A lot more and A lot more Customers Paying Huge Bucks For Smaller Trucks

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

U.S. sales of midsize pickup trucks jumped 54 percent in September 2016 to almost 40,000 units.

While massive year-more than-year increases in pickup truck sales can typically be attributed to commensurate increases in incentives, as seen with the Ram P/U’s victory more than the Chevrolet Silverado in September, midsize pickup truck buyers are prepared to spend huge bucks.

Average transaction rates in the Toyota Tacoma-controlled midsize pickup truck segment last month, according to Kelley Blue Book, rose six % compared with September 2015. That was by far the largest increase for any segment in average transaction rates.

These are hardly the sub-$ 20,000 antiquated Ford Rangers of 2010.

On typical, consumers were getting $ 32,350 midsize pickup trucks in September 2016.

Led by the surging Toyota Tacoma, each and every member of the five-truck category posted noteworthy year-over-year sales improvements, including the Honda Ridgeline’s astounding 165,800-percent uptick.*

As full-size pickup sales grew just 1 % in September, a modest 1,784-unit year-more than-year improvement, four automakers created 14,076 added midsize pickup sales.

The 39,969-unit September result marked the eighth consecutive month in which Americans registered more than 30,000 midsize pickups.

Soon after claiming just 12 percent of the overall pickup truck industry in September 2015 — and only 14 percent in calendar year 2015 — midsize pickup truck market place share soared to 17.three percent in September 2016 16.eight % so far this year.

Only in August, when midsize pickup truck share jumped to 17.9 %, has the sub-segment garnered a greater chunk of the overall pickup truck market this year.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

The sudden rise in midsize pickup share is all the much more impressive when 1 considers the dearth of obtainable nameplates. Accurate, a decade ago, for the duration of peak Ridgeline, modest/midsize pickup truck share was a loftier 21 percent. But a bundle of niche players, such as the Mitsubishi Raider, Mazda B-Series, and Isuzu i-Series, were at that time joined by the five nameplates that still exist and high-volume competitors from Dodge and Ford.

Dodge was regularly promoting substantially more than 100,000 Dakotas per year prior to 2006’s harsh decline.

Ford Motor Company, which had grown accustomed to selling 300,000 Rangers per year, was entering a phase in which the nameplate wouldn’t crack the 100,000-sales mark. But the Ranger, like the Dakota, remained a major player in the little/midsize pickup truck market in 2006.

Soon after letting the Ranger go — not in the sense of permitting it to run cost-free, but in the manner of not receiving a shower and changing out of pajama bottoms in the morning — Ford determined that remaining Ranger clients have been purely interested in a low-cost car. “It was often occasions only a obtain since it was an costly Ford product, not as a pickup,” a Ford spokesperson mentioned in 2010.

“We’re investing in F-Series simply because the modest truck segment has steadily shrunk from almost eight % of total sector sales in 1994 to 1.9 percent of business sales in 2012,” Ford’s Jackie DiMarco told Reddit in 2013, failing to point out that the automaker’s personal neglect of the segment played a part in the segment’s decline.

USA midsize pickup truck market share

But the game in which a new Ford Ranger would play is conducted on a whole ‘nuther field. Even though CAFE needs pose a challenge for midsize trucks, Automotive News reported final year, the F-150’s move upmarket has opened a gap in Ford’s lineup for a much less pricey item.

“We believe we could sell a compact truck that’s far more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight a lot more miles per gallon than a full-size truck, is $ five,000 or $ 6,000 significantly less, and that we could build in the U.S. to steer clear of the tariff on imported trucks,” Ford’s Doug Scott told Automotive News last year.

To what degree that strategy has changed, with the average light-duty complete-size ATP up to about $ 38,000 and the midsize truck market swiftly transforming, will be made identified after Ford reveals its genuine plans for the Wayne, Michigan, factory.

