DETROIT THREE PICKUP TRUCK SALES Q2 2020: NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK

Sales Of Some Nameplates Actually Showed Immunity To The COVID-19 Disruption

2021 GMC Sierra HD

Pickup truck sales observed by the Detroit Three automakers totaled 545,727 units in Q2 2020. This is unsurprisingly down 21 percent from Q2 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These numbers exclude vans and low cab forward vehicles. That being said, a closer look at the sales charts reveal some obvious winners and losers. For instance, where Ford and Jeep made huge gains in the midsize truck market, Chevrolet and GMC took a beating. At the same time, GM seems to have won a sales battle against Ford in the commercial medium duty truck segment. Below is a summary of how each pickup truck did in Q2 2020, organized by their respective automakers.

General Motors

General Motors  moved 201,324 trucks in Q2 2020, down 18 percent from a year ago. The biggest drops observed were the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks. Meanwhile, the vital Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks saw drops, but are nevertheless positive on the scoreboard through the first half of 2020 compared to the same time period a year ago. Going even larger, the Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty and Sierra HD were in the green, suggesting that these large, essential vehicles show immunity to the COVID-19 disruption. Despite these little victories, Ford Motor Company actually sold more trucks than GM in Q2.

Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 took a sales dive in Q2 2020, selling 89,465 units, down over 18 percent from Q2 in 2019. Separately, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD sales remained flat, dropping just 0.7 percent with 31,279 pickup trucks sold. The Navistar-GM collaborated Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty commercial truck line sold 1,688 units in Q2 2020 – it’s best quarter yet. In fact, the Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty outsold Ford’s commercial truck line in Q2, although it’s still behind for the half of the year. Nevertheless, Chevy could be gaining ground on Ford’s dominating commercial truck market share. In addition, the Chevrolet Silverado truck line outsold Ram trucks in Q2, which has been a sore point for the bowtie brand.

Chevrolet Colorado

Demand for the midsize Chevrolet Colorado pickup fell sharply, selling 19,843 units in Q2 2020, down over 37 percent from the 31,669 units sold in Q2 2019. Correlating with this drop are big gains observed by the Ford Ranger midsize pickup truck, which we’ll get to in a minute.

GMC Sierra

GMC Sierra 1500 sales drop 9.5 percent from a year ago. Total numbers tally in at 38,825 Sierra 1500 sales, compared to 42,911 sales from a year ago. Sales of the GMC Sierra HD were up even higher. Total Sierra HD pickup truck sales observed were 14,999 sales, up 7.6 percent year-over-year in Q2. Both the Sierra 1500 and Sierra HD are up on the sales charts for the first half of the year, but not enough to send pickup truck sales into the black for the automaker on the year.

GMC Canyon

Like the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon pickup truck got cracked in Q2 2020. Sales tallied just 5,255 units, a massive 56.1 percent drop from the 11,909 units sold the same time a year ago.

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Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles

Ram Trucks

After a triumphant 2019 and a strong Q1 2020, Ram truck sales took a steep dive, losing over 62,000 sales compared the same time period a year ago, accounting for a 35 percent loss. Ram doesn’t break up their numbers between the different variants of the truck, such as the Ram 1500 and the Ram 4500 chassis cab. So it’s hard to figure out just how well the half-ton truck is selling on its own. Regardless, the Chevrolet Silverado family slimly outsold Ram’s truck line, putting the bowtie brand back in second place to Ford.

Jeep Gladiator

In Q2 2020, the Jeep Gladiator rocketed 174 percent in sales compared to when it was just launching a year ago. In fact, it nearly outsold the Chevrolet Colorado in the quarter, suggesting that GM’s midsize trucks are losing ground not just to Ford, but to Jeep as well.

2020 Ford F-350 Max Payload
2020 Ford Super Duty

Ford Motor Company

Ford pickup truck sales totaled 287,385 units (excluding vans), down over 21 percent from sales observed in Q1 2020. At this time, Ford does not break up the sales of its various F-Series trucks, which range from the F-150 breadwinner to the much larger F-450, but commercial medium duty trucks such as the titanic F-750 are counted as Heavy Duty Trucks. Separately, the Ford Ranger saw big sales gains.

Ford F-150 & Super Duty Trucks

Ford’s breadwinning lineup consisting of the F-150, F-250, F-350 and F-450 pickup trucks came in at 180,825 total sales in Q2 2020, down 21.4 percent from Q2 2019. For the year, these trucks are down 18.1 percent.

Heavy Duty Trucks

Ford commercial trucks fell incredibly sharply, down 73.4 percent, and yielded its position to the Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty family of trucks in the same time period. Production constraints likely had a lot to do with this.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger pickup truck spurted nearly 20 percent, totaling over 25,000 sales. As mentioned above, it dethrones the Chevrolet Colorado as the best-selling domestic midsize pickup truck.

Below is the MC&T sales chart of Detroit 3 pickup truck sales through Q2 2020:

VEHICLE

Q2 2019 SALES

Q2 2020 SALES

CHANGE

YTD 2019 SALES

YTD 2020 SALES

CHANGE

Chevrolet Silverado 1500109,93089,465-18.6%194,426202,3904.1%
Chevrolet Silverado HD31,49631,279-0.7%61,03762,0521.7%
Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty1,0381,68862.6%1,3142,724107.3%
Chevrolet Colorado31,66919,84337.3%65,16341,273-36.7%
GMC Sierra42,91138,825-9.5%74,21578,6666.0%
GMC Sierra HD13,94614,9997.6%23,18828,16721.5%
GMC Canyon11,9095,225-56.1%18,8639,708-48.5%
GM Total*242,899201,32418%438,476424,980-4%
Ram Trucks179,454117,448

-35%

299,480

246,253

-18%

Jeep Gladiator7,12919,568174%7,25234,827380%
FCA Total**186,583137,016-27.6%306,732281,080-9.4%
Ford F-Series233,787180,825-22.7%448,398367,387-18.1%
Ford Heavy Trucks5,8381,552-73.4%9,1313,268-64.2%
Ford Ranger20,88025,00819.8%30,30145,98851.8%
Ford Total***260,505207,385-21.4%487,830416,643-15.6%

Grand Total

689,987

545,725

-21%

1,233,038

1,122,703

-9%

*excludes GM vans, Chevrolet Low Cab Forward, **excludes Ram vans, ***excludes Ford vans

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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