The Truck Wars are Back

 Truck Wars 1 II

After watching the pickup truck segment for the last six months, it's no wonder the rest of the automotive media is beginning to understand what's happening here: Truck Wars are back. 

If there was one theme to come out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it was that everyone understands that the truck segment has a lot to be excited about. Even the casual observer could see there were many more pickup trucks on the show floor than in years past, and each of the big manufacturers were talking about the entire segment making a strong comeback in the next six, 12 and 18 months. In fact, some have predicted that when the final 2012 sales numbers for pickup trucks are in, the segment will have grown more than 50 percent when compared to 2009 numbers.

Bloomberg News also notes that several of the big prognosticators see the rise in new home starts and the housing market in general as good lead indicators that the truck segment is likely to outperform the car segment in the coming sales year. Of course, that's good news for Ram truck, GM and Ford, which own more than 90 percent of the U.S. truck market. And let's not forget, for example, for a company like Ford, it's been reported that 90 percent of its global profits are made from its personal-use and commercial truck sales. 

Due to a number of economic and circumstancial issues, the spotlight on pickups has been dim at best for the last several years. However, if the floor of the 2013 Detroit auto show is any indication — as well as all the attention aimed at the Ram 1500, new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, and the huge showing the Ford Atlas concept received — things are about to get a lot more exciting for anyone who loves pickups.

For crying out loud, even the guys at Autoweek magazine are trying to figure out what it is about pickup trucks that the rest of us inherently understand — they're practical and fun. Check out this dirty little video they just posted, as they try to learn how to slide around in the mud. 

 

Comments

I have to wonder how many are actually old enough to drive let along own a truck.

Macaroni wants for Ram fleet sales...he drools over it.

January 14, 2013

"I dream of selling as many pickups as Ford," Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said recently. "I drool over it actually."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/driveon/2013/01/14/gmc-chevrolet-ford-ram-pickup-detroit-auto-show/1831987/

wants more

Holy cow batman!! Look at the low slung air dam on that Super duty truck!!! No wonder they get hung up and torn off out on the trail just like those low slung control arms. I just don't know bout fords anymore.

Ford could by 90% fleet. The only thing that matters is if the company is profitable. So far, Ford is more profitable than GM, with less sales, and without the gift of billions of dollars in debt being erased.

Ford probably makes more money on fleet truck sales than GM does on retail truck sales because of the huge $$ placed on the hood of each truck.

The truck wars never really left us, because gone are the days of buying a new truck and keeping it forever. More and more people are trading their 3, 4, or 5 year old truck for a brand new one.

So then the problem of the truck wars becomes one for the used truck buyer. And there are quite few who cannot afford to buy new. The trucks with the highest demand are the F-series so they sell for the most money.

If GM and RAM want to sell their used trucks they've got to price them below what the Fords sell for. But even in used-truck markets, the Fords remain the best sellers.

Surprisingly, at least in my part of the country, the Titan and the Tundra retain the least value at trade-in time, but they sell used for a lot more profit than the Ford, GM or RAM trucks.

Check it out for yourself. See what the trade-in value in KBB or another reputable source is and then price them on the used lot for resale They're right up there with GM and RAM.

No one has been able to explain the rationale for that. Why would a truck that retains less trade-in value sell for a much higher mark-up? It must be demand for these used Titans and Tundras that makes them so profitable.

Sergio Marchionne promised to wean Chrysler off its reliance on fleet sales, shortly after taking over leadership of the company. Despite increased commercial-vehicle sales, Chrysler finished 2012 with 74% of its U.S. sales going to retail buyers, rather than fleets, an improvement over 2011, when 72% of sales were retail.

General Motors also sold 74% of its cars at retail, while Ford sold just 70% on the retail market. That makes Ford the fleet-queen leader for 2012.

Imports tend to have nearly all their sales in the retail market, though part of the difference may be having fewer truck sales. Nissan has the largest fleet share at 15% (85% retail), possibly partly due to the success of their commercial vans, but likely because of the Versa’s popularity in rental fleets (it combines a low price with a relatively large interior). Toyota was 90% retail, Honda 98%, and Hyundai-Kia 90%.

The fleet sales leader for the year in pure numbers was Ford, with 674,000 fleet sales, but GM was close behind, with 673,300. Chrysler came in at 429,000; Toyota was the next largest, with half that number.

Some fleet sales are desirable (many commercial truck sales, police cars, etc), while others are less so (near-cost sales to rental fleets). Increasing Chrysler’s retail share while reportedly increasing sales of police vehicles is likely an indication that the company has been getting more credibility among ordinary customers.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/01/chrysler-relying-less-on-fleet-sales

Chrysler relying less on fleet sales

Posted on January 20th, 2013 • by David Zatz

Sergio Marchionne promised to wean Chrysler off its reliance on fleet sales, shortly after taking over leadership of the company. Despite increased commercial-vehicle sales, Chrysler finished 2012 with 74% of its U.S. sales going to retail buyers, rather than fleets, an improvement over 2011, when 72% of sales were retail.

