Best-Selling Pickup Trucks: August 2016

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Things appear to be slowing a bit in some pickup truck segments, as several truck makers had a bad August. However, most are still ahead of where they were this time last year. Some are calling attention to lower-than-usual fuel prices, good credit deals and an economy with room to grow as reasons to stay optimistic, but others are looking at lower levels of growth. If predictions hold out, we’ll likely hit something higher than 17 million total automotive sales by Dec. 31. 

For August, the standouts were the smaller pickups. Both the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon posted another strong month, while their full-size truck counterparts did not do so well — but maybe that’s not too surprising given how capable and comfortable we found them to be in our 2016 Midsize Pickup Challenge.

That said, it should be called out that the aging Nissan Frontier had another killer month, selling more vehicles than the Colorado and almost as many as the Toyota Tundra. And in our final piece of midsize news, the Honda Ridgeline continues to plug along by selling a good number of vehicles per month, quite comfortable staying the quirky alternative to the mainstream players. 

The pickups that had the hardest time in August (and throughout 2016) are the major full-size competitors, especially Nissan: Even with a new Titan XD and a coming Nissan Titan half-ton, added interest does not seem to exist. There are plenty of things going on in the world to distract potential new-truck shoppers, but fall typically brings out some good incentive programs as the big players head toward year-end market-share tallies and incoming new models need extra room. We're expecting a strong fourth quarter. 

We’ll break down the midsize and full-size pickup segments, as well as let you know how each pickup truck maker is doing, although it’s pretty clear the GM (Chevrolet and GMC) three-truck strategy is succeeding against its competitors.

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Comments

Ford and GM are nip and tuck for YTD sales.

The best never rest go ford.

I know they don't sell a lot of them but what is up with the Frontier? 161% increase from last August?

So what we get from this is that GM's huge incentives and silly advertising campaigns aren't doing much to help their sales. Especially GMC.

Well the most ancient truck the Frontier did the best year over year. Maybe people don't want all the gimmicky new tech.

I think most of the increase in Frontier sales results from fleets replacing their 2011 Rangers coming off 5-year leases. I am in the market for a used Ranger, and I have noticed a ton of ex-fleet refrigerator-white auto-trans XL Rangers on the market. The Frontier is the smallest, most affordable pickup on the market, so it is a logical replacement.

Notice Ram is starting to show more and more monthly sales loseses all of a sudden. Could it be the lawsuit brought by dealers and SEC Investigation of the company encouraging dealers to post bogus monthly sales numbers? Funny how that works!

Man, GM has given Ford a bruising again.

Over 80 thousand GM pickups sold against Ford's 66 thousand.

The Tundra thunder is waning.

Ram is more or less static.

The interesting one is the Titan. Even though it has sold a few less compared to last year remember last year Titan had only 1/2 ton pickups. You would think this would give the Titan a larger share compared to this year with the quasi HD high end diesels. Titan might be doing as bad as one would think.

The Ridgeline is going well. This is good to see an alternative style pickup sell. The Ridgeline needs to maintain it's head of steam.

Re: Ford

Breaking News from Mike Levine!

Ford F-Series YTD sales: 527,847 units. Up 6.7%. Would stretch 1,979 miles bumper to bumper, or from LA to Chicago!

F-Series YTD sales of 527,847 units vs. Silverado sales of 380,176 units. New Super Duty on sale now. Get ya some!

New F-650/F-750 medium trucks a home run! 2016 YTD sales of 10,140 units have eclipsed all of 2015: 9,971 units.

2016 YTD Mustang sales of 80,829 units vs. Camaro sales of 47,958 units.

Ford Transit crosses 100,000 units sales YTD in August! 101,808 units sold in 2016 - up 34.1%!

ht: Mike Levine, the king of pickup trucks!!!!

I had some fairly high hopes for the Titan, but it really seems like it's going to be the modern T100. Like what purpose would anyone buy one of these other than just to say they have a Titan? It costs as much as 3/4 ton and performs more like a half ton. Boggles my mind what Nissan was going for here. I really wanted to like this truck too...

So ford sells more full size trucks in 4 days than the titan has sold all year. What a disaster. I knew it wouldn't sell well, but that is about as bad as could possibly be.

Ford starts selling entirely new super duty / Goodbye, GM!

