US car sales analysis 2018 Q1 – Small Pickup segment

Segment records strong growth, led by segment leaders and 10-year-old Nissan Frontier

Sales in the US Small Pickup segment rose by 21.3% to 119,681 in the first quarter of 2018, a substantially higher rate of sales growth than the 0.9% recorded in 2017. The Ford Ranger and the long-awaited Jeep Gladiator pickup will finally arrive later this year, bringing in further buyers, though whether the segment can expand much beyond the 500,000 a year level remains to be seen.

Note: Clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off


  • Toyota Tacoma remained the undisputed segment leader in Q1’18, selling almost twice as well as the second-placed Chevrolet Colorado, with both models registering strong growth of around 25%
  • Interestingly, the geriatric third-placed Nissan Frontier once again saw its sales soar, this time by almost 50%, as it recovers from a loss of almost 15% in 2017
  • Sales of the two-year-old Honda Ridgeline fell by almost 30%, the fastest rate of decline from among all models, dropping the model once again to last in the segment, and suggesting that the one-size-fits-all, soft pickup formula is no more popular with buyers today than it was when the first generation model failed to top 50,000 annual sales

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts earlier – access previous years using slider on bottom