The F-Series is still the full-size pickup champion, but Japanese trucks are in trouble.
2020 is upon us, and with Ford’s sales figures for 2019 finally released, we can take a deep dive into the never-ending pickup truck war between the Blue Oval, the Bow Tie, the Ram, and Japanese competition from Toyota and Nissan. The stats clearly show trucks still reign supreme in the U.S. market, but obviously some brands outshine others.
The Ford F-Series has been the undisputed champion in this segment for literally decades, and 2019 was no exception. 896,526 units found homes in 2019, which is head and shoulders above the runner-up in the full-size truck category. Yes, that includes combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which means you can probably guess which truck landed in the second position.
There’s no denying that Ram is a hot seller in all its iterations. 633,694 trucks were sold for 2019, which represents a full 18 percent jump over the previous year. It’s such a strong performance that Ram didn’t just beat Silverado for the number two spot, it positively trounced it. It was also the only full-size truck to end 2019 with a double-digit sales increase, and while there’s still a large gap between Ram and the F-Series, Ford truck sales were actually down slightly – 1.4 percent to be exact – for the year.
Meanwhile, General Motors can also argue it has the second-best-selling full-size truck lineup. With GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado sales (including medium-duty Silverados) lumped together, 807,923 new GM trucks hit the road for 2019. When separated, however, Silverado sales totaled 575,600 units and GMC sold 232,323 Sierras.
As for the Japanese offerings, they continue to lag far behind Detroit's iron in the segment. Nissan in particular is in deep trouble with its Titan, which logged just 31,514 sales for all of 2019 and represents a 37.5-percent decline from the previous year. Toyota Tundra sales were down 5.6 percent for 2019 with 111,673 units sold, but that's still less than half the F-Series sales Ford typically sees in a month.
What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Overall we’ve seen new vehicle sales slowing in the latter half of 2019, but all four full-size trucks from U.S. automakers posted year-over-year gains for the month of December, so they seem to be bucking the trend. Ram and GM both have recently updated models versus Ford’s older F-Series, but if the sales numbers are any indication, buyers are far more interested in the Ram’s handsome new look versus the controversial design for the Silverado and Sierra.
And we can’t talk about truck sales without mentioning the sales controversy surrounding Ram. The SEC actually fined FCA $40 million in September regarding inflated sales stats between 2012 and 2016. That doesn’t cover 2019 obviously, but that didn’t stop GM from bashing the automaker earlier in the year over questionable sales tactics for its trucks.
|Vehicle||Dec 2019||Dec 2018||% Difference||2019||2018||% Difference|
In any case, the above chart shows how things ultimately ended for the full-size truck segment in 2019. With a new Ford F-150 expected later in 2020, the coming year should be an interesting one.