With the introduction of GM's redesigned full-sized pickups and the last year before the 2015 Ford F-150 drops, 2013 was significant for truck sales. Here's a look at how the Big Three did in December and 2013.
GM had a tough December overall, and sales of their new trucks weren't exactly door-busting. In a media conference call today, GM executives responded to questions about low truck sales by stating they're "still in the midst of rolling out various configurations" of their full-sized pickups.
Explaining that Crew Cabs are rolled out first, followed by double cabs, followed by singles, GM justified their numbers as "reflective of their release strategy" elaborating by saying commercial outfits make up a strong portion of GM truck sales, and they primarily buy single cabs. An increased availability in 2014 may show improvement on the Silverado and Sierra ledgers.
Large pickup sales to small business customers were up 38% for the month, and 57% for the year. It was also stated that commercial fleet and government sales were up in December for the second month in a row.
The discontinuation of the Avalanche was also blamed for this year's low sales numbers.
GM claims they own 36% of the over-$40k light duty truck segment, with the Sierra holding the "highest average transaction prices of any full-sized pickup in the industry." Meanwhile, GM is spending about $1,000 less on consumer incentives for pickups this year than last.
Looking forward, the GM team seemed optimistic about the fact that 95% of light duty GM truck sales to consumers in December were MY 2014s models, claiming that 90% of a "major domestic competitor" sales were MY 2013s. Naturally, they're hoping this is indicative of excitement over their future products.
For 2014, GM is hoping the launches of their redesigned large SUVs, Heavy Duty pickups and mid-sized pickups will get more consumers on board. High-speed mobile internet as part of OnStar was also offhandedly mentioned as a potential near-future offering.
As a side note, GM's small SUVs faired well in 2013. The Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Acadia, and GMC Terrain had their best years ever with sales on the Acadia up 53% in December.
With 763,402 sales in 2013, the F-Series had its best year since 2006. The blue oval claimed "best selling pickup in America" title for the 37th straight year, and the best selling vehicle in the country for the 32nd year. 688,810 were sold through November, and 74,592 were sold in December.
With the reveal of the 2015 F-150 redesign just weeks away and a predicted shortage of 2014 models resulting from factory conversions, the industry will be closely watching Ford's F-Series performance in the first quarter of this year.
Ford sold 1,466 heavy trucks in December, an 11.1% increase from December 2012. 8,682 Ford heavy trucks were sold in 2013.
E-Series van sales were up 3.8% to 12,460 units this December from last, for a 2013 total of 125,356 sales.
Meanwhile, the Escape set an annual sales record with 295,993 vehicles. Escape sales are up 22 percent for the month at 24,462.
Ram was the Chrysler Group's best performing brand in 2013, with a 22% sales increase from the previous year. That includes the Pickups, Cargo Vans and ProMaster Vans. For December, Ram sales were up 17% to 36,028 vehicles.
Pickups had an 11% increase to 33,405 vehicles, making this December its best since 2004. It also marks 44th consecutive month Ram Pickups have show "year-over-year" sales gains.
Broken down further, Heavy Duty pickup sales were up 16% and while Light Duty sales were up 7%.
The ProMaster Van introduced in October skyrocketed, posting a 126% sales increase in December over November.