US sales 2017 Q3: Small Pickup segment

The segment with the highest growth in 2016 registers its first quarterly loss in years

After barely growing in the first two quarters the Small Pickup segment shrank by 1% in the third quarter of 2017, a substantial climbdown for the hefty 26% growth rate the segment registered in 2016. Moreover, with the replacement for the Nissan Frontier, the eagerly-awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup and the return of the Ford Ranger still a while away, it is unlikely the segment will see a huge upturn anytime soon.

Highlights for Q3 2017:

Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tacoma easily holds onto the segment lead, selling almost twice as well as the second-placed Chevrolet Colorado, with both models registering really good double-digit growth in the third quarter
  • The same cannot be said of the other three models, all of which registered double-digit sales declines in the third quarter
  • This is especially true of the geriatric third-placed Nissan Frontier, which lost almost 30% in the third quarter, while the decline was least bad for Chevy’s twin, the GMC Canyon (sales down 15% in the third quarter)
  • The headline figures and the position of the Honda Ridgeline, the final model in the segment, are a bit deceiving – yes, the model has OK to be ranked fourth (i.e. not last), but it is on course to sell only around 30k units this year, whereas the previous generation sold over 50k units in its first full year. Moreover, while the YTD growth rate of 108% looks good, the model actually saw its sales fall by 22% in the last quarter, with Q3’16 being the first full quarter the model was on sale – this suggests that its sales peeked early, and may never go beyond 30k in one year for this generation

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