Car sales 2024: ranking of pick-up sales in the first quarter

By | April 3, 2024

Now that the first quarter is in the books, we’re seeing the first real auto sales figures for 2024 in the US, and with them some shakeups in segments where the pecking order was long established. We said in January that the auto industry was returning to some semblance of normalcy after more than three years of supply chain craziness and runaway inflation. Well, there may already be a new normal.

Customers lined up to buy cars in droves in 2023, making it the best year for car sales since 2019. Surprise surprise: Trucks remained relatively stratospheric. Big trucks, small trucks – even trucks that don’t do “truck” things. You name it, Americans want it. But what exactly are they buying? Here are the numbers – and why they matter. Many of the usual suspects are right where you’d find them, with the F-Series pickups at the top for the 47th year in a row.

Here’s a look at how things look so far in the pickup truck space in 2024.

Full size

Sales of full-size trucks in the first quarter of 2024:

  1. Total GM (Silverado + Sierra) – 198,584 (+2.3%)
  2. Ford F-series (all) – 152,943 (– 10.2%)
  3. Chevrolet Silverado (all) – 129,987 (+2.4%)
  4. Ram P/U (all) – 89,417 (– 15%)
  5. GMC Sierra (all) – 68,597 (+2.1%)
  6. Toyota Tundra – 15,337 (+41.3%)
  7. Nissan Titan – 4,145 (+2.6%)

Why they matter:

Frankly, the half-ton pickup segment is pretty boring. The rankings haven’t changed from the end of 2023, but there are some year-over-year changes that could be worth keeping an eye on in 2024. There’s clearly still plenty of demand for Toyota’s nearly new Tundra; based on these figures, production is still catching up. GM’s Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra combine for the largest number of pickups sold under a single platform, while Ford takes the crown for the number of pickups sold under a single nameplate. As is tradition, we’ll leave it up to you to find out who the “real” winner is.

Chevy continues to put daylight between the Silverado and Ram. For a time, Auburn Hills had a tentative hold on the No. 2 nameplate behind F-Series. No longer. Also: Aww, Titan.

Note: F Series, Ram, Sierra and Silverado include standard (F-150, 1500, et al), medium (Silverado MD) and heavy-duty (F-250, 2500, et al) models.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road

Medium size

Mid-size truck sales in the first quarter of 2024:

  1. Nissan Frontier – 19,744 (+16.6%)
  2. Chevrolet Colorado – 14,922 (+12.6)
  3. Jeep Gladiator – 12,989 (– 4.0%)
  4. Toyota Tacoma – 8,310 (– 55.5%)
  5. GMC Canyon – 5,484 (+9.3%)
  6. Honda Ridgeline – 3,967 (– 22.3%)
  7. Ford Ranger – 1,918 (– 83.3%)

Why they matter:

The midsize segment has been on a wild ride since the pandemic began, but 2024 is throwing that into disarray for several reasons. The supply chain hurdles of the pandemic era are long gone; say hello to the flood of model year updates. As this segment rapidly re-expands and competition becomes healthier, automakers are doing more to differentiate their trucks with each update, and updates mean disruptions in deliveries.

That’s quite a long way of telling Toyota fans not to panic. The Tacoma hasn’t been dethroned; the new one is simply scarce.

The other obvious outlier on this list is the Ford Ranger. Last place isn’t where we’d expect Ford’s midsize to be, but it’s clear that the redesign of the redesigned truck took its toll on production. That may have been exacerbated by the UAW strike, but we’ll note that GM had no trouble moving many Canyons and Colorados during the same period, despite ongoing quality control issues. I hope Ford takes the time to improve its own quality.

Compact

Compact truck sales in the first quarter of 2024:

  1. Ford Maverick-39.061 (+81.9%)
  2. Hyundai Santa Cruz – 3,362 (– 12.0%)

Why they matter:

Wow. Remember compact pickups? Ford certainly does that. The Maverick is off to a huge start in 2024. At this rate, it’s on track to nearly double its volume in 2023 (a total of 94,058 units – a production increase of almost 27% over 2022), which in itself is by far the most successful small truck was. There isn’t much in this segment, but its very existence is a testament to the pickup’s popularity. After all, the Maverick was designed to replace Ford’s compact, economical Focus sedan and hatchback. Hyundai’s sales figures in Santa Cruz are slightly lower than in 2023, but the Korean automaker has an updated version of the truck in showrooms this summer.

Electric

Electric truck sales in the first quarter of 2024:

  1. F-150 Lightning – 7,743 (+80.4%)
  2. Rivian R1T – 3,000** ( right )
  3. Chevrolet Silverado EV – 1,061 ( new )
  4. GMC Hummer EV Pickup – 830** (+ ~4,000%)
  5. Tesla Cybertruck – **

Why they matter:

Electric pickups are still outliers – so much so that their manufacturers don’t group them with their ICE model lines in their sales data. This results in a bit of a hodgepodge of a ‘segment’, but it only exists for the purposes of this analysis; we are not claiming that these trucks are all in direct competition with each other. Neither GMC nor Rivian break out truck and SUV sales in their published figures, so our estimate here is based on comments from executives suggesting the SUV-to-truck production ratio is around 70/30, with some units outside be taken into account to take delivery van deliveries into account. Given the company’s flat performance, we should be in the ballpark with our estimate of around 3,000 RT1s delivered in the first quarter.

We’re not surprised to see Ford come in first here, but we are surprised to see the company outperforming its 2023 sales so significantly, given all the talk about electric vehicle sales lately. Perhaps the demise of the battery-powered truck was somewhat exaggerated.

As for the Cybertruck, Tesla bundles it in the “other” category with the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover. Together they sold 17,000 units in the first quarter. How many of those were Cybertrucks? We have no earthly idea.

**Not available or estimated at time of publication.

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