General Motors also sold 74% of its cars at retail, while Ford sold just 70% on the retail market. That makes Ford the fleet-queen leader for 2012.

Imports tend to have nearly all their sales in the retail market, though part of the difference may be having fewer truck sales. Nissan has the largest fleet share at 15% (85% retail), possibly partly due to the success of their commercial vans, but likely because of the Versa’s popularity in rental fleets (it combines a low price with a relatively large interior). Toyota was 90% retail, Honda 98%, and Hyundai-Kia 90%.

The fleet sales leader for the year in pure numbers was Ford, with 674,000 fleet sales, but GM was close behind, with 673,300. Chrysler came in at 429,000; Toyota was the next largest, with half that number.

Some fleet sales are desirable (many commercial truck sales, police cars, etc), while others are less so (near-cost sales to rental fleets). Increasing Chrysler’s retail share while reportedly increasing sales of police vehicles is likely an indication that the company has been getting more credibility among ordinary customers.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/01/chrysler-relying-less-on-fleet-sales

Ford received a 6 billion dollar loan over three years ago from good ole uncle sam and none of it has been paid back yet. This was not a grant it was a loan. My question is this. if they needed the money to redo their plants and develop new and greener cars, why didn't they go out and get a loan from a regular lending institution? Anyone know? Because they were dead ass broke like their two main rivals and no one in their right minds would give them a loan. So they opened up their hands to uncle sam just like GM and Chrysler and also asked for a 10 billion dollar line of credit if and when their massive cash loan ran out from their lenders. This goes to show you that Ford loves government money just as much as GM and Chrysler.

"This goes to show you that Ford loves government money just as much as GM and Chrysler."

The difference is that Ford did not die and declare bankruptcy.

This is true,but ford got their loan in time.....wouldn't you say?

Instead of meaningful dialogue, we get stupid posts and stupid bashing.
Anyone please care to explain to me how a 4% difference between Ford and Fiat or GMC is significant?
The story that has been cut and pasted and obviously ignored for its content spells out the difference between desirable and undesirable fleet sales.
Most rentals I see are low end econoboxes or midsized low end vehicles. Those are not high profit units for any company to begin with.
What about desirable fleet sales?
The consider police and commercial fleets as desirable.
I find that odd since both are sold at deep discount. As I stated earlier, fleets sold with warranty make profits on the parts and service end.
Police and other Emergency services usually have very stringent maintenance and part replacement guidelines. They wear out parts faster than civilians, and parts are replaced at an earlier level than civilian use.
Industrial fleets are usually lowest bid, but the nature of the work accellerates wear and tear.
Volume is also where money is made.
The average lenght of ownership on vehicles is around 6 years. If a fleet keeps vehicles for 3 years, a car company can sell for 1/2 the profits of a civilian sale and still make the same profit over the same timeframe.
A 5K profit on 2 commercial trucks in 6 years is the same as 10K profit on 1 truck in 6 years.

Cheepo low buck rental fleets are never a good sale from a profit persective but what about the indirect advertising?

If every rental is a Ford or Chevy and not a Fiat, does that make people wonder about quality? or what will make you more interested in a product - seeing one in multiple settings or seeing one in limited settings?

Remember Ram's commercial where the Cummins stares down the Ford because of the "backup" of all of those commercial vehicles?
Ram would loose credibility if no one in a commercial setting would buy their trucks.

This is true,but ford got their loan in time.....wouldn't you say?

-Big deal. Ford went to a bank like they Should when they saw trouble. GM shouldn't have been dumping garbage trucks and cars on loyal Americans and spending all of their money on building up their Chinese empire. EFFF THEM. I hate Government Motors now. I hate their GovtMoCo brand including the Sierra my tax dollars went to pay for. It was unnecessary wasteful spending yet again by Dictator Obama. I still love Old Chevrolet's but Chevy should have gotten the hell away from the Sh#t fest evil titanic known as GM and became their own real company again. Piss on that company. Piss on them for destroying Chevrolet trucks and cars for the sake of other useless brands. And piss on them for stealing our tax dollars. I'll support Chevrolet again once they get the hell out of GM.

@ Nathan:
This is funny,because I feel the same way about Jeep.I love the wrangler JK yet I will not buy another,despite how much I want another one.My last one,an 08 I bought new was the single biggest POS that I ever owned.It broke down before I got it home,that was a 35 mile drive one way.Had more recalls in one year then any 5 vehicles I have ever owned.Yet,the JK suits my needs better then a pickup,but the quality isn't up there like the price is.The GC isn't much better in quality either.

