Ford took care to let folks know it got the bestselling full-size pickup in the U.S. — again. However, GM just scoffs each time Ford says it. The real news is that pickup truck sales were up dramatically for both Ford and GM. Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan sales were also up. Only Ram trucks had a down year.
Ford is starting the new year off tooting its horn that the F-Series pickup truck is again the bestselling vehicle in America, now for the 42nd year in a row, and the best-selling truck for 47 years. Ford moved more than 700,000 F-Series trucks in 2023. That includes the full-sized hybrid F-150 PowerBoost, and the all-electric F-150 Lightning.
“It’s a streak that spans four generations (and started when I was only four) and has lasted longer than the entire lifespan of many other popular consumer products, including compact discs and mp3 players, and the entire brick-and-mortar video rental industry,” said Robert Kaffl, director of U.S. sales for Ford. “But this accolade is not a walk down memory lane; F-Series continues to grow and in 2023, remained the bestselling vehicle in the nation for the 42nd year in a row.”
That’s great, and it’s true, but like many records, there’s an asterisk to the numbers. Here’s the thing: Ford counts every truck that starts with an F to get that number. Rangers and Mavericks don’t count, but the F-150, F-250, F-350, and so on do count.
And the problem is …
If you look over on the other side of Detroit at General Motors HQ, neither Chevrolet nor GMC have released their full-year sales numbers yet, but at the end of the third quarter, GM trucks were on track to outpace total Ford sales.
At the end of Q3, Chevrolet had moved 411,758 Silverados and GMC had sold 216,227 Sierras, delivering 627,985 trucks compared to Ford’s 561,110 F-Series trucks sold.
Those numbers do not include the all-electric GMC Hummer in its pickup truck form, which sold another 923 units as of the end of September. If the trends hold, the GM twin trucks likely outsold the F-Series again in 2023 as they usually do, but since GM sales are split between two brands Ford gets the bragging rights.
What really matters
Bragging rights are all well and good, but the real news in all this is that pickup truck sales were up dramatically for both Ford and GM. At the end of Q3, GMC Sierra sales were up 27.86% over 2022, and Chevy Silverado sales were up 7.98%. Ford F-Series sales were up 22.37%. Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan sales were also up by 24.38% and 23.38% respectively.
Only Ram trucks had a down year with sales falling by 8.44% as of the end of Q3 while the brand waits for its next updates to the Ram family.
We’ll have the full-year sales numbers as soon as they’re released. But the takeaway is that it doesn’t really matter who sold the most trucks. What matters is that sales have never been better for truck makers.