Ford Leads in Pickup Sales Despite 5% Drop in January

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 50,540 F-Series pickups in the month of January, a decline of 5.2% year over year. Compared with December 2015 sales, that’s a drop of 40% and is due in large part to the snowy weather that hit the East Coast late in the month.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) said sales of its Silverado pickups rose 4.9% year over year in January to 37,863 units, also a 40% decline. Sales of the company’s GMC Sierra trucks rose 13.9% to 14,381 to a combined total of 52,244. The not-so-good news was that sales of the mid-size Colorado pickup fell by 7.3% to 5,508 units.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sold 29,938 Ram pickups in January, an increase of 5% year over year.

The other full-size pickups on offer in the United States are the Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and the Nissan Titan. Tundra’s sales totaled 7,232 in January (down 11.8%). The Titan sold just 937 units in January.

Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 12,717 units in January. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) introduced a new version of its midsize Ridgeline pickup at last month’s Detroit auto show, but the new pickup did not make it to dealer showrooms. A new ad promoting the Ridgeline is set to launch during Sunday’s Super Bowl.

In the full-size pickup segment, sales for December totaled 132,722 vehicles from the Detroit Three. Ford’s market share totaled about 38%, GM’s share came in at 28.6% for the Chevy Silverado and 10.8% for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 22.6%.

Sales declined sharply month over month, but the declines were not as bad as expected. January is traditionally the slowest month of the year for new vehicle sales due to cold, wet weather over much of the country and, probably, a dose of spending fatigue on the part of consumers.

Analysts at TrueCar expect pickup sales to account for 56% of total new vehicle sales in 2016. Average incentive spending in January rose by about 13.4% year over year, with the average discount topping $2,900 per new car or pickup. Incentive spending was 4.2% lower per vehicle than in December.