So far in 2016, April has not been the cruelest month. That distinction belongs to May. Only one of the Detroit Three managed to post a year-over-year sales gain in May, and that was just a 1% uptick.
How bad was it? Only one of the three posted an increase in sales of pickup trucks, that’s how bad it was. And even the one that posted the increase sold fewer trucks in May than in April.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 67,412 F-Series full-size pickups in the month of May, an increase of 9% year over year. Compared with April 2016 sales, however, that’s a decline of nearly 4.8%.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) said sales of its Silverado pickups tumbled 12.7% year over year in May to 45,035 units. Sales of the company’s GMC Sierra trucks dipped 7% to 17,642, for a combined total of 62,677.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sold 38,833 Ram pickups in April, a drop of 3% year over year.
The other full-size pickups offered in the United States are the Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and the Nissan Titan. Tundra’s sales totaled 9,739 in May, down 16.4% year over year. The Titan sold 922 units in May, down 24.3% compared with May 2015.
Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 16,544 units in May, holding its place as the leader in this space. Sales of GM’s midsize Colorado pickup rose 3.5% to 9,196 units, and sales of the GMC Canyon rose 15.9% to 3,361 in May. Nissan’s midsize Frontier pickup sold 7,941 units in May, up 46% 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 168,922 vehicles from the Detroit Three. Ford’s market share totaled 39.9%, GM’s share came in at 26.6% for the Chevy Silverado and 10.4% for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 23.0%.
The decline in total May sales has been attributed to two fewer selling days in the month and, in GM’s case, tight inventories and a continuing planned drop in fleet sales.
TrueCar reported that the average incentive in May rose 7.1% year over year to $3,034. GM led with an average incentive of $3,941 (up 4.7%), with Ford at $3,433 (up 28%, the most of any automaker and nearly $800 more than a year ago) and Fiat Chrysler at $3,926 (up 20%).