Nathan= American Chevrolet, FordTrucks1, Insert Name Const., etc. etc.
I could go on and on, but I would run out of characters to post.

You all say the Ford is Ugly, what about the Ram with the pig nose , sad clown look? The Chevy looks good, it has more of the retro truck look. A truck should look like a brick, tough and capable.

Love the pic of all three very capable trucks. These are the King of trucks, strong platforms ,ready to perform big jobs. I like the GM the best, just my opinion, as looks are subjective and secondary to drivetrain and chassis. Can't wait to see the new HD Ford and HD GM updated trucks, hope the new GM HD keeps the classic GM look like the 1/2 ton design, the 2014 1/2 ton GMC looks really nice, love sqaure cut fenders (like Dodge had on thier 2nd Gen trucks), and i like a truck with a squred out flat grill/front end.The Ram looks a little odd in the group, but then again my opinion. Kudo's to HD trucks being more capable than most need them to be.

@Big Al--Agree. I wonder how many of these comments are made by guys still living rent free in Mom's basement with dear old Mom cooking their meals, doing their wash, making their bed, paying their auto insurance, and giving them gas money from them to going cruisining in their V8 toy trucks. If not Mom then they have wives that can't wait for them to leave the house. We have Big Bob who is sparring for a fist fight at any negative comment about GM (watch out Lou, better put your boxing gloves on), Hemi V8 that is obsessed with combustible Fords and has built a shrine to the "Almighty Hemi and Fiat"; Oxi that is obsessed with government bailouts, preparing for the end of times, approach angles, and has built a shrine to the "Great Tacoma"; some of the Ford fanboys that are obsessed with GM square wheel wells, bulges above fenders, low slung frames, and are waiting for the next King Ranch edition to offer Corinthian leather.

@Lou--There are a lot of dumb comments and copying and pasting on this site. Some of these guys cannot think for themselves and lack any original ideas. Sometimes I wonder if some more advanced and intelligent life form that might be monitoring earthling communications could have stumbled upon PUTC and would conclude upon reading many of the comments that "There is no intelligent life here, let's move on."

Truck wars really only apply when you need a 3/4-ton truck or heavier. There are only three HD brands in the US to choose from and those are, in order of importance, Ford, GM and RAM.

When it comes to 1/2-ton trucks there are no truck wars because buyers have a choice of five brands -- the same three as above plus Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.

A lot of people make fun of the Tundra and the Titan but they each siphon away a significant number of sales each year from Ford, GM and RAM.

It all boils down to what the buyer wants in his truck and what brand the buyer is loyal to. I have owned Silverado, F150 and one lonely Dodge 250 and I did not want to own them again.

And here's the kicker about truck wars: I decided to buy a brand new 2011 Tundra and there were no truck wars. The Tundra 5.7 cost me 5-grand more, easily, than a similarly equipped F150, Silverado or RAM 1500.

If I had gotten a really fancy one it would have cost me at least $7500 more than a similarly equipped F150, Silverado or RAM 1500.

So I wouldn't call it a price war, a scuffle, maybe, because when you get to a dealer's lot to buy that new truck you may find a lot of bait&switch going on to get you to pay a lot more for your truck than you bargained for.

At least with Tundra and Titan they're up front about it. You pretty much get what you pay for, and you always pay a lot more than for a similar Ford, GM or RAM truck.

IMO, the Tundra 5.7 is worth every penny I paid for it, and then some. And with the housing market picking up, the sales of pickup trucks will most certainly boom in 2013.

I don't see any good deals on the horizon, so if you want a truck with a decent V8 in it, now's the time to buy it because there will be far fewer of them in the future.

@Highdesertcat

My experience in buying a new Tundra was a little different in 2008. I was coming from a Ford, and they main reason I was getting a new truck was because my Ford was nearly 20 years old, and the 5.0 was a little weak for the towing I did.

I thought about about an F150, but was really unimpressed by the power of the 5.4L and I had a friend that was left high-and-dry by the dealer when his sparkplugs magically left his engine.

I actually come from a Dodge family, but I was unimpressed with the problems after problems that my brother, dad, grandpa had all had with their pickups.

The GM twins looked a little promising at first, but you have to PAY if you actually want the stoutest engine, because it is typically only available with a trim level that is ridiculously expensive or not realistically available.

I also looked at the Titan, but I don't know if it is impressive that a Ford Ranger has a rear axle as big or pathetic that the Titan has the size of a Ranger.

Toyota targeted me perfectly: a basic work truck package that comes with the big motor, great trans, a 10.5" rearend, and a low price. So far, it has been WAY more reliable than my brothers Ram (that is the same year) and my pickup has been worked WAY harder than his--he doesn't tow anything and the heaviest load he carries are motorcycles.

