Ford F-Series Takes 40% of April Pickup Sales

The Detroit Three automakers’ stocks were getting punished Tuesday morning after reporting monthly sales for April that were short of the totals that analysts expected. All three carmakers, though, posted solid gains in sales of their pickup trucks.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 70,774 F-Series full-size pickups in the month of April, an increase of 12.6% year over year. Compared with March 2016 sales, however, that’s a decline of 4.2%.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) said sales of its Silverado pickups rose 8.7% year over year in April to 49,990 units. Sales of the company’s GMC Sierra trucks rose 13.5% to 20,531 for a combined total of 70,521.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sold 41,079 Ram pickups in April, an increase of 8% 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 10,259 in April (down 4% year over year). The Titan sold 1,010 units in April, down 2.7% compared with April 2015.

Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 18,106 units in April, holding its place as the leader in this space. Sales of GM’s midsize Colorado pickup rose 47.8% to 10,362 units, and sales of the GMC Canyon rose 24.4% to 3,026 in April. Nissan’s midsize Frontier pickup sold 7,509 units in April, up 28.9% year over year. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) introduced a new version of its midsize Ridgeline pickup at January’s Detroit auto show, but the new pickup has not yet hit showroom floors.

In the full-size pickup segment, sales for April totaled 182,104 vehicles from the Detroit Three. Ford’s market share totaled about 39.4%, and GM’s share came in at 27.5% for the Chevy Silverado and 11.3% for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 22.6%.

According to estimates from TrueCar, April incentives averaged $3,021 per vehicle in April, up 13% year over year and down 2.7% month over month. Because demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups is so strong, special incentives are less likely to be offered on these vehicles. Automakers almost literally cannot keep enough SUVs and pickups on dealer lots to satisfy demand.