Pickup truck sales observed by the Detroit Three automakers totaled 585,262 units in Q1 2020, up 8.5 percent from the 539,488 units sold in Q1 2019. This is in spite of the covid-19 pandemic that’s been ensnared the nation’s automotive market, halting traffic at dealerships, idling manufacturing facilities, and forcing mass layoffs and salaried cuts. Yet the truck market as a whole prevailed. Below, we’ve broken down the winners and losers.
General Motors: 233,656 Pickup Truck Sales
General Motors walked away from the Q1 coronavirus catastrophe relatively unscathed, although analysts suggest we’ll see a steeper drop in Q2, as this pandemic is expected to engulf the automotive market for a longer period of time in this period. Moving 233,656 trucks in Q1 2020, the Detroit automaker sold more trucks than any other automaker, by a lot. Meanwhile, the Silverado collectively outsold Ram Trucks by itself, reclaiming its second-place spot behind the Ford F-Series.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 had a huge improvement from a year ago, selling122,925 units, up 33.6 percent from 84,496 in 2019. Separately, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD saw growth, up 4.2 percent with 30,773 pickup trucks sold, compared to 29,541 units a year ago. The Navistar-GM collaborated Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty commercial truck line sold 1,036 units in Q1 2020, nearly triple from the 276 units that was observed in Q1 2019.
Demand for the midsize Chevrolet Colorado pickup fell sharply, selling 21,430 units in Q1 2020, down 36 percent from the 33,494 units sold in Q1 2019. A similar drop was observed with its brother, the GMC Canyon.
Like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 observed sharp gains in Q1 2020, up 27.3 percent from a year ago. Total numbers tally in at 39,841 Sierra 1500 sales, compared to 31,304 sales from a year ago. Sales of the GMC Sierra HD were up even higher. Total Sierra HD pickup truck sales observed were 13,168 sales, up 42.5 percent from the 9,242 sales observed in Q1 2019. In total, the GMC Sierra family accounted for 53,009 sales, up 24 percent from the 40,546 sales observed in Q1 2019.
GMC Canyon pickup truck sales accounted for the smallest amount of all American brand pickup trucks. Q1 2020 sales tallied a scant 4,483 units, down a steep 35.5 percent from the 6,954 units sold the same time a year ago.
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles: 144,064 Pickup Truck Sales
128,805 sales, up seven percent from 120,026 sales observed the same time period a year ago. 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.
In Q1 2019, the Jeep Gladiator was just launching, and tallied a mere 123 sales in that time period. That’s a stark contrast from the 15,259 sales observed in Q1 2020. Entry levels of the Gladiator have reportedly been struggling, with steep discounts on the hood of these variants. The top-shelf Gladiator Rubicon, however, remains a hot item.
Ford Motor Company: 209,258 Pickup Truck Sales
Ford pickup truck sales totaled 209,258 units, down 8.6 percent from the 227,325 units observed in Q1 2019. 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 cam in at 186,562 total sales in Q1 2020, down 13.1 percent from the 214,611 units sold in Q1 2019
Heavy Duty Trucks
Ford commercial trucks accounted for 1,716 sales, down a steep 47.9 percent from the 3,293 units sold in Q1 2019.
The Ford Ranger pickup truck seems to be finding its footing, rocketing up 122.7 percent, at 20,980 total sales, compared to 9,421 units sold a year ago. It didn’t outsell the Chevrolet Colorado, but considering the sales losses observed by both GM midsize trucks, the Ranger could be the culprit.
Below is MC&T’s sales chart of American branded pickup truck sales through Q1 2020:
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