Why Are Midsize Trucks Struggling to Sell Right Now?
Current sales data reveals that new car sales are all over the place. Some vehicles are selling so quickly automakers can’t get them to car lots fast enough, and others are falling behind. Truck sales are currently on the decline, and it’s unclear if this is a bad couple of years, or if it’s the start of an alarming trend. Here’s what we know.
Midsize truck sales are dipping
Just a few short years ago, automakers like Ford were quick to slash all their sedan models in favor of SUVs and trucks. Many critics thought this was a bit hasty, as it’s hard to predict what the market will do, and now that move may be coming back to haunt the automakers who chose to rely solely on trucks and SUVs.
Ford Authority has released some alarming data which reveals that buyers aren’t purchasing midsize trucks in the droves that they used to. The two exceptions are the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline.
The Tacoma sales increased around 14% over the second quarter of 2023, as compared to 2022. The Honda Ridgeline has seen a major boom in sales, and things have increased 36% in the quarter 2023 when compared to 2022, and 38% for the year-to-date total.
Other trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator, Ford Ranger, and GMC Canyon are falling. The total drop to date for the combined sales numbers is around 12%. The Gladiator has had the most painful fall from grace, with a decrease of 34%.
Why are sales slacking?
It’s easy to look at this data and assume that buyers are simply not into trucks anymore. But is that truly the real reason, or is there more to this?
One factor is that automakers aren’t producing as many midsize trucks. Take Ford, for example. With so much hype surrounding the Bronco and Bronco Sport, the American automaker is focusing on producing these over other vehicles like the Ranger. Because of this, consumers may be interested in buying the Ranger, but don’t have the opportunity to because it’s not available.
There’s also an increase in competition. Even though Tesla has yet to release the Cybertruck, its eventual release is something that many truck owners are eagerly awaiting. It’s also important to note that this data is focused mainly on midsize trucks. Many truck owners or potential buyers want a full size in order to use for work purposes.
Another reason could be that some buyers are waiting for more EV options. Love them or hate them, the electric vehicle industry is on the rise, and there are plenty of sedans and SUVs to choose from. While there are some EV trucks on the road, there aren’t really enough to really pick and choose from, and automakers are frantically trying to ramp up production.
Finally, there is the ever-present supply chain issue. It’s hard to build a truck for consumers to purchase if you don’t have the parts.
Is it time for the industry to change things up?
If something isn’t working, it’s time to try something new. Or it is in most cases, however.
When it comes to the auto industry, it can be hard to figure out if what you’re doing isn’t working, or if there is more at play. And let’s be honest, after the tailgate wars, no one can accuse automakers of being stagnant. In fact, some tailgates changed up so much that automakers were accused of getting gimmicky.
Perhaps instead of trying to get incredibly innovative, and creating something new and far out there, truck manufacturers need to get back to the basics. Focus on towing capability, comfort, and functionality. This is what most truck owners are interested in, after all, so why not give them what they want instead of trying to redesign the truck?