America loves a good rivalry and Americans also love pickup trucks.
Domestic automakers have been relying on the latter, pickups, to help drive profits for much of the last two decades, and Ford and General Motors have long found ways to irritate one another when it comes to sell more trucks than the other.
Now there is a new way: GM has sold more pickups through the first half of 2018 than Ford. GM sold 478,671 pickups, up 12% from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book data. Ford sold 451,138 pickups, a 5% increase.
Now before anyone loses their minds, Ford still holds the title for best-selling vehicle in America with the F-150, which is seeing a sales increase this year too. However, GM has one thing that Ford does not: a midsize pickup.
(Check out our first drive in the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Redline. Click Here for the review.)
The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have been popular add-ons to GM’s truck line-up since they returned a few years ago. When all trucks are counted, GM’s truck market share is 34% while Ford’s is just 32%. This is not a revelation, according to GM officials.
“On a volume basis, we’ve sold more pickups than the F-series over the past four years in a row and that continues through this year,” Jim Cain, a GM spokesman, told the Detroit News.
Including midsize and full-size trucks, GM sold “a record 948,909” pickups in the U.S., “more than any other automaker for the fourth year in a row,” he noted.
Ford sold 896,764 F-series last year, without offering a midsize truck. A Ford spokesman said F-Series is America’s “best-selling truck for 41 straight years.”
“F-Series is on a record setting sales pace in 2018, with increased market share and a winning sales gap of more than 160,000 units over its closest competitor,” said Ford’s Mike Levine in an email. “F-Series transaction prices are the highest of any full-size pickup manufacturer with lower incentives than Ram, Chevrolet or GMC.”
For years GM’s been trying to find ways to take Ford down a peg because of its “Best Selling Vehicle” claim and because that’s what competitors do. However, the revelation that GM simply outsells Ford when it comes to trucks is best kind of one upsmanship because its born out of truth.
(Click Here for more about the strong auto sales in June.)
However, there are a few nuanced points that are glossed over in this latest round of conflict between the automotive version of the Hatfields and McCoys. First, GM’s selling off its old trucks at bargain prices as the new ones start rolling it — which also generates excitement for the brand.
Ford also saw some lost sales this year due to the fire at a supplier facility that hampered the production of some F-Series trucks. The company’s two plants that produce F-Series in Michigan and Missouri were down for about two weeks, meaning thousands upon thousands of trucks weren’t being made.
Additionally, GM benefits slightly because of a strong third party: Ram, which also rolled out its newest model as Ford is sitting on a version that that’s nearly two years old. Two competitors with brand new models means tough sledding.
Ford did fight back with several updates and packages as well as an all-new diesel aimed at drawing in the usual buyer, but GM is ahead on the scorecard – or sales ledger in this case – and Ford won’t have a midsize truck for sale, the new Ranger, until early next year.
In fact, it appears clear that it’s the midsize trucks that are putting GM over the finish line.
Across General Motors, sales of all pickups are soaring, partly because of GM selling down older models to make way for the redesigned 2019 full-size pickups. Levine told the Detroit News that in the full-size pickup segment, not counting midsize pickups, Ford has a 39% market share, which Kelley Blue Book confirms. GM comes in at 33.9% share, said KBB.
(To see more about Chevrolet’s popular Centennial truck line-up, Click Here.)
GM’s Cain credited a “three-truck strategy” for driving up sales. He told the News that Chevrolet and GMC are, “the only brands that offer a midsize, light-duty and heavy-duty pickups. Ford missed the market and they won’t have the Ranger until sometime early next year.”