US sales 2017-Q1 Large Pick-up segment

US Large PickupSales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017, which again beats the overall market, just like it did in all of 2016. And thanks to the crisis in the midsized sedan segment, US consumers (and businesses) bought more full-sized pickup trucks in Q1 2017 than they bought midsized sedans, until not long ago the bread-and-butter segment of the US car market. That means this segment, with only 6 players, it the second largest segment in the market. In fact, just the four top selling large pickups sold over half-a-million units in the first quarter, more than the entire 17-vehicle midsized car segment. Last year, the segment recovered to 2006 levels after gaining volume for 7 straight years and it look like low gas prices are going to give it an 8th year of growth, even though the only product news in the segment is the new-for-2016 Nissan Titan.

Highlights in Q1 2017:

  • Nobody expected the Ford F-series not to lead the segment it has dominated since 1992, and of course it remains firmly in the lead with sales up just over 10%, making it the fastest growing model in the top-5 and the biggest gainer of the entire segment in absolute terms.
  • General Motors loses a bit of share as its two models Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra both sell fewer units than in the same period last year. The Silverado was even outsold by the RAM Pickup in March, an event that happens once every two years at the most.
  • At +5.1% the RAM almost keeps pace with the segment average and its 22.2% share of the segment is the highest it’s ever been (except for Q1 2016). In comparison: the RAM had a share of less than 15% of the segment in 2010, so has added more than half to that figure in just over 6 years. If the RAM keeps up this pace, it’s going to break the half-a-million annual sales threshold for the very first time ever.
  • The Toyota Tundra is the biggest loser of the segment at -9.1%, but that’s to be expected from a model that’s slowly starting to age and fall behind its newer competition.
  • Nissan_Titan_XD-full_sized_pickup_truck-US-sales-2016The new generation Nissan Titan, now that almost all versions are available, saw its sales take off to more than triple the volume of its predecessor. Still, the Titan at half the volume of the model it’s aimed at: the Tundra. But in March, Nissan’s largest pickup hit a record figure for the current generation at over 5,500 sales, which is starting to look promising. The Japanese brand desperately needs this truck to break through as it wants to crack the US commercial fleet market. It has a full line-up of large and midsized pickups and large and small vans, so it figures there shouldn’t be a reason not to at least consider it.

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

  1. There is a lot of room for new players here. Strangely that there are not many plans for the category. I think Jeep is planning to put a model here, any other?

    1. Hi Stemi,

      I think the Wrangler pick-up truck will be too small to compete in this segment. It will be classified as a “midsized” pickup, competing with the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and upcoming Ford Ranger.

    2. Perhaps Mercedes-Benz will use the Nissan Titan to introduce a large pick-up and fill another niche like they’re doing with the upcoming X-Class (i.e. Navara/Frontier).

      1. Hi Losange,
        Mercedes-Benz decided not to bring the X-Class to the US because they considered it too small for the US. The large pickup segment is so much bigger in terms of volume and profits than the small/midsized pickup segment in which the X-Class/Navara/Frontier(/Renault Alaskan) would compete.

        Maybe you’re on to something here, actually. Larger pickups are more comfortable than the smaller ones, and at the moment the American brands are selling a ton of high-end versions of their trucks. Ford has the F-150 Platinum, RAM has the Laramy Longhorn and Limited and Chevrolet has the Silverado High Country, which all start at over $50,000 and can be equipped to go over $70,000 yet they’re still selling more of those than expected at higher prices than expected. So I guess there’s plenty of demand for a high-end full-sized pickup truck. If the product department of Mercedes-Benz is reading this (which I’m sure they are): you read it here first!

  2. Nissan’s next step is to grow Titan sales with the introduction in more regions / states.
    Will be interesting to see if Nissan’s truck will reach the 10k per month cap.

  3. Nothing about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline? Wondering how it’s selling compared to other mid size trucks?

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