April 2013 was a great month for the three major domestic players, with Ford, Chevrolet and Ram all posting double-digit sales gains. This comes mere months before sales of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin, both of which are highly-anticipated by dealers and potential buyers alike. Ram saw an outstanding 49 percent gain for April and has several new models in the pipeline to keep the momentum going. After some production delays, the 2013 Ram HD seems to finally be on-track, and the Hemi will become available with the eight-speed automatic. Later this fall, the Ram 1500 will get the turbodiesel V-6 from the Jeep Grand Cherokee as an option, presenting a unique proposition in the half-ton market for economy and capability.
Taking fourth place in the March roundup, the Toyota Tacoma drops back down to fifth place, still making it the top-selling midsize model by an order of magnitude; its closest rival, the Nissan Frontier, sold less than half as many units. Expect this to continue until the midsize niche gets a major shakeup next year with the arrival of the 2014 Chevrolet and GMC trucks, which may or may not carry the Colorado and Canyon names.
1. Ford F-Series: 59,030, Up 24.4 Percent
The only difference month-to-month for the Ford F-series is the number of units sold and its percentage gain. It has been the undisputed and largely unchallenged sales leader in the segment for more than three consecutive decades. A broad bandwidth of product from functional and economical to plush and heavy-duty offers something to please nearly every potential truck buyer.
2. Chevrolet Silverado: 39,395, Up 28.1 Percent
Just as GM's plants are preparing for the new 2014 models, Chevy is sending the 2013 Silverado out with a bang. Incentives and special promotions are probably fueling a lot of the sales, but for the currently oldest design on the market, it's still a respectable performance.
3. Ram 1500/2500/3500: 31,409, Up 49 Percent
2013 could be seen by some as the Year of Ram. Chrysler's truck brand has been on a roll for most of the last 12 months, bolstered by solid products with meaningful updates. As noted, the product cadence is not slowing, with 2013 Ram HDs finally starting to trickle out of Saltillo, Mexico, and the Ram 1500 getting two noteworthy updates in the form of the TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed transmission paired with the optional Hemi V-8, and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 coming later in the fall.
4. GMC Sierra: 14,208, Up 12.8 Percent
The Sierra has always been the smallest-volume player among the domestics, but its loyal customer base continues to serve it well. Although its April performance did not quite match that of the Silverado, a double-digit gain is a solid performance. The 2014 model should keep the momentum going for the Sierra.
5. Toyota Tacoma: 12,971, Up 19 Percent
The Toyota Tacoma may have been knocked out of the number four spot by the Sierra in total volume for April, but it's still solidly on top of the midsize sales charts, selling more than double the units of its next closest rival.
6. Toyota Tundra: 8276, Up 14.6 Percent
The Tundra saw a respectable gain in April and comfortably maintained its status as the best-selling import-brand full-size pickup. However, set against the nearly decade-old Nissan Titan, it's somewhat of a hollow victory. A refresh for the 2014 model year brings bolder styling and some interior updates, but powertrains and specs remain largely unchanged.
7. Nissan Frontier: 5155, Up 24.3 Percent
The Frontier has had somewhat of a roller-coaster ride for 2012 and the first few months of 2013, with sales up and down month-to-month. But April delivered a solid 24.3 percent improvement, showing there's still a following for Nissan's midsizer. Late-introduction updates for 2013 include improved fuel economy, and more available content, including an optional navigation system in the SL and Pro-4X models.
8. Honda Ridgeline: 1557, Up 47.6 Percent
Honda's one-of-a-kind midsize unibody took eighth place for April, with modest overall unit sales of 1557 representing a strong 47.6 percent year-over-year April gain. Although loved by some buyers for its car-like driving characteristics, unique styling and functional packaging, the Ridgeline no longer shines in the area of fuel economy, where it's matched or surpassed by its midsize rivals, and even some fullsize models.
9. Nissan Titan: 1038, Down 33.8 Percent
The Titan continues its spiral into irrelevance. Modest updates for the 2013 model year can't hide this truck's undeniable age. Nissan has been adamant that development on the next-generation Titan is pedal-to-the-metal, and that it will surprise everyone with its breadth of model configurations, and new innovations. We certainly hope so, because the current Titan is not doing Nissan any favors.
10. Chevrolet Colorado: 425, Down 87.9 Percent
The Colorado's dropping sales numbers are reflective of it being out-of-production for nearly a year, and dealers selling off remaining inventory ahead of the new 2014 midsize models. The Colorado still has its fans, especially those that like the availability of the 5.3-liter Vortec V-8 in a midsize package, a class-exclusive feature it shares with the Canyon since the discontinuation of the Dakota.
11. GMC Canyon: 88, Down 88.8 Percent
Posting a mere 154 unit sales in March, the Canyon drops below three figures for April. GMC dealers are likely eagerly awaiting its replacement, which is expected to be revealed soon, and start selling in late summer to fall.