While 2013 has generally been a good year for full-size pickup sales, June was no exception. All the Detroit three showed 20-plus-percent sales gains for the month. The usual pecking order was status quo, with Ford taking its usual seat at the head of the table, General Motors taking second with combined sales of the Silverado and Sierra, and Ram taking third. The situation is most interesting for GM, with the outgoing 2013 pickups sitting side by side with the just-arriving 2014s. To keep sales brisk and consumer interest high in the current model as production ramps up on the 2014s, the 2013 trucks have generous rebates, as much as $9000 in some cases.
Toyota also had more modest double-digit gains for the Tacoma and Tundra, up 18.2 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively. Nissan was not quite as fortunate, with the Frontier down 4.2 percent and the aging Titan down a significant 44.3 percent. GM's midsize twins, the Colorado and Canyon, continue their descent to absolute zero, but new models are coming within the next year that promise to shake things up in the midsize segment.
Ford F-Series – 68,009, Up 23.6 Percent
Ford's dominance of the full-size truck segment doesn't look like it's in any imminent jeopardy. June was once again a blockbuster month for America's favorite truck. Although competition is heating up, Ford has an extremely loyal owner base and still seems to be enjoying positive PR for not taking bailout money, although that issue is rapidly diminishing as a purchase factor among truck shoppers.
Chevrolet Silverado – 43,259, Up 28.9 Percent
The Silverado edged out the F-Series on a percentage basis, but was still well below Ford's total volume, even factoring in combined Sierra sales. The months ahead will be interesting for Chevrolet, as it will have 2013 models alongside the brand-new 2014 trucks . To keep the sheetmetal rolling off the lot, 2013 models have generous rebates and incentives, currently running around $9000.
Ram 1500/HD – 29,644, Up 24 Percent
Ram continues its sales gains, due in large part to the significant updates to the 2013 models. The updated HD models are now in dealerships with the mega-torquey Cummins and epic 30,000-pound towing capacity. Ram is not letting off the throttle for 2014, with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel due in the fall for the 1500 models, and HD models getting significant updates with coil spring rear suspension for the 2500 models, and a new optional 6.4-liter Hemi.
GMC Sierra – 16,568, Up 32.8 Percent
The Sierra's situation largely mirrors that of its Bow-Tie stablemate, with the outgoing and new models side by side at dealerships. It appears GMC will end the year strongly with the Sierra, as the existing 2013s make way for the new 2014 models.
Toyota Tacoma – 14,023, Up 18.2 Percent
The Tacoma's numbers may pale compared with those of the domestic full-size models, but it's still the undisputed champ of the midsize market. Toyota can breathe easy for a few more months, but all-new models coming from GM could have a significant shift in the sales patterns for the midsize market.
Toyota Tundra – 9759, Up 12.3 Percent
Neither the Tundra or the Nissan Titan have ever posed a serious threat to Detroit's dominance of the full-size segment, but the Tundra continues to be a respectable seller, and June was less than 300 units shy of the five-figure mark. Trim and styling updates are coming for 2014, but mechanically, the Tundra will remain largely unchanged.
Nissan Frontier – 5413, Down 4.2 Percent
The Frontier received some rolling updates for 2013, including the addition of an optional navigation system, and slightly improved fuel economy. The Frontier has not resonated with buyers as the Tacoma has, but remains one of our favorites for its fun-to-drive character.
Honda Ridgeline – 1572, Up 32.7 Percent
Despite calls by some in the automotive media to pull the plug, Honda has stood by the Ridgeline through thick and thin, and folks are starting to believe Honda's oddball unibody concept was an idea ahead of its time, by as much as a decade. Indications are future midsize models from other companies could follow in the Ridgeline's unibody footsteps. Sales were up a respectable 32.7 percent for June.
Nissan Titan – 1300, Down 44.3 Percent
Nissan promises a new Titan is in development and could bow for the 2015 model year. The Titan has always been hampered by its single powertrain, with competitors offering three or more choices. The next Titan promises to offer many more configurations, including a reported V-6 and even a diesel option. Going on nearly a decade without significant changes, it's no surprise sales are down double digits for June.
Chevrolet Colorado – 155, Down 96.2 Percent
The Colorado continues its slow sell-off of remaining 2012 models. Sales peaked at more than 128,000 units in 2005, but never achieved six digits since. GM is likely hoping to reconquer the midsize segment with new models coming in calendar 2014 as 2015 models.
GMC Canyon – 64, Down 92.7 Percent
The Canyon has the dubious distinction of being the only model on our list this month with just two-digit sales. Its total is probably what some larger Ford dealerships individually sell of F-Series in a week. The Canyon's replacement can't reach dealerships soon enough.