Truck sales speed past cars for first time in industry history

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By James Raia 

The phenomenon of sport utility vehicles and pickup truck sales continues.

Last month, for the first time in automotive history, pickup trucks outsold passenger cars in the United States.

Led by Ford, truck sales were higher than passenger cars for the first time in April.

According to statistics released by market researcher Autodata Corp., the truck segment, dominated by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), outsold passenger cars by more than 17,000 units.

Truck sales were encouraged by 0 percent financing offers on loans as long as seven years. Five years ago, passenger cars outsold pickup trucks by more than 500,000 units in a single month.

“Even in a pandemic, there are some offers too good to pass up,” said Cox Automotive’s senior economist, Charlie Chesbrough. “Many of our daily tracking numbers were showing strong interest in 0 percent financing offers, as well as a lot of interest in pickup trucks.”

FCA’s CEO, Mike Manley, told investors earlier this week the company’s inventory in the United States has started running low, especially for certain pickup trucks, adding he expects them to outsell passenger cars again in May.

“There are certain configurations that will be running short,” he said. “That’s reflected in the number of dealer orders we’ve received in the last few weeks that are just waiting for our plans to restart.”

Here are sales figures among the top dozen cars and trucks for the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019:

TRUCKS

Model, Q1 2020, Q1 2019, Percent Change
Chevrolet Colorado, 21,429, 33,494, -36.0
Chevrolet Silverado, 143,698, 114,313, +25.7
Ford F-Series, 186,561, 214,611, -13.1
Ford Ranger, 20,980, 9,421, +122.7
GMC Canyon, 4,483, 6,955, -35.5
GMC Sierra, 53,008, 40,547, +30.7
Honda Ridgeline, 8,125, 6,952, +16.9
Jeep Gladiator, 15,258, 113, +13,402.7
Nissan Frontier, 10,280, 20,221, -49.2
Nissan Titan, 5,732, 9,683, -40.8
Ram Pickup, 128,806, 120,026, +7.3
Toyota Tacoma, 53,636, 58,183, -7.8

CARS

Model, Q1 2020, Q1 2019, Percent Change
Honda Civic, 77,354, 106,621, -27.45
Honda CR-V, 83,387, 115,624, -27.88
Subaru Forester, 48,511, 55,438, -12.50
Honda Accord, 55,976 , 83,650, -33.08
Hyundai Tuscon, 32,173, 37,513, -14.24
Subaru Outback, 40,673, 58,189, -30.10
Hyundai Elantra, 33,281, 52,698, -36.85
Kia Optima, 27,239, 31,079, -12.36
Honda Pilot, 30,460, 44,356, -31.33
Hyundai Santa Fe, 26,260, 39,429, -33.40
Mazda CX-5, 40,431, 47,086, -14.13
Subaru CrossTrek, 26,005, 35,516, -26.78

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and newsletter both with sign-ups available on his website: www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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james

My company here in Richmond,VA Keith Fabry Reprographics & Supply. We have about 23 employees and i would say about 19 of us have pickup trucks including the owner and the receptionist.it seem that every one that get hired has heard that we have pickup trucks and after getting hired they go buy one too.

Donald N Wright

One reason is that normal sized folks cannot fit comfortably in most automobiles. Pickup trucks, SUV’s and Mini Vans have the best seating. When a car’s advertising says “seats six” they are talking about Hobbits, not people.