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Ford still leads, margin slims on 2022 Q1 truck sales results

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While the industry is struggling with shortages of all kinds, the 2022 Q1 truck sales reports are pretty interesting with Ford Motor Co. still leading, and Nissan’s new Frontier making a big jump.

After all the reviews, the marketing campaigns, the press conferences and fanfare dies down, the truth finally comes out on what consumers think. This truth is expressed through sales results, and the numbers don’t lie.

Here’s how things turned out for 2022 Q1:

2022 Q1 Pickup Sales      
Full-Size Truck SalesQ1 SalesLast Year Q1 SalesQuarterly ChangeYear to DateLast Year to DateYear Over Year Change
Ford F-Series140,701203,797-31.0140,701203,797-31.0%
Ram Truck127,116148,836-15.0%127,116148,836-15.0%
Chevy Silverado
LD
HD
118,796
81,017
37,779
124,704
90,705
33,999
-4.8%
-10.7%
11.1%
118,796
81,017
37,779
124,704
90,705
33,999
-4.8%
-10.7%
11.1%
GMC Sierra
LD
HD
56,617
36,805
19,812
62,917
45,257
17,660
-11.1%
-18.7%
12.2%
56,617
36,805
19,812
62,917
45,257
17,660
-11.1%
-18.7%
12.2%
Toyota Tundra22,64319,13416.8%22,64319,13416.8%
Nissan Titan6,4157,463-14%6,4157,463-14%
Midsize Truck SalesQ1 SalesLast Year Q1 SalesQuarterly ChangeYear to DateLast Year to DateYear Over Year Change
Toyota Tacoma53,18266,449-21%53,18266,449-21%
Nissan Frontier22,40510,780107.8%22,40510,780107.8%
Ford Ranger17,63924,166-27.0%17,63924,166-27.0%
Chevrolet Colorado21,69324,083-9.9%21,69324,083-9.9%
Jeep Gladiator17,91218,822-5%17,91218,822-5%
Honda Ridgeline9,18912,570-27.9%9,18912,570-27.9%
GMC Canyon6,1607,144-13.8%6,1607,144-13.8%
Compact pickupQ1 SalesLast Year Q1 SalesQuarterly ChangeYear to DateLast Year to DateYear Over Year Change
Ford Maverick19,245n/an/a19,245n/an/a
Hyundai Santa Cruz8,400n/an/a8,400n/an/a
EV Truck Sales
GMC Hummer EV pickup990N/A990N/A
Rivian R1Tnot availablenot availablenot availablenot availablenot availablenot available

2022 Q1 truck sales for full-size, HD trucks

Let’s start talking about these results with the full-size and HD trucks.

First, Ford F-Series continues to lead the way (F-150 through F-450), although their nearly 50k lead a year ago has shrunk to just 13k trucks this year over Ram. With its semiconductor chips being spread around for the F-150 Lightning EV truck and the Mach E, it will be interesting to see if Ford can once again claim the top spot. According to the U.S. Commerce Secretary, EVs use twice the number of semiconductor chips as ICE vehicles. Ford might be forced to sacrifice production of one vehicle in order to produce another. What will it choose to do?

Ram comes in next with a down sales result, however, a big boost to confidence as it once again thwarts the Silverado’s efforts to retake the No. 2 spot. The 1500 continues to be a hot pickup, and one has to wonder if it could overtake the F-Series if Ram could build more trucks.

Coming in third is the Chevy Silverado. While truck fans will argue the Silverado and Sierra results should be combined, I report them as General Motors puts them out. This is how GM wants their sales numbers portrayed, so I’ll honor that request.

You can see both the Silverado and Sierra light-duty trucks (aka 1500s) had down quarters, and with the news the Fort Wayne Assembly plant will be shut down for two weeks in April due to shortages, that’s not going to help Silverado’s cause in getting back to No. 2.

The HD trucks are interesting as well since the Sierra is really selling quite well. This is great for GM because the vast majority of Sierra trucks sold are higher trim packages like the Denali. There is a lot of profit in those trucks.

Like Ford, GM will have to decide which vehicles to prioritize. With the Cadillac Lyriq now in production and the GMC Hummer EV production ramping up, it seems like GM is going to be juggling its supply of chips.

The Toyota Tundra comes in at its usual spot on these charts and has had a nice improvement in sales. This is all due to the new Tundra hitting the market. The older Tundra sales results were pretty consistent at 8-9k trucks a month, and this new truck is expected to out perform the old one in every way. With capacity no longer being an issue and Tacoma production moved to Mexico, the sky seems like the limit to Tundra sales IF Toyota can build them.

Rounding out the bunch is the Nissan Titan. Updated in 2020, this full-size truck and the heavy-duty half-ton XD truck should be doing better. It is an underdog in the segment and a much better truck than the sales numbers reflect.

Midsize Q1 truck sales

Starting off with the perennial front runner, the Toyota Tacoma saw a sales dip like most of the other trucks. There is a rumor of a new Tacoma coming later this year, and that will push sales down as consumers wait and see what the new one will offer.

The big surprise on this chart is the Nissan Frontier. It completely destroyed last year’s sales — even during a parts shortage. The Frontier has had fluctuating sales over the past few years as the Canton, Mississippi, plant juggles building Altima, Frontier, Titan and Titan XD.

Next up is the Ford Ranger and again a new model is expected for the U.S. market soon. Sales will likely rebound with a new Ranger built for the U.S. market if Ford decides to put that much effort into the segment with the Maverick performing well.

The Chevy Colorado, Jeep Gladiator, Honda Ridgeline and GMC Canyon are all showing their ages, and the sales results show it. The GM twins are up for a major refresh, the Ridgeline got a small update recently, and the Jeep Gladiator continues to roll on without much fanfare.

Compact pickup sales

This is a category many expect to catch fire. We have covered the Ford Maverick extensively and it is a good little pickup for a lot of owners. As well as the more upscale feeling Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Stating the obvious: the Maverick is off to a hot start. It is already beating its larger brother the Ranger and sales for the 2022 model year have been shut off due to demand. The Santa Cruz is off to a nice start, and once people start to see both of these trucks in their communities more, I expect sales to keep climbing.

Electric truck sales

Another interesting category to watch will be electric truck sales. It remains to be seen if manufacturers will break out the numbers or how they will handle these trucks. So far, there isn’t much to say.

The bottom line

Truck sales results rarely change a whole lot with brand loyalty and commercial sales driving most of the sales results. With the new compact trucks and electric trucks, this could change, and it will be fun to watch when it does.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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