• Year Wrap-Up: Who Sells More? 2016 Pickup Truck Sales Report (USA)

    2016 pickup truck usa sales report summary

    Who sells the most pickup trucks in America? As we enter 2017, it’s time to take a look back at the 2016 truck sales to see who is the most successful and how does the pickup truck market shakes out. This report and summary focuses on the full-size and mid-size pickup trucks that were sold in the United States in 2016. The results are very interesting and not as clear cut as one may think.

    Full-Size Truck Sales (USA) – Year 2016

    YTD 2016 # YTD 2016/2015 %
    Ford F-Series 820,799 5.2%
    Chevrolet Silverado 574,876 -4.3%
    Ram 489,418 8.7%
    GMC Sierra 221,680 -1.1%
    Toyota Tundra 115,489 -2.5%
    Nissan Titan 21,880 80.2%
    Total: 2,244,142 2.6%

    Check out the 2015 Full-size Truck year-end sales summary.

    Ford F-Series comes out on top in sales numbers among the full-size pickups that includes the half-tons and heavy duties. Ford also shows a 5.2% over last year (2015). GM sold a total of 796,556 pickups, looking at the combined numbers of the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra.

    1st. Ford F-Series: 820,799; 2nd. GM pickups: 796,556; 3rd. Ram pickups: 489,418; 4th. Tundra: 115,489; 5th. Titan: 21,880.


    Mid-Size Truck Sales (USA) – Year 2016

    YTD 2016 # YTD 2016/2015 %
    Toyota Tacoma 191,631 7.1%
    Chevrolet Colorado 108,725 28.8%
    Nissan Frontier 86,926 38.4%
    GMC Canyon 37,449 24.5%
    Honda Ridgeline 23,667 NEW
    Total: 448,398 25.6%

    The most astounding piece of data here is that the mid-size pickup truck segment grew by 25.6% overall!  This segment is expanding rapidly. Can it keep up the pace in 2017? We will have to wait and see.

    Here is the 2015 Mid-size Truck year-end sales summary.

    Toyota Tacoma stays the top dog of the mid-size pickups and shows a steady 7.1% improvement over 2015. GM’s Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon together sold 146,174 trucks in 2016. The Tacoma is still ahead by a significant margin, but the GM twins are showing very strong sales growth, so 2017 will be very interesting.

    1st. Tacoma: 191,631; 2nd. GM pickups: 146,174; 3rd. Frontier: 86,926; 4th. Ridgeline: 23,667.


    Finally, here are the 2016 sales totals across all pickups.

    1st. All GM pickups: 942,730

    2nd. All Ford pickups: 820,799

    3rd. All Ram pickups: 489,418

    4th. All Toyota pickups: 307,120

    5th. All Nissan pickups: 108,806

    6th. All Honda pickups: 23,667

    Total: 2,692,540

    Here is a 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X tackling the difficult Cliffhanger 2.0 mountain trail test.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    35 thoughts on “Year Wrap-Up: Who Sells More? 2016 Pickup Truck Sales Report (USA)

    1. Still very low numbers for Nissan (total market share). Oh well, going to get pop corn and read the comments about Ford series vs. GM/Chev/GMC

    2. Hey Andre, you guys have contests every now and then about guessing gas mileage. How about one for 2017 sales predictions?

      I’ll start by predicting the GM twins, Canyon and Colorado, will outsell the Tacoma for 2017–it’ll be close. Also, that the Nissan Titan will come within 5% of the Tundra.

    3. I like the fact that the Nissan Frontier was the midsize truck with the greatest YOY growth and more than doubled the sales of the GMC Canyon despite being the longest without a refresh.

      1. Yeah and the Canyon outsold the Ridgeline, which is newer still. Also, the GMC will always sell lower volumes, so what is your point?

      2. The GMC Canyon’s average transaction price is significantly higher than the Frontier. That being said, the Frontier continues to be a well made midsize truck that in many cases performs better off-road than the new Tacoma.

        1. I would agree that in many cases it can equal the Tacoma off-road. I can’t imagine a situation where it would “perform better” than the Tacoma.

    4. I imagine many of these new Nissan buyers were long time toyota owners that aren’t impressed with the new upgrades and the accompanying problems being reported in toyota forums.

      1. I was going to point that out too. The Frontier is a better Tacoma than the new 3rd gen is at this point. Better pricing and evidently, better quality/reliability. The 3rd gens have had awful quality (ranked last by CR recently).

    5. What the hell? Why did Nissan only give that Pro-4X that General Grabber highway tire? The General Grabber AT2 would have made much more sense.

      We can Toyota grief for not giving the Taco Pro KO2s, but at least it had all-terrains.

      1. True but the Tacoma TRD Pro got a huge price increase for 2017 and for a $40-45k US “ultimate offroad” package, it shouldn’t have the same tires as a basic Colorado Z-71 (a shocks and sticker package).

    6. GM did well in a market that arch-rivals Ford and RAM do not participate in: the midsize. So that is largely irrelevant right now. Could GM’s mid-twins have stolen some sales from the full-size rigs? Maybe some. But since Ford is not in this market, we just don’t know. Certainly the HD market is unaffected by the mid-size trucks.

      What is interesting is that despite refreshes for this year on both the Silverado and Sierra, sales fell for both. It appears the attack ads against aluminum Fords was unsuccessful.

