With half of the year behind us, the auto industry is on a record pace to break the 17-million-unit mark by year-end, and much of that success sits squarely on the backs of pickup truck makers. Breaking 17 million units in auto sales has happened only three times, most recently in 2001.
According to Automotive News, some U.S. dealerships are offering extended financing packages and huge discounts on half-ton and heavy-duty pickups. In some cases there are more than $10,000 in discounts on specific vehicle configurations and trim packages; the 2015 Ford F-150 is one example. Because Ford offers so many different build configurations and is experiencing some frame supplier issues, it's likely to take some time for the truckmaker to build up a proper supply of the more popular features and packages (like the larger fuel tank, HD tow package and unique color combinations). That's causing some orders to take longer than anticipated to fill.
The big winners for June are the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; they both reached double-digit sales increases when compared to June 2014 sales. In fact, when combined, GM's year-to-date sales are significantly more than the Ford's total sales for the year so far, and that doesn't include the midsize Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon (which seem headed to reach a combined 100,000 in sales by year-end).
When looking at the GM midsize twins, it doesn't appear that they're taking sales away from their bigger brothers, the Silverado and Sierra. An objective look at the numbers seems to imply the Colorado and Canyon are taking a bite out of the No. 2 midsize player, the Nissan Frontier, and possibly from the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. We'll be taking a deeper look into the numbers at a later date to see what's really happening — the results should be interesting.
Finally, it's worth noting that Toyota continues to experience strong sales with combined Tacoma and Tundra numbers headed to their largest total since the San Antonio pickup production facility opened in 2006. Of note: The Tacoma's monthly and year-to-date sales lead the pickup segment on a percentage-of-change basis. Interestingly, Titan sales for June are up as dealers try to make room for the next-generation Titan slated to go on sale near the end of the year. Look for a PUTC analysis of midyear sales data to come shortly.