@Yuriy - with sales of -6.1%, they better start selling something. It certainly isn't beer can F150's!


Posted by: GM ORGULLOSA D SER D CHINA | Sep 1, 2016 2:10:07 PM

They seem to be doing pretty good considering GM has been running a 20% fire sale for the past 2 months and pretty much the entire year.

F-series sales, just like the engines that power them, is running out of steam early. About to get passed buy the GM Full size twins, and that is happening with the GM mid size twins stealing sales from their full size .

Speaking of GM mid size twins, it's not if but when will they take over the current mid size sales leading Tacoma. The FORD Ranger ( aka F-100) will have its work to do. But where is the Ranger?

Ric17,
Nissan's problem with the Titan is the XD, high end diesels only attracts a very small niche of prospective pickup buyers.

I would wait until Nissan rolls out the rest of the Titan range before jumping the gun.

But where is the Ranger?
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Sep 1, 2016 2:22:00 PM

Good question!

620 thousand GM pickups sold year to date.

Compare this to Ford's less than 530 thousand.

This paints an accurate picture.

Yah, the sales numbers are interesting, but here's a different table to look at which I've never seen anyone compile. Might be interesting to some especially with the newly released Ridgeline.

___________Rear Legroom, Bed length, Overall length:

Ram Quad__34.7"__6'4"__229.0"
Ram Crew__40.3"__6'4"__237.9"
Colorado___35.8"__6'0"__224.6". Bed is 6'2" at top only!
Tacoma____32.6"__6'1"__221.3". Bed actually 6'1.5".
F150______43.6"__6'6"__243.7"
Silverado___40.9"__6'6"__239.6"
Ridgeline___36.7"__5'4"__210.0"

For many, not having to go with smaller beds, smaller crew cabs, and still be parkable would be a new threshold of achievement in trucks. 235" for a fullsize crew regular bed would be an achievement because thats the normal garage length (235" measured from sheetrock at front of garage all the way to the galvanized U-shape horizontal metal support of rollup garage door, at rear). More cab forward designs with shorter front end engine compartment is how to get there.


Paints an accurate picture of what exactly? GM has always been the largest domestic auto (and truck maker). That's nothing new. This analysis is based on brand. Does being a leader in mfg volume or brand make it the "best"?

Ford Down 4,386

Chevrolet Down 2,569

Ram Down 139

GMC Down 3,763

Ram seemed to do far better than did Ford, Chevrolet or GMC as being down only 139 sales from last year is pretty much holding their own while Ford, Chevrolet and GMC lost a lot of sales.


Posted by: Ram Tough | Sep 1, 2016 3:04:13 PM

Not an accurate picture. When you sell about 1/2 the trucks as everyone else that paints a good picture. Another picture is fiat has been fudging numbers for numerous years to make their sales data look better to investors and possible purchasers. But they were caught by the FBI for faking sales numbers. They have been doing a lot of wrong in the past few years. Who can really trust fiat.

While other like Fiat/Ferrari and Toyota who have done little in investment hang in there in terms of sales.


Posted by: I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you. | Sep 1, 2016 3:21:34 PM

Ignoring the fact that Tundra sales so far this year amount to only 5% of the half-ton market (GM and Ford sell more half tons each month than Toyota sells in a year). Also there's a very small part of the market that would only consider a Japanese brand when shopping half-tons. And with the Titan being the only other option besides the ancient Tundra, their sales will be fairly stable.

As far as Ram 1500 sales, the fact that they offer $299/month leases and $2500 discounts + 96 month financing explains a lot.

So ford sells more full size trucks in 4 days than the titan has sold all year. What a disaster. I knew it wouldn't sell well, but that is about as bad as could possibly be.
Posted by: Beebe | Sep 1, 2016 1:56:21 PM
--------------------------------------------------

In my opinion, they rolled the truck out way too early and pushed the heavy half-ton strategy without delivering a clear reason why people should buy it. Plus there are almost no options for configuration. Only offering a crew cab short-box configuration isn't acceptable. No regular or extended cabs, no standard or long box option. No axle ratio options. The 5.6 V8 was a year late.

It's a shame because the Titan is clearly a better truck than its rival, the Tundra.

