The Chevy Silverado Stormed out of the Gate in 2020

If you are in the market for a new Chevy Silverado you are not alone. The first quarter of 2020 has seen a dramatic improvement in sales numbers for Chevrolet’s full-size truck offering over the same period a year ago. The latest surge in sales propelled the Chevy Silverado 1500 into second place in the full-size pickup truck market ahead of long time rival, the Ram 1500.

Q1 2020 Silverado sales

In the first quarter of 2019, Chevy sold a total of 114,313 Silverado trucks, giving them a 22 percent share of the full-size pickup truck market and landing them in third place overall. However, even as a global pandemic threatens the economy, Q1 2020 is a different story.

The newly redesigned 2020 Chevy Silverado saw increased sales during the first 3 months of 2020 by 30,421 units. That gain equates to a 26.61 percent increase over the same period of 2019, increasing market share to 27 percent, and landing the Silverado in second place among full-size trucks.

Head-to-head: Silverado vs Ram

A new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD is shown on the assembly line at the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant
The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

In recent years, the Ram 1500 has beaten out the Chevy Silverado for second place in the full-size pickup truck market. In fact, 2019 Q1 saw Ram in the No. 2 spot behind the Ford F-Series with 5,713 more trucks sold than Chevy or 23 percent market share compared to Chevy’s 22 percent. Total 2019 sales figures put Ram solidly ahead of Silverado by selling 633,694 units compared to the Silverado’s 575,600. 

A recent comparison of Chevy Silverado and Ram trucks by U.S. News indicates that the Ram is the better of the two trucks. However, going through their test results, it seems that Ram may have won more categories, but many of those categories were based on features not inherently important to truck owners.

Of course, seating comfort, fuel economy, and infotainment technology are nice-to-have features in a truck, but they should not allow an inferior truck to win the competition. 

Safety is always an important category and Ram did win that category, but they tied on price and reliability. And in the most truck-like categories such as powerful engine options, cargo capacity, towing, hauling, and off-road prowess Chevy Silverado beat the Ram fair and square. There’s no argument that Ram produces a great vehicle, but Silverado is a better truck.

The Ford F-Series is still on top

Ford F-Series has been the number one best-selling full-size truck for quite some time. In the first quarter of 2019, they sold nearly twice as many trucks and their nearest competitor giving them a solid 41 percent market share.

Times may be changing, however, if the first quarter of 2020 is any indication. While Chevy Silverado was increasing sales by 26.61 percent, Ford sales dropped by 13.07 percent, and the resulting shift narrowed the market share gap to only 8 percent between the two rivals. 

What this means for truck buyers

It appears that this might be the golden age for truck buyers. There’s no doubt that stiff competition among the top three brands is not only good for consumers as a way to negotiate price and leverage options like never before. But it’s also good for the future of pickup trucks as they strive to blend comfort, technology, and brawn in ways that will make truck owners’ lives more productive, safe, and comfortable. 

At the end of all the analysis, it comes down to personal preference and in some cases specific needs. If the technology and comfort of the Ram in your price range are more important than the increased towing capacity offered by Ford or Chevy then that’s the truck you should buy. If you need more cargo capacity and horsepower than the options available from Ram, then you should definitely shop the other brands in the class.