When Ford and GM owners brag about sales figures to somehow “prove” their trucks are the best available, I say three things:
- Consumers aren’t always rational – They don’t necessarily buy the “best” car or truck on the market. There’s a lot of emotion in car purchases.
- Sales figures are influenced by a variety of factors – From incentives to geography to politics to a consumer’s previous experiences. You can’t study them in a vacuum.
- Fleet sales – Ford and GM roll massive numbers of fleet trucks into their sales figures.
I’m going to focus on #3 right now (you can read more about #1 and #2 here).
The news today is that almost one-third of Ford’s sales are to fleets, which are defined by convention as companies owning at least 15 trucks. Chrysler-Fiat? 30% GM? Just 26%.
Here are fleet sales numbers for the first quarter of 2012, courtesy of Automotive News (subs. req’d):