Best-Selling Pickup Trucks: January 2016

2015 PUTC sales photo

After the strong push every pickup truck maker made at the end of 2015 to make it one of the most profitable years in automotive manufacturing history, January 2016 sales were more subdued. Not only did at least 14 states experience serious weather issues for almost a week, but there was one fewer weekend this January compared to January 2015.

Those issues aside, the only big surprises are how well the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma continue to sell (the first with hefty incentives, the second with almost none) and how sluggishly the F-Series started the year. It's worth noting that the Chevrolet Colorado sales have begun to plateau as well, dropping from a 2015 finishing position of No. 7 to No. 8.

Some may wonder why Nissan Titan sales continue to dip below 1,000 units per month even with the new 2016 Titan XDs were shipping out to dealerships in late December. As we understand it, the old-generation Titan stopped production at the Canton plant several months ago and current sales numbers are those vehicles working their way through the pipeline. At the same time, Nissan's slow-rollout strategy is working to keep the Cummins engines (available now), then the new 5.6-liter V-8 gas engine (avaialble in a few months), and eventually the lighter-duty Titan (later this year) on time. We assume there will be some growth for the "tweener" pickup as more versions of the XD models get to dealerships and consumers get their butts in the seats. We'll have to wait and see whether Nissan will be able to sell enough new Titans to move up from its current spot (No. 10) to overtake the GMC Canyon (No. 9).

We expect more movement on our Best-Selling Pickups list in the months to come, especially since the Toyota Tacoma is nipping at the wheels of GMC's light-duty and heavy-duty lineup. More to come.

Manufacturer image


Putc jan 16 sales


Nobody talks about aluminium more than bigal. It's like he has some obsession. Most buyers don't really care much whether it is steel or aluminium. Let it go. Aluminum is the future. Gm already acknowledged the will go to aluminium too. You can debate all you want but the simple fact is aluminum is The future.

As I had stated in relation to December 2015 Ford sales numbers of the F Series.

Ford has peaked.

A near on 10% difference between Chev and Ford combined with a 19% difference between GMC and Ford is showing how Ford has slipped again.

Ford didn't lose 5.2%. It also lost more if you add the increases from it's major competitor.

Ford needs the Ranger.

Ford needs a mid size F-series, ASAP. Can you say F-100?

the brakes are terrible on the new F-150

I'm surprised Ford didn't come out with it's usual pre monthly sales figure press release on why the vehicle didn't do so well and is losing ground against it competition, some of the competition is much older as well.

They made up with the "day after" release of the Raptor for Racing press release.

@ BAFO, with all the names you use on here, your credibility has gone into the trash, OH wait! it never was there to begin with

Why did the GM mids drop so much? I thought they couldn't keep up with demand, but now I see this month they dropped considerably so production isn't the problem. Is the honeymoon over for mid sized trucks, or did Nissan and Toyota take back that market from GM?

@USA They dropped 369 units combined jan 15 to jan 16
plus if read the article weather and one less weekend this jan effected all sales.

The Frontier sells better because it's a better truck.

Stronger frame, disc brakes in the rear, steel box, more torque than Toyota or GM, and 11 years have gotten all the bugs out.

For a mid-size buyer, the Frontier is the only way to go.

The Frontier sells better because it's a better truck.

Stronger frame, disc brakes in the rear, steel box, more torque than Toyota or GM, and 11 years have gotten all the bugs out.

For a mid-size buyer, the Frontier is the only way to go.

pickup truck you don't have the numbers of truck size sell,,,coming soone

Aluminum is the future. Posted by: Beebe | Feb 2, 2016 11:27:49 PM

No Aluminum is just a gimmick, like when it was used in the 1970s. Every one has seen the new all Aluminum max tow payload F150 drag its rear bumper on the pavement and its v6 got less MPGs then a much bigger V8 with steel body. Using Aluminum in pickup trucks is a joke. The sale numbers prove it.

Beebe you're right. Everybody will be switching to aluminum in the future.

2016 auto sales will not top 15 million, (Probably not 14 million.) Dow will fall to below 9,000, Nasdaq below 2,700, S&P 500 below 1,000, and Gold above $1,800

Why should it surprise anyone that the 2016 Tacoma is selling well at this point. There are many die hard Tacoma fans that have been driving the same old design for many years waiting and begging Toyota to offer them a "newer" model to upgrade to. Toyota has finally blessed the fans with an updated model to buy.

johnny doe,
I do believe it will be wiser and cheaper in the longer run to go from steel to composite vehicles.

Imagine, a high tensile steel body with carbon fibre panels, hoods, fenders, pickup tub, etc. Even the rims. I have read that graphine and graphite mining will become big.

I do know springs can be made of composite materials and are already in use by FCA vehicles like the Ducato.

Ford will again need to "re-invent the wheel" so to speak.

Big Al from Oz agree re composites. there are high tech and low tech composites (fibreglass) but each approach has practical advantages over sheet metal. Something tells me that the current soft price of fuel will squash the drive for weight reduction.

Personally I think the "safety" and "FE" areas of innovation in auto design are played out, at least until there is some big new thing they're all chasing.

Consumers have been whipped around a bit during the last 20 years and I'm thinking the next big advances in autos, apart from various uses for smart technologies, might be focused on reducing "time to market" times which are still dreadfully long at most automakers.

Dow will fall to below 9,000, Nasdaq below 2,700, S&P 500 below 1,000, and Gold above $1,800


you listed prices for equity (Dow, S&P, etc falling) but you said Gold at 1800. Why would gold (a commodity) rise against a background of other kinds of assets going down?

Cheaper equity should be a good thing for the folks who want to buy more of it (if you are holding -- or selling-- equity, not so much).