So in my mind, I actually got MORE for LESS money.

Dav | Jan 22, 2013 10:17:39 PM, I bought my 2011 Tundra in El Paso, TX, and it was at a time (Jan 2011) that Ford, GM and RAM were heavily discounting their brand new 2011 trucks as much as $10K off MSRP in the El Paso, TX, area.

So, while my Tundra set me back almost $32K, everything included, out the door, a similar 5.4 F150 or a 5.3 GM went out the door, everything included, for less than $27K.

I bought the DoubleCab, Long Bed, 2wd, 5.7, with the Tundra-grade interior. Not very fancy but exactly what I wanted to replace my 2006 F150 XLT with the gray plastic interior.

I had no problem selling my old F150. I slapped four new Michelins on it from Discount Tire and sold the whole works to a young airman from the nearby Air Force base who was getting out of the service after four years, and moving home back east.

He really got a good deal since I had a Lockheed transmission oil cooler on it, an aux electric 16" radiator fan, plus a Drawtight Class IV hitch with a Kelsey-Hayes electric trailer brake control plumbed into the front brake line at the master cylinder.

When I went shopping for a new truck I drove all of them out there and the 2010 Tundra I tested was the last one I drove. When I left that dealership that evening, I knew what my next truck would be and I placed an order for a 2011 the next day.

I'm very happy with my Tundra but I also realize that it cost me a lot more money than similar trucks. So far it has been totally problem free and has never had to go back to the dealership for anything. All I have done is change oil and filters, and I did that myself in my driveway.

Toyota, like any other automaker, has a price for everyone and every region. In my case, in my area, I paid way too much for my Tundra, but if it remains problem-free I hope to recoup some of that money when I trade it in 2015 for a new 2016 truck. I didn't finance so I didn't have the added expense of financing charges, etc. Just depreciation.

I am afraid that we, as truck buyers, won't be able to get the V8 trucks we covet, but if I can't buy another V8 in 2015 because of the new CAFE standard, I will probably buy a 3/4-ton truck (don't know which brand yet since Toyota doesn't make a 3/4-ton) with the biggest engine available at that time. The bigger the better, for me. I don't care about mpg or the cost of gas. No diesels!

If that happens because there won't be any more V8 half-ton trucks, I may keep my current Tundra as a second truck. like I kept my '88 Silverado on after I bought my 2006 F150.

If anyone wants to buy a V8 truck, now is the best time because everything will have a V6 or smaller in the future in the half-ton class. And if truck wars can make it affordable enough to make it happen for them, that's even better.

January 17, 2013, 3:58 pmComment
16.2 Million Vehicles Recalled in 2012, Safety Agency Says
A total of 16.2 million vehicles were recalled last year, with slightly more than half made by Toyota and Honda, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Thursday.

Toyota had 12 recalls covering 5.3 million vehicles, more than the three domestic automakers combined. The recalls included the automaker’s Scion and Lexus operations.

Honda and its Acura luxury brand had 16 recalls affecting almost 3.4 million vehicles.

General Motors was third with 17 recalls and 1.5 million vehicles; Ford was fourth with 24 recalls involving 1.4 million vehicles, and Chrysler was fifth with 13 recalls affecting 1.3 million vehicles.

@HEMI V8
Those recall figures are quite nice, except can you provide figures as a percentage of market share.

For example if Ford sold 2.8 million vehicles then 50% of all Fords were recalled.

If Fiat/Chrysler products only sold 1.3 million then 100% of all vehicles were recalled.

I think you will find that Fiat/Chrysler has a much higher rate of recalls per vehicle manufactured going by your information.

You have to understand how to use data and statistics, if you don't use it correctly you can reproduce figures that doesn't paint an accurate picture of what you are trying to convey.

Please provide total sales by manufacturers for the year of the data you have posted and break it down into percentages.

Is this beyond you scope of abilities?

@Hemi V8
Or are you just trying to bait Lou? :)

If you are then are you a troll?

@Big Al from Oz. Logic is lost upon a socialist/communist union comrade who exists in a sheltered environment.
One such individual does not need to comprehend what they say . They just blindly spout propaganda that fits their narrow ideology.

@Highdesertcat

My truck is likely similar to yours, except mine is 4x4 and cost $7K less ($25K), out the door.

However, I do care about MPG and gas prices cause I don't like to spend $$ for no real return. That is money that could be spent on more toys and booze. :)

@hemi retail you can buy rams at wal mart now? how about that new stupid dash mounted tranny gear shifter go farther my ass, there are 1 milion k mile fords in the world, rams not so much. the ram is engenerd to move heaven and earth? will fords are enginered to haul how do you move heaven and earth is the ram able to float? GUTS GLORY OWNED BUY A FORD.



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