It seems that no matter how much attention the growing number of recalls is getting, new pickup truck sales keep plugging along. All the major truckmakers posted neutral or positive sales numbers for the month (and we include Toyota in that group) when compared to this time last year. The standout continues to be Ram, with a sales percentage pace for 2014 that is likely to beat the competition at the end of the year by at least 10 percentage points.
The midsize Nissan Frontier is also chugging along, getting every sale that isn't sucked up by the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma. But that won't last long. The new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, which go on sale later this year, will arrive just in time to inject some much-needed energy into the long-ignored midsize pickup category. It remains to be seen if the new midsizers will cut into GM's half-ton market share or if they will lure crossover and younger buyers back to the segment. As usual, much will depend on pricing.
The year started slowly with parts of the country hammered by bad weather, but if manufacturers decide to use strong incentives and dealers lower prices to make way for new products it will be a roller-coaster ride to the end of the year. GM's new eight-speed transmissions, the 2015 Ford F-150 and both of GM's midsize pickup trucks all get to dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.