US car sales analysis Q2 2019 – Small Pickup segment

Slow rollout of new Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator resulted in good but not great segment growth

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Sales in the US Small Pickup segment rose by 15.0% to 298,120 in the first half of 2019, just a bit slower than the 15.9% rate at which they grew in 2018. However, now that the Ford Ranger and the long-awaited Jeep Gladiator pickup have finally hit the market their sales are bound to build up in the second half of the year – this means that by the time the year is over, growth is bound to come closer to 20%.

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


  • The recently-revised Toyota Tacoma remained the undisputed segment leader, although its 5% sales growth rate was a substantial fall from the 24% growth the model registered last year, suggesting it (and, for that matter, all other models) were affected by the new entrants in the segment
  • Despite losing 6% of sales both the second-placed Chevrolet Colorado and the third-placed Nissan Frontier held onto their spots, despite the latter coming under attack from the new Ford Ranger; in fact, the Ford outsold it in June and is likely to do it again later in 2019 as its sales ramp up
  • It was a similar story further down, where GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline stayed ahead of the new Jeep Gladiator in the YTD rankings, but were handily outsold by the new model in June

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

  1. Small pickup trucks with a minimum length of approximately 5,30 meters. The Jeep Gladiator is 5,54 meters long. Small, right? Nah, just the American mind-set.

  2. It’s weird Americans don’t have the Mercedes X-Class but according to some fresh news it’s a big sales flop for Mercedes and will disappear without a successor. The Frontier should also be replaced, but there must be an obstacle of letting the new Navara – and its cousin, the X-Class – be available in the US. Maybe the platform, or the size, the pricing, I don’t know…

    1. Doesn’t surprise me. Mercedes should not want to sell pickup trucks anyway. Sure, they have a large commercial line-up, but unlike these cars pickups are being used as daily drivers, especially by Americans. Mercedes-Benz produces (high-end) luxury cars with modern technology, functionality is not important. Pickup trucks are 100% functional cars and just don’t fit into this picture.

      1. If they stop selling the X-Class they still gonna have a pick-up truck: the G-Class pick-up which is available for example in Australia. This car is a much better idea than creating a new one using the basics of the actual Navara and selling it with a much higher price tag. The G-Class is a cult car, no matter what kind of version they make of it.

  3. @Easy Driver
    Yes, the G-Class stands on his own and has a different technological background. Although the new generation is perhaps too luxurious (i.e. big engines, modern interior) and not so much a utility vehicle, it’s not the same kind of marketing product like the X-Class. Mercedes wanted to offer the first ‘premium’ pick-up truck so they simply borrowed the Nissan Navara. It’s part of the plan to fill every niche instead of building a Benz from scratch.

    1. For Benz, the X was a easy, cheap way to generate show room traffic and make a buck along the way. But this niche model apparently has zero priority,

  4. The X-Class is not the first premium pick-up truck. The Americans (of course) overtook Mercedes with the Lincoln Blackwood, the Lincoln Mark LT, the Cadillac Escalade EXT and the GMC Sierra is considered premium as well. The X-Class’s closest rivals are the VW Amarok and the Jeep Gladiator because only these are available with V6 diesel engines in their segment.

    1. You tell that to Dieter Zetsche 😉 He stated the X-Class was meant to be the first ‘premium’ pick-up truck ignoring other competitors. Actually, they are pretty good in ignoring things…

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