With 2016 ending as the best automotive sales year on record and finishing with the strongest December numbers ever, many experts are predicting 2017 automotive sales will slow. Certainly that would make sense given that pent-up demand for new vehicles seems to have worked its way through the pipeline. But there may be reasons for continued optimism. Based on consumer demand for bigger vehicles, pickup truck sales should continue to do well and there are some indicators that the economy is building strength.
Looking at sales numbers for January, Ford continued its reign as the top-selling full-size pickup, posting a gain of 12.5 percent over January 2016. Ram also gained compared with last January, while both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra faltered out of the starting gate, posting decreases. The Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup retained its top-selling title despite posting a small decrease from January 2016. The Chevy Colorado started strong with a 16.4 percent gain over last year, while the GMC Canyon lost traction dropping from No. 9 on our list in December 2016 to the bottom. The Canyon switched places with the full-size Nissan Titan, which posted a strong 195.4 percent gain over January 2016. That switch also bumped the Honda Ridgeline from its bottom-place berth in terms of mid-size sales.
No matter what happens in terms of sales for 2017, we're hopeful that all of the truckmakers will keep their pickups full of new technology, offering stronger replacement models on a faster timeline. Some of the more exciting pickups set to show up in dealerships in the coming year that fit that description include the off-road Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, the all-new Nissan Frontier and a host of new powertrain choices for half-ton pickups from several brands.