June 2014 U.S. Truck Sales – Toyota Tundra Slips
The numbers are out for truck sales in June, 2014. Leading the segment are Ram and the Nissan Frontier. The Toyota Tundra had nearly a 1k unit slip. Is demand finally starting to wan?
For the past several months Toyota has been posting increases in Tundra sales. This is the first month of 2014 where the sales were down. Most Toyota fans know or have heard us say that demand has been outstripping supply. Also, Toyota executives have been saying the same thing. Now that the new truck is nearing a one year on the market, I wonders if demand is starting to wan. One month isn’t the end all be all for truck sales and we should be cautious in reading too much into these numbers. Here is how the numbers look:
|Rank||Model YTD Sales||YTD vs 2013||YEAR-OVER-YEAR||MONTHLY SALES||MONTHLY CHANGE VS. 2013|
|1. Ford F-Series||365,825||-0.5%||June 2014|
|2. Chevrolet Silverado||240,679||-0.8%||June 2014|
|3. Ram Truck||230,860||+19.7%||June 2014|
|4. GMC Sierra||93,191||+6.3%||June 2014|
|5. Toyota Tacoma||75,149||-7.4%||June 2014|
|6. Toyota Tundra||57,987||+12.5%||June 2014|
|7. Nissan Frontier||35,943||+22.6%||June 2014|
|8. Honda Ridgeline||7,906||-12.4%||June 2014|
|9. Nissan Titan||6,416||-27.5%||June 2014|
Ford posted yet another drop in sales. This is primarily (or at least we guess) due to the new F-150 coming out in a few months. If I were a fleet buyer or consumer, I know I would wait. We are guessing others are doing the same. One note, keep this drop in the back of your mind. IF the F-150 sells really well, Ford could have bloated sales improvement numbers due to weak prior year numbers.
Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) consumers don’t seem to be all that affected by the recalls. Were we expecting a negative sales number? Not really. However, posting a small gain for the Silverado shows consumers aren’t really affected by their issues. Now, if you add the Sierra and Silverado numbers together, you do get a sales drop. Yet, the sales volume drop isn’t that significant.
The numbers speak for themselves. Consumers continue to be buying these trucks and Ram continues to be picking up market share. In my book, long-term reliability continues to be a concern, but for now Ram Truck is on a roll. One of the interesting things to watch from Ram is whether or not they will ever truly catch the Chevy Silverado in total sales. The rebirth of their commercial truck products and continued improvements could do it. Not a big deal for a truck buyer, just a fun thing to watch. Lastly, I’ll have more about Ram Truck next week and how their unit sale improvements might come back to haunt Chrysler.
I speculated in a TacomaHQ.com post (read it here) about Nissan focusing so much on a new Titan that they are somewhat ignoring the Frontier. I, personally, see this as a mistake. The Frontier continues to be a strong performer. Plus, the mid-size segment has buyers who are more open to the Nissan and Toyota products. Once those same customers look at full-size, it seems both Nissan and Toyota fall back in their buying list. If I was running Nissan, I would focus on improving the Frontier to keep my market share and try to win over more mid-size customers. This would create a larger customer base and when these customers moved up to full-size, I would have a better time keeping them in my brand. My two cents.
Honda continues to compete with the Titan for last place. We know they are working on a new truck and this, along with the current truck’s weaknesses, will continue to drive down sales.
One other item to note is a growing debate on how current loan terms and interest rates will have on long-term vehicle sales. Right now, you can get a low interest rate on a 7-year loan (84 months!). This long package creates a low payment for customers and allows them to purchase a more expensive truck. However, it also means they will likely be upside down for a longer period. Critics have speculated that this loan package will create a lull in vehicle sales since it keeps consumers out of the marketplace for longer periods of time. The reasoning is that they are upside down longer and likely can’t trade in without buying their way out – not something customers often do. Also, playing a role, may be higher interest rates in the future as the economy stabilizes quite a bit. Ultimately, it remains to be seen how this impacts the next few years of growth in the automotive segment. I’m watching this closely and will keep you informed on what I find.
Filed Under: Auto News