Whether or not Ford can engineer a Ranger that much more effective than the F-150 remains to be observed. But existing evidence suggests Ford does not need to be concerned as well significantly about bringing the Ranger to market with affordability as its main promoting point. Midsize truck buyers do not want a complete-size truck, and the next Ford Ranger to land in North America will not be a complete-size truck.

That fact alone ought to be a lot more than adequate for Ford to discover tens of thousands of paying consumers.

* The Ridgeline wasn’t on sale at this time final year, in the course of the hiatus amongst the 1st and second-generation Honda pickups.

[Photos: Toyota, Honda, TTAC]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Could Jim Morrison Make a Smaller Ram Occur?

2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Is there a opportunity that a leadership change at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported by Automotive News could lead to an frequently-speculated new pickup truck?

Jeep’s longtime director Jim Morrison is leaving that post to head the Ram pickup and industrial vehicle division, replacing Bob Hegbloom, who is leaving for the global shores of Ram International.

Ram and Jeep are by far FCA’s most significant moneymakers these days, and beneath Morrison’s watch the Jeep brand took on new prominence by expanding its variety of models, even if it meant adopting architecture sourced from (sacrilege!) Fiat.

The news of Morrison’s switch to Ram raises the question, “Is this the person who will take the Ram brand in a smaller direction?”

A smaller sized Ram pickup is an idea that is been tossed about because the midsize Dodge Dakota was axed back in 2011. From a high point in the early 2000s, Dakota sales had fallen severely, considerably like the nation’s economy and Chrysler’s fortunes.

At the time, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne — then head of Chrysler Group — speculated that developing an additional small or midsize pickup was unlikely since the American public just wasn’t acquiring them like they utilized to. When asked the exact same question last year, Hegbloom mentioned he was able to come close to matching what made those little trucks from the 1980s and ’90s popular — size, capacity and price — but couldn’t get the fuel economy appropriate.

In Hegbloom’s thoughts, a smaller sized Ram would have to attain 35 miles per gallon on the highway to differentiate itself from its larger brothers.

Fiat Fullback (Image: FCA

With Morrison at the helm, the outlook could be various. This is the man who oversaw the green-lighting of the Jeep Wrangler pickup that so several lusted for, and the return of the Cherokee name in USCW form.

In the marketplace, the midsize Colorado/Canyon twins from General Motors, combined, sold over one hundred,000 units final year. Rumors continue that Ford will move Ranger production stateside sometime following 2018. And for some reason, Honda has decided to offer a second-generation Ridgeline.

The market’s not dead for smaller sized trucks, but it isn’t what it used to be. FCA, with its current debt problems, certainly wouldn’t gamble on a wholly new platform for a smaller Ram, nor would it source a platform from, say, Jeep, just to have a player in the little truck game. Production fees and lack of existing capacity forbids it.

Beyond that long, relatively unprotected border to the south lies a glimmer of hope for the Child Ram crowd.

FCA Mexico will soon begin production on the new Fiat Fullback pickup, a physique-on-frame model bound for overseas markets that is constructed on a platform sourced from the Mitsubishi L200 (FCA distributes Mitsubishi goods in Mexico).

The Fullback also comes with a two.four-litre diesel engine designed for the European market that tends to make 178 horsepower and returns 41 miles mpg on the highway and 35.six mpg combined (in the current L200).

FCA has stated the Wrangler pickup will come with a diesel and hybrid selection, either of which (even if it is not the Fiat/Mitsubishi diesel) would likely satisfy Hegbloom’s mileage complaint.

Meanwhile, production of higher-volume American-marketplace FCA models are moving back to the U.S., even though slower-selling models are being punted to Mexico. If a smaller Ram is going to take place, this is the most most likely location for it, given the monetary rewards to generating the automobile in Mexico. It also assists to use an current platform from an automaker FCA is already working with.

That is assuming a Ram-bodied Fullback can even meet U.S. safety regulations, but stranger factors have happened. They created the Prowler, dammit!

[Image: FCA]


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