Trucks Are Tanking: America’s Appetite for the Pickup Is Dropping
America’s love affair with pickup trucks is taking a dive. Yes, supply chain issues haven’t helped, but the downward trend didn’t start in 2022. Truck sales have been dropping for the past few years. In 2022 alone, the Ford F-Series saw a 17 percent decline for most of 2022 until a sudden surge in December narrowed that loss to 10 percent. And the Ram 1500 tanked almost 18 percent. And that trend looks to continue as few changes mark the 2023 trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, and Toyota.
How are sales for midsize pickup trucks?
This downward trend is even worse for midsize pickups. The Ford Ranger dropped 42 percent, according to goodcarbadcar. Nissan’s Frontier fell off a cliff with 63 percent lower sales year-over-year. Has consumer demand finally hit a wall, or is something else going on?
Toyota’s Tundra pickup was all-new in 2022, but even with that new car advantage, it is seeing numbers almost identical to 2021. Its problems have more to do with the dreaded supply chain woes. But the expectation is for these numbers to dip for 2023.
What are some reasons for dropping pickup truck sales?
The Ram 1500 is five years old this year. Though it received updates, it looks like Ram will need to do something new to jazz up sales. The Ram Revolution EV looks to be one solution, but the price tag will keep sales well below its gas-powered siblings. And the same is true for the Ford Lightning, GMC Hummer, and Chevrolet Silverado EV, too.
It might be that development budgets are shifting to favor EV trucks. That could be pushing new conventional truck model introductions further out. But some of this could be due to trucks like the Ford Maverick and all-new Nissan Frontier stealing some full-size truck sales.
SUVs have seen many new models, and with three-row seating, they too could be taking a bite out of pickups. Or could it be Rivian and order holders for the Tesla Cybertruck that are causing truck buyers to wait?
When are some new pickup trucks coming?
Rivian says it has over 100,000 reservations for the R1T truck, while Tesla says it has 1.5 million for its Cybertruck. Split three or four ways, those two numbers would definitely bolster a truck maker’s production figures. But there is good news coming soon.
The 2024 Ford Super Duty trucks are revised, though we’re not sure why they’re not called 2023 trucks. And the Ram 1500 for the 2024 model year should be here by summer. There is also plenty of news surrounding small pickups, spurred by Ford’s success with the Maverick.
Chevy is developing a small electric truck. We don’t know its ETA but it could be here before 2026. And both Nissan and Toyota are eyeing this same segment. Both Ram and Chevrolet have small trucks in other markets. We’re surprised they aren’t here already.
So as 2023 blends into 2024, there are refreshes to look forward to, an upswing in electric truck production, and a slew of compact pickups, with some all-electric. So maybe consumer demand isn’t down, it is just that there are more choices.