Do you think we are headed for a rough patch?

"Tacoma, still smokin the GM redheaded twins."
-- Posted by: Gom | Feb 2, 2016 11:39:24 AM

Tacoma. Still smaller than the GM redheaded twins.

"I know no one wants to believe me, but these trucks can sell for 1/2 of their 'list' price and still be profitable. The manufacturers are using and old 'ploy' that MB started in the early '70s. They found that the more costly they priced their cars, the 'better' they sold. One of their German managers found that it gave them the appearance of being much better than they truly were and the people bought the reasoning."
-- Posted by: Tundra Bob | Feb 2, 2016 12:05:18 PM

I've been saying the same thing for years, Bob. Because I've worked for dealerships and I've seen the invoices.

"what is everyone gonna talk about on here in 2016? Nothing has changed, Ford 1, chevy 2, gm 3"
-- Posted by: Nitro | Feb 2, 2016 12:28:47 PM

Wrong two different ways, Nitro. If Ford is #1, then Chevy is #2 and RAM is #3, with GMC #4. On the other hand, if you use your head you'll see that GM is #2, Ford #2 and Ram #3. And that's just counting the full-sized trucks; I wasn't even adding the GM "mid-sizers" to that count.

"The GM midsize trucks were blasted big time in consumer reports for being unreliable. Sales are falling because the market for a midsize pick up is a small market then add in a truck that is lacking in quality and sales tank.

Chevy is down to selling 5,500 a month now so you can't say they are pumping them out at full capacity when we all know that even just 7,500 a month is no where near full capacity for todays assembly lines."
-- Posted by: Ram Tough | Feb 2, 2016 3:18:08 PM


I might credit the CR ratings for part of the GM "mid-sizer's" lower numbers, just as I will credit GM for intentionally keeping the supply low in order to maximize price. However, one of the biggest reasons the mid-size twins are doing so badly, especially when compared to the Tacoma, is that they're simply too big; they're even bigger than the previous generation C-twins which were bigger than the Tacoma even then.

The people I know who want a smaller truck want a SMALLER truck, not one larger even than the old '11 Ranger. People stopped buying most of the mid-sized trucks because they became too big; sacrificing economy in order to avoid CAFE penalties. And that's why the mid-size and smaller CUVs are so popular today; they offer the size and agility those people want, though sacrifice the open bed that many of them need.

Yes, I'm fully aware of how the Ford SportTrak and Subaru Baja failed; it's because they sacrificed bed for seats, thinking that four full doors would help them sell. Well guess what; they were wrong. Anyone bother to look at the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept? That's not four full doors and it suggests an extendable bed that would make carrying 2x4s and 4x8 plywood/drywall at least practical compared to those too-small buckets on the back of a sedan (or crossover in the case of the Explorer.) People want a usable bed if they're buying a "truck" and neither of those really qualified as "usable".

So why is the Tacoma still doing so well? It's the most modern of the true 'mid-sized' pickups that is very visibly smaller than the C-twins. As a result, the two smallest of the 'mid-size' class sold 2.5x more than the C-twins. Now imagine what would happen if those C-twins had been the same size as those smaller trucks.

Whups. Made a small mistake in, "On the other hand, if you use your head you'll see that GM is #2, Ford #2 and Ram #3." I meant "... GM is #2, Ford #2," etc.

Fumble fingers me. "... GM is #1, Ford #2," etc.

Despite selling a warmed-over mid size, and having little new to offer with their full-sized offering, Toyota still managed to sell 20,000 trucks in January. Sustaining that rate may be a challenge, but that translates in to a quarter-million trucks by Christmas 2016.

GM on the other hand, despite their best marketing efforts, is poking along with the sales of their mid-sized truck; Nissan's entire truck operation can't seem to outsell the Tacoma.

Nissan needs a big market response to justify the long wait for their product development team to bring the diesel XD to market.

RAM has been slow with the next gen 1500 but they'll end up looking like geniuses if the US economy gets worse in 2016.

Ford's gamble on the latest F150 is not paying dividends so far. You don't get the feeling that great mobs of RAM and GM truck buyers changed to Ford during the last year.

I dont know who does math here but, the numbers here of GM's twins are less than 1000 more than the f-series thats 2 combined brands with only 704 more trucks...clearly it takes 2 brands, if you take away the sierra then GM loses 2/3 of those sales to Ram and Ford and thats a fact, not everyone will buy a Silverado. I currently own a 2015 f-150 and it was so much work to find the one i wanted with the features i needed (towing and trailering) with last years restraints, ford will have an even better year this year

I have read comments from both sides. Ford 150 sells more trucks than Silverado. But woefully short of selling more trucks than GM. GM is the largest vehicle manuf in this country Ford is # 2,but unless they improve their product the will fall behind fiat. Too many false claims and exaggerated claims makes them untrustworthy.

Everytime I look at this site I see Ford guys always getting mad and defensive while other brand fans usually keep it pretty cool. Face it. You all say it takes 2 brands to beat one of Fords. No, it doesn't. GM has two brands because they choose to not because they need to. No need to fix what is clearly not broken either, they should keep the two brands separate as it always has. It simply gives more of a choice in looks and such when buying essentially the same truck. If GMs brands were one, they would still outsell Ford because it would be your only choice if you wanted a GM truck. Don't know you could see it any other way. The auto manufacturer could care less what badge it puts on the grille as long as it sells; its just a full size pickup to them, and as far as full size pickup sales go, GM wins. Not only that, 2015 GM sold over 3 million vehicles as a whole in the US while Ford had only sold 2.6 million vehicles in the US last year

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