Photo Finish: Toyota, Ford 2023 Year-End Sales Show Slim 34k Difference
In this article:
In North America, Toyota and Ford are two undisputed best-selling brands for cars, trucks, and SUVs. While the two have similar offerings and plenty of options to choose from, Ford is only slightly ahead of Toyota as we make our way through November. Thanks to the ever-popular Ford F-150, Maverick, and many other models, Ford trucks corner the market. Toyota SUVs like the RAV4 and Highlander cast a wide net and have a lot of happy drivers.
Ford trucks and Toyota SUVs sales soar in 2023
There are just an endless number of models from Toyota and Ford to choose from. Ford trucks are best-sellers in the entire vehicle segment, and an F-Series sells every 49 seconds in the US. There are five trucks to choose from, including the electric F-150 Lightning. Toyota SUVs come in with eight different options and five solid hybrid offerings.
According to GoodCarBadCar, we have sales numbers through October for both brands. So far, Ford is ahead by 34,893 units sold.
Last year at this time, Toyota was ahead by about 8,927 units. Ford reported 141,886 sales in October and 157,141 sales in September, which are both great months. Toyota reported 162,273 and 177,653 for the same time frames.
If we had to hazard a guess, Ford had a lot of popularity with the F-150 Lightning at the start of the year, which has potentially cooled down some. While I have not driven the Lightning, some shoppers waited a long time for the truck and don’t necessarily need a new vehicle yet. Toyota just dropped the new Tacoma and a recently refreshed Tundra, which are both selling well. The 2024 Tacoma is not available yet, set to arrive sometime in early 2024.
Buyers love Ford and Toyota SUVs
Both Ford and Toyota have a solid SUV lineup. While trucks are America’s best-sellers, I think Toyota has better SUV offerings than Ford. I’ve driven the Highlander, Venza, 4Runner, and Sequoia this year and loved them all. The Highlander and 4Runner are bigger models via sales volume, but the Sequoia TRD Pro was just a good time. Though I have not driven the compact RAV4, it is the brand’s top seller so far in 2023, followed by the Highlander. I found that the ever-comfortable 2023 Highlander is a fresh take on a reliable classic.
Toyota has had some great new releases, like the 2024 Grand Highlander. The Land Cruiser isn’t here yet, but I imagine it will sell out before any models hit the dealership floors. The automaker also released the Corolla Cross, which has been an OK seller. For the Toyota RAV4, offering a gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid (RAV4 Prime) model has been a good move.
Ford does have seven SUVs in the lineup right now: Escape, Bronco Sport, Bronco, Explorer, Edge, Expedition, and even the Mustang Mach-E. The Ford Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Escape are the brand’s best-selling SUV models for the year. These are popular but don’t quite surpass Toyota’s SUV sales.
Toyota sales can’t catch the Ford F-Series
The battle between Ford and Toyota shall rage on through the end of 2023. Regarding truck sales, Ford will always have the advantage at first glance. Since it uses the F-Series as a catch-all for the F-150, F-250, F-650, all-electric Lightning, and so on, it captures the sales of many sub-models under one large model name. Either way, Ford has 628,879 truck sales this year, while Toyota has 300,155 sales for Tacoma and Tundra. That isn’t even half of what the F-Series has moved.
Ford and Toyota’s impressive sales numbers can be attributed to their strategic blend of innovation, reliability, and consumer-centric design, consistently meeting the evolving demands of a diverse and discerning market. Offering multiple kinds and sizes of each type of vehicle is an excellent way to keep shoppers loyal, too. Keep an eye on the November numbers when the month ends; perhaps there will be some surprises with one particular model having a stellar month (looking at you, Grand Highlander).