As has been the case for years, the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) F-Series pickup will be the best-selling vehicle in America in 2013. The trend shows both how much Ford relies on the workhorse and the extent to which pickups are the backbone of sales success at other manufacturers — particularly Chrysler and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM).
The F-Series should have sales of more than 750,000 units this year. Ford’s sales for 2013 will be just below 2.5 million. So, 30% of Ford’s sales will be from its pickup line. And F-Series sales will be about the same as the total of Ford’s next three best sellers combined — Fusion, Escape and Focus.
Ford is not alone in terms of the extent to which it needs pickup sales for the brand to do well. Chevy’s top-selling vehicle is the Silverado pickup, which will make it the most popular vehicle GM makes. Consumers will but about 470,000 of these in 2013. Chrysler’s top-selling vehicle will be the Dodge Ram pickup. Consumers will buy about 350,000 of these. As a matter of fact, these three pickups are among the four best-selling cars and light trucks in the United States. The only car in the group is the Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) Camry. Its sales should reach about 400,000 in 2013.
The success of the pickups sold by the Big Three is also among their greatest advantages against Japanese competitors. The Toyota Tundra is not among the top 20 selling vehicles in the United States. Honda does not even have a full-sized pickup. Neither does Nissan.
Based on most estimates, the U.S. market will produce more than 16 million car and light truck sales this year. Despite the attention low-priced, high-mileage cars get, the pickup is still at the core of the success of manufacturers — particularly the three that have dominated the U.S. market for decades.