September truck sales showed a more subdued pace than August, when double-digit gains dominated the charts. With only one major decline in August, the Nissan Titan, September has seven declines, significantly including the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. We've recently received reports of shortages of the 5.3-liter V-8 models, so that may account for some of the decline.
Both the Ford F-Series and Ram trucks had a positive September, with the F-Series still up 9.8 percent, and ram showing an 8-percent year-over-year gain. As expected, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon continue their sell-down to absolute zero before the introduction of all-new models expected later in the 2014 calendar year.
1) Ford F-Series – 60,456, Up 9.8 Percent
Ford may not have posted a double-digit increase for September, but outselling its next-closest rival by a nearly two-to-one margin (excluding Sierra) shows the dominance of Dearborn in the truck segment. New 2014 models such as the Tremor and the new STX SuperCrew will keep things interesting until the unveiling of the all-new 2015 F-150.
2) Chevrolet Silverado – 32,506, Down 10.8 Percent
The new GM full-size trucks have received positive reviews from the critics, and have been well received by consumers. However, it looks like GM may have become a victim of its own success, with a reported shortage of 5.3-liter V-8 models, the 1500 line's volume powerplant by a huge margin. Once the situation is rectified, expect sales to pick up again before the end of the year.
3) Ram 1500/2500/3500 – 28,145, Up 8 Percent
The 2013 model year has been a good one for Ram, being awarded our Truck of the Year accolade, and with the improvements continuing to come with the announcement of the EcoDiesel for 2014. The Pentastar V-6 and eight-speed Torqueflite transmission remains a compelling combination for fuel economy, and the 3500 holding the title (for now) of the torquiest HD truck at a staggering 850 lb-ft.
4) GMC Sierra – 13,438, Down 1.5 Percent
The Sierra is down slightly for September, but with the overall segment taking a breather, it's not a major drop-off of any great concern. Like the Silverado, the 5.3-liter V-8 is the Sierra's bread-and-butter engine, so many customers may be standing on the sidelines waiting for availability of the popular powertrain to increase.
5) Toyota Tacoma – 11,479, Down 5.7 Percent
The Tacoma is down a little for September, but it's still the sales king of the midsize segment by a commanding margin. We expect the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to present a formidable challenge to the Tacoma's hegemony, but it may take a few years for sales patterns to significantly change in the midsize market.
6) Toyota Tundra – 9071, Down 2.9 Percent
The Tundra is still little threat to the domestic dominance of the full-size segment, but holds its own, sales-wise. We're waiting to see how the market responds to the 2014 refresh, which is largely cosmetic, when most of the other models are getting substantial functional updates.
7) Nissan Frontier – 4662, Up 7.1 Percent
The Frontier sells just a fraction of what the Tacoma does, but it's still a solid, if somewhat dated player in the segment. Recent enhancements include the availability of navigation, and some other tech and convenience features, but it remains largely the same truck as when it was introduced nearly nine years ago.
8) Honda Ridgeline – 1165, Up 9.9 Percent
In the greater scheme of Honda sales, the Ridgeline barely moves the needle, but the brand seems committed to its forward-thinking unibody midsizer, even announcing that a next-generation model is under development. The current Ridgeline is not particularly impressive in terms of fuel economy and capability, but maintains a small but loyal fan base for its innovative design and traditional Honda reliability and refinement.
9) Nissan Titan – 962, Down 46.3 Percent
The Titan dips below the four-figure mark for September, and will probably continue to sell modestly until the all-new 2015 model hits showrooms. The major game-changer for the new model promises to be the optional 5.0-liter Cummins V-8, which will be exclusive in the half-ton segment, and will present an interesting counterpoint to Ram's economy-focused 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
10) Chevrolet Colorado – 41, Down 98.6 Percent
The outgoing Colorado continues to sell off existing inventory, as the Shreveport, Louisiana, plant has long since been shuttered, as the Wentzville, Missouri, plant prepares for the all-new 2015 model. GM is betting that there's still a market for midsize trucks, and will be the only one of the Detroit Three with a midsize offering next year.
11) GMC Canyon – 8, Down 98.6 Percent
The current Canyon is still selling, but in miniscule volumes, with only eight units sold nationwide in September. That's probably a good week for a star salesperson. But GMC dealers won't have to despair for long, with an all-new Canyon coming soon, which promises to be a unique and contemporary proposition in the midsize market.