarok

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/B1A385CAF9926B0ACA257A380012AF5B

@TRX4 Tom
Room in a mid sizer, I'm 6' 1" tall and I fit very comfortably into my BT50.

As for the size of the beds, it is obvious that 5'5" is shorter than 5'6". But does everyone need that capacity. The market is not necessarily what you want.

Still have US half ton pickups, but make a level playing field.

Remember most of your midsizers and 1/2 ton pickups are SUVs.

I wonder who was the guy that bought the 1 Hummer. ???

@Brian in NC
I've been over this many times, imagine now a mid sizer with the same diesels you have. They are very competitive against a full size truck. But, before anyone starts I do think have full size and mid sizer in the market side by side.

@Lou
They are going to produce the Amarok in Germany soon and apparently we want them in Australia. The Argentinian Amaroks are supposed to have very good build quality.

But I have heard the German ones will be as well put together in true German fashion and surpass the Argentine ones.

@DenverMike
There you go again, know what you are on about. It takes a few seconds to search????

A single cab Amarok

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/B1A385CAF9926B0ACA257A380012AF5B

@TRX4 Tom
Room in a mid sizer, I'm 6' 1" tall and I fit very comfortably into my BT50.

As for the size of the beds, it is obvious that 5'5" is shorter than 5'6". But does everyone need that capacity. The market is not necessarily what you want.

Still have US half ton pickups, but make a level playing field.

Remember most of your midsizers and 1/2 ton pickups are SUVs.



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