Sales of Small Pickups in the US rose by 13% in Q2 2016 to 112,476 vehicles, after an 18% increase in Q1. Even then, total sales in this segment are less than a fifth of those in the Large Pickup segment, though the gap continues to narrow with manufacturers launching new entries to the segment after ignoring it for a number of years. Toyota has refreshed its Tacoma less than a year ago, GM re-entered the segment in 2014 with two models after abandoning small pickups in 2012 and Honda has just launched a new generation Ridgeline. The oldest model in the segment is the Nissan Frontier, which has been around virtually unchanged since 2004. While in other parts of the world the next generation Frontier (called NP300 and/or Navara) has already been introduced, Nissan USA has not revealed if and when that new pickup truck will make it Stateside. Of course, it’s not that hard to imagine the company first wants to lay its focus on a successful launch of the second generation Titan, a vehicle that should help Nissan establish a foothold in the highly profitable but Detroit-3 dominated full-sized pickup segment.
Sales of Small Pickups in the US rose by 18% in Q1 2016 to 96,168 vehicles, the highest quarterly sales figure for the segment since Q2 2008. Still, total sales in this segment are less than 20% of those in the Large Pickup segment, though the gap continues to narrow. What would help boost sales in this segment further would be the Ford Ranger, when (if?) the company brings it back to the US, the new Nissan Frontier, the long-mooted Jeep pickup and, if FCA takes a brave pill, the Fiat Toro.
The Small Pick-up segment has increased 48% in 2015 to 356,886 sales as three out of four models are less than 18 months old. In contrast, the fourth one is already 11 years old, and loses 15% of its volume. The new generation Nissan Frontier has already been launched in the rest of the world, but a US version of that model is still undecided, just like a Mercedes-Benz version of that model, which isn’t due until 2020 anyways. The Toyota Tacoma is the long-standing leader of the segment and still takes more than half of all small pick-up truck sales in the United States, although that’s down from a whopping 64% in 2014. The Tacoma’s 179,562 sales are just enough to break its 2006 sales record 178,351 units. [Read more…]
Honda introduced the second generation Ridgeline mid-sized pick-up truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which is launched at the perfect moment as the US mid-sized pick-up segment is booming thanks to the rebirth of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the new generation Toyota Tacoma and hopefully later this year a new Nissan Frontier (a.k.a. Navara or NP300 in other parts of the world). That would mean all entrants in this segment, which appeared to have been forgotten just a few years ago, will be less than 3 years old by the end of this year. And then there are rumors that Ford may re-enter the segment with a new Ranger (and Bronco!) as well, so exciting times indeed.
The first generation Honda Ridgeline stood out from the crowd both technically and aesthetically and hasn’t really been a huge sales success in North America, peaking at 50.000 US sales in 2006 but quickly dropping to 10.000-18.000 annual sales. But Honda clearly thought that the odd exterior design with the high rear side-panels must have been one of the main stumbling blocks, as the brand has opted for a more straightforward design, not to call it plain dull in a time when the competition is putting some flair into their mid-sized trucks. [Read more…]
The Small Pick-up segment grew by 46% in Q3, a small step down from the dizzying 62% growth rate in the first half of the year. The reason for this is that the new market players, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, are becoming more established, leading to a “new normal”. At this pace, it seems that the segment might finish the year with some 350,000 sales, and might stabilize with around 400,000 sales in the medium term. [Read more…]
The Small Pick-up segment grew by a very fast 62% compared to the first half of 2014, driven primarily by the re-entry of GM into the segment with their new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks. After a one-year absence the small GM trucks did well out of the gates, racking up the best combined sales since 2008. It marks a change of strategy for the company, though, since whereas the previous generation of trucks was designed in the US and then sold abroad (also as an Isuzu), the current generation was actually developed primarily for the Asian market, and only then adapted for sales in the US (where it sports a considerably different front).
Irrespective of the warm reception that the new GW twins have received the Toyota Tacoma remains the segment leader, racking up more than half as many sales as the second-placed Chevy at almost 89 thousand units. This is despite a new, third-generation model having already been announced in Detroit in January, and which will go on sale in the third quarter of the year. Such a performance sure beats that of the aging Nissan Frontier, which has been on the market since 2004, and a new generation of which has already gone on sale in Asian markets (where it’s called the Navara). It will be interesting to see whether Nissan’s strong form in other segments can translate into the Small Pick-up segment once the new generation goes on sale.