FCA US sales for August went up by 3% over August 2015, with 196,756 cars and trucks changing hands, a surprising spot of good news when other automakers are announcing losses (Ford down 9%, GM down 5%).

Take that ! Loaers.


GM beats ford again, so usual! Poor ford, terrible quality and worse sales

go go go nissan !!!!!!

Nissan is American because its founders were meitaro Takeuchi and William Gorham (California )!!!!! .

toyota is not American....

Colorado and Canyon are a sales flop. Adding the 14 and 15 MY sales together they don't surpass the las Gen model's. 16 MY might be close to the last gens second year sales .

If this keeps up Ford will sell more than GM for the first time in history next year; finally making their claim of best selling true.

They were announcing that their sales were picking up. Maybe they meant relatively.

What strikes me is the difference in sales fall off between the twins. Probably the HD line. Commercial doesn't get to rest. Same reason f trucks and ram don't slump quite as much.

Drive to where people use their trucks for a living... Really use them. All ram Cummins. All of them. It's crazy. East of Ohio... All ram diesels.

Who's to say these numbers aren't fuged?

Everything in the list is pretty much anticipated...except for the Frontier. I don't buy the common excuse for more fleet sales. I believe many people who are interested in buying a truck for the long haul view all of the newest gizmos as a long term liability. The Frontier is simple, lasts and gets the job done...as shown by their sales numbers. Even with a new Tacoma, Colorado and Canyon on the market, they already met last years' TOTAL sales at the end of AUGUST...and they do it with hardly any marketing.

Ram continues to look strong in the 3rd position.

Not going to say too much about the Titan until the 1/2 ton is readily available.

With the weak US economy dragging on, consumers are extremely value oriented.

The sales of RAM 1500s and the sales of Nissan Frontiers show that there are still bargains to be had. If you don't drive more than 10k miles per year and you want a low monthly payment, look at a RAM pickup lease (or a Frontier) and you'll be shocked at the low monthly payment.

It's not the best approach for everybody, but I bet a lot of those sales today are low-down payment leases.

Here is the unbiased evaluation.

GM needs to fix shake issue, big discounts, best powertrains, into model year 3, things should be all shook out, not all are. Need a Duramax on 1500, best truck for light duty, personal use

Ford has some steam, Super Duty coming out, sales, strong, still have QC issues, new Ecobust 3.5 should be better than previous, too high sticker prices usually and way too much Tech thats not needed. Need a Diesel option, alum bed is weak, payload/towing impressive, lots of fleet sales

Ram needs an all new model, Fiat is in trouble, no money for replacement, bad crash test/poor engineered safety wise

Nissan Titan, Flop, ugly, bottom feeder

Tundra, Yuppy truck, high resale value, terrible FE, safe bet but dull and unimpressive overall, should have had an 8 speed years ago

Colorado/Canyon, good lil trucks, backseats useless, diesel sweet, new 3.6/8 speed

Tacama, v6 is gutless, no 8 speed, drum brakes, overpriced, great offroad packages, high resale/low money off sticket, seats suck, interior not impressive, toyota phoned it in on the cheap

Frontier, solid but dated, best real 4wd system, lockers, dana 44's, crap gas mileage, cheap interior, good choice when big bucks off sticker

GM Man - fair assessment
I'd only counter that at the least the GM 5.3 and Ford 5.0 are equal - essentially.

@GM_Man


What about the Ridgeline?

Ridgeline is a great "truck" but payload numbers are fake to say a ridgeline can haul within 350 pounds as my 2011 silverado extended cab 5.3 with max tow package is just plain silly and pickuptrucks.com confirmed this issue, not sure how its gonna tow, great interior, never buy first year of anything though, dealers not dealing.

Also ground clearance is too low, interior great, handling/fe great, sort of the spiritual successor to the Subie Baja

Ford motor company and the f series are dominate in canada as well. Taking sales from everybody in north america!!!
http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/09/august-2016-ytd-canada-auto-brand-sales-results.html?m=1

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/09/canada-august-2016-pickup-truck-sales-figures.html?m=1

For those of you that talk about the sale GM has had huge sale and not helping their sells. Have you actually been to a lot lately? All of the big 3 have had huge sales going on. I was just looking to buy a 2500 and went to all big 3 and there was up to 10k off the sticker at every one of them.

