Midsized pickups continue to outperform the overall US car market in the first quarter of 2021, and the 22% growth makes this one of the best performing classes after small crossovers, large sports cars and minicars, but beating full-sized pickups. Still, at 4.2% of the total US car market (up from 3.8% in Q1 of 2020 but stable on all of 2020) and almost 3.5 times lower volume than full-sized pickups, it remains a relatively small segment. The Toyota Tacoma remains untouched by recent new launches and even improves its share of the segment to 40.5% thanks to sales up 24%. Its nearest two rivals lose share, as the Ford Ranger narrowly outsells the Chevrolet Colorado, by a mere 83 sales, to hold on to the #2 spot it claimed in the full-year 2020 ranking. The Jeep Gladiator gains share at +23% but is unable to challenge its American rivals for a podium position. In the meantime, the Honda Ridgeline is surprisingly the second-best performer of the class at +55% to try and break free from its niche positioning. The Ridgeline even manages to outsell the Nissan Frontier, which is up just 5% as it’s due for its first major redesign since 2004. The GMC Canyon is the best performer of the segment at +59% but stays in its last position with just 4.4 share.
Hyundai will launch its Tucson-based Santa Cruz unibody compact pickup this year, which will be alone in that newly created segment, until the Bronco Sport based Ford Maverick arrives. The Maverick will have more of a traditional pickup design, while the Santa Cruz will feature styling more reminiscent of the Subaru Baja from the early 2000’s and of some of the South American compact and subcompact unibody pickups.
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