      1. Our dealer just did a year end look at Colorado sales for 2016 for our dealership and here’s what we found:
        1. 34% of Colorado buyers traded a full size truck on the deal. Of those, 73% traded a full size GM truck and 64% worked numbers on both a full size Chevy and the Colorado. (If we apply that to nationwide that means around 50,000 less full size sales of which the majority would likely have been GM trucks which would take the full size GM into sales growth area. If Ford had their Ranger in 2016, their full size sales would have dropped also as a lot of the 2.7EB buyers would have likely gone Ranger)
        2. 28% traded an SUV on the deal.
        3. 22% traded a car on the deal.
        4. 16% had no trade.

        As for a refresh, lets be honest here Troverman, it was a hood, lights and grille. The other 95% was the exact same truck as the 2014. The F150 is still the newest truck on the market. As for the attack ads, it looks like Fords “all other trucks are history” ads weren’t all that successful either as they only had a 5% growth (likely would have been a negative if they had a Ranger available) with the newest truck; which shouldn’t have been that hard since they had production/supply restrictions in 2015 when the truck launched. So their ads didn’t steal any customers away from GM or RAM either.

        Many times customers who looked at a Chevy at our dealer but bought an F150 said it came down to 2 things; interior and the lack of the 6.2L availability to compare to the 3.5EB/Hemi. GM interiors are now 3rd in appeal. They are still nice, but too much roundness and everything blends together. Ram and Ford have the nicest up-level interiors and GM knows it. They just don’t want to spend a ton of money updating a truck interior that only has a year or so left in its cycle when overall sales are still very good. As for the 6.2L availability, it is ridiculous that GM doesn’t increase plant capability for that motor.

        1. If Ford built a true midsize truck smaller than the 7/8 12ton size that currently sells than the F150 would be unaffected. Right now the midsize is the size of an old 1/2 ton. What we need is a true small sized truck like the old Rangers/Mazda B4000 or a nice Old Chevy ZR2 with a V8 in it.

          1. Amen… A truck with a 2.5, 2.0 and 1.5 Ecoboost available. The same size as an ’83 Ranger. No Supercrews.

        2. Good point on the L86 engine, GM should scrap the 5.3 and have the 6.2/8AT across the line, NO MATTER THE TRIM LEVEL!

          1. There’s nothing wrong with the 5.3L as the vast majority of nearly 800,000 full size truck buyers bought them this year. BUT, the 6.2L should be at least available from the LT and up. If they did, I suspect we’d see a 50/50 split between the 5.3L and 6.2L. If anything, scrap the 4.3L as no dealer carries any significant inventory of it. I think we will see GM consider a turbo V6 in the next gen truck. I’m not a huge fan just because once true highway speeds are hit, the turbo is working and mileage drops. I suspect that is why Ford has the 10-speed now so the top 2-3 gears keep the rpms low enough to keep the turbo from working too hard except for perhaps climbing hills. If GM does a turbo V6 it too will have the 10-speed for the same reasons.

            1. My 3.5 Ecoboost will get 21+ on the highway at cruising speeds 55-70 mph (3:55 axle, 4X4, Supercrew). The only big drawback for me is cold weather and if you allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes, it helps a lot.

            2. You get 21+ while cruising at those speeds because typically you’re not in the boost. It’s when you’re towing a decent amount or climbing any sort of decent grade when you’ll have to downshift and work the engine. While it’s under boost the engine will dump extra fuel to keep things rich.

        3. Look at a Tundra 1794 Interior, the fit and finish puts a Ford o shame, had Fords before going to the Tundra and once in the Toyota I never looked back, got a buddy gust bought the Platinum Edition in the Ford looks good but not a 1794 and it has wind noise on two doors.

    7. Toyota made a big mistake giving in to fuel mileage wars when it was proven by many articles that fuel mileage was a low selling feature. The Atkinson motor is a bust, full of problems and lacks performance over the 4.0, hence people went out and bought the Frontier which is the shortest truck of the bunch which is another key factor as to why the old truck did so well. Toyota made the Tacoma 4 inches longer which is another hindrance to people that want a smaller truck. Very bad decisions regardless of their sales they are losing market share, not just because of competition. Had they made the 2016 model shorter with the same 4.0 motor their sales would be far superior to what they are now.

      1. I’d say that the very competitive Colorado/Canyon are also attracting customers unhappy with the 3rd gen Tacoma. Between the lack of quality control and powertrain performance, the Colorado/Canyon are an attractive alternative. A lot of Toyota fans read Consumer Reports and by now see that the Tacoma has a quality problem. The massive frame rust recalls aren’t helping the Tacoma’s image either, it’s a big turnoff for those of us living in the north.

        Now that GM’s twins offer 8-speed transmissions and diesel engine options, it’s yet another feature that the Tacoma doesn’t have an answer too.

    8. The growth that Nissan has had with Frontier sales is impressive given how long this truck has been around. All of its competition are significantly more modern in every way. The sales Nissan are still having with this truck might explain why they are taking so long to bring the new Frontier to North America. Maybe Nissan’s thinking is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

      The disappointing start they have had with the Titan might be another reason they are in no rush. The rest of the world has had the NP300 for some time now.

      1. If only they had put the same amount of effort (aka money) into the Frontier as they had the Titan.

        The Titan’s development and marketing pushed the XD at the expense of the gas version. They should have led with the gas variant, which would have gotten the new truck much more attention, as I truly believe it is a better half-ton than the Tundra. Many Tundra buyers are only interested in buying a truck made by a Japanese brand. The Tundra is outdated and inefficient and the Titan is a compelling alternative they simply don’t hear about or assume they’re all the diesel Titan XD.

    9. I’ve e-mailed Ford for years telling them to do what Japan did, copy a successful product. Ranger continued to be lacking and is no longer with us. Maybe Furd was waiting for the government to outlaw foreign competition.

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