Have you actually been to a lot lately? All of the big 3 have had huge sales going on. I was just looking to buy a 2500 and went to all big 3 and there was up to 10k off the sticker at every one of them.


Posted by: RAM MAN | Sep 2, 2016 12:13:42 PM

right now expect huge incentives. End of the 2016 model year. They are marking down 16's to make room for 17's. I do expect Ford to be offering good incentives on the 16 Superduties to make room for the new 2017.

RamMan,
I'd say we are reaching "peak pickup" for now. If demand was stronger there would be no mark downs.

They are not making room for next years models.

Colorado and Canyon are a sales flop. Adding the 14 and 15 MY sales together they don't surpass the las Gen model's. 16 MY might be close to the last gens second year sales .

Posted by: Ford rules G M and Ram break down | Sep 1, 2016 8:03:28 PM

The last gen truck might have had higher peak sales, but the profit margins weren't nearly a good as the current truck. If my profits are twice what they were compared to the previous truck, I'm fine with only selling 2/3's as many.

The new Colorado/Canyon is a much better truck, arguably the best midsize truck out. The prices reflect that and provide for MUCH better profit margins.

Drive to where people use their trucks for a living... Really use them. All ram Cummins. All of them. It's crazy. East of Ohio... All ram diesels.
Posted by: Jebb | Sep 2, 2016 2:17:17 AM

So that explains why 3/4 of all HD trucks up in the Alaska gold mines were GM Duramax's.

this will probably get modded but I dont really care.... PUTC comments section has essentially become the following:

Bro 1: "Dude my friend's pen1s is so much bigger than your friend's pen1s, just sayin man"

Bro 2: "Whatever man, everyone knows size doesn't matter, anyways, I heard your friend has herpes anyways"

Yuriy,
I wouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, especially in the more work orientated HD pickup segment.

Half ton pickups are more or less a car nowadays, whereas the HD are more geared towards work.

How may businesses will take to aluminum over steel? Will Ford lose out some sales?

How well does the aluminum F-150 sell in comparison to Silverados and Sierras?

@Gou_BC

I disagree with the Ridgeline comment. First up, I agree that the second gen model will sell pretty well, and second, the Ridgeline is NOT an ugly minivan with a bed or a mommy mobile. It's a truck within a truck within a truck within a truck within a truck within a truck within a truck.

@GM_Man

I guess that I have to buy one, then.

@Richard Joash Tan

Let us know what you get and work hard to get a good deal, I think you'll be very happy, its a great package, if not for the ground clearance I would put it up at the top of my list, I have a civic and its been great, but I have more need in the towing department than I think the Ridgeline can safely handle, I tend to take max tow ratings with a grain a salt and always shoot several thousand below unless they are HD's.

Nissan has not started selling it's new half ton yet
The titan XD is a niche player for those who haul heavy trailers
Though I can see the midsize segment growing big time
Due to the economy being in a weakened state
When the full line of Titans go on sale especially the king cab
the numbers will go up though I doubt they reach Nissan's expectations due to the state of the economy.
Another factor is that the midsize trucks are the size of 1/2 ton trucks with less width.
Ford would be smart to bring out a new Ranger.I believe 1/2 ton sales will plummet going forward.

Not sure if RAM figures are to be trusted, though if those are real, it's surprising RAM has strong figures despite being the oldest truck and considering Ford got some quite big upgrades with their last F-150 and new SD's.

I guess the upgrades RAM received since 2008 are comprehensive and the design was always great.

Since RAM sells much more trucks than Chevy in Canada, combined figures for US and Canada would show that RAM and Chevy sell in similar numbers.

Not sure if RAM figures are to be trusted, though if those are real, it's surprising RAM has strong figures despite being the oldest truck and considering Ford got some quite big upgrades with their last F-150 and new SD's.
I guess the upgrades RAM received since 2008 are comprehensive and the design was always great.
Since RAM sells much more trucks than Chevy in Canada, combined figures for US and Canada would show that RAM and Chevy sell in similar numbers.

Posted by: George | Sep 3, 2016 3:38:47 PM

A good point; it would be interesting to combine FORD's US/Canada figures...wow, that would leave both shaky Chebbys/GMC's & RAM's in the dust...hahaha

Wow poor Nissan, to go all through that only to sell LESS titans! I believe they need new folks in the design dept..



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