Best-Selling Pickup Trucks: March 2016

Forecasters predicted a good March, typically a strong month for auto sales, and from the looks of pickup truck sales they were right.

When compared to March 2015, U.S. pickup truck sales jumped almost 10 percent, and year-to-date sales (comparing the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016 numbers) are up 6.5 percent. That’s likely to be good news if you’re in the market for a new pickup — dealerships will be primed and practiced at making a deal. And with the fast-selling summer months just around the corner, we don’t expect pickup sales to slow down at all.

Every one of the major truckmakers are having a good year so far, on track to break most of the sales records in the last nine years. In fact, some analysts are saying the 2016 sales year could be the highest ever recorded, and much of that gain, appropriately enough, will be on the backs of pickup trucks.

The Ford F-Series broke the 70,000 unit barrier for the first time this year (the earliest since 2007), and is on track to sell close to 800,000 units in a single year. Other significant pickup truck news for March includes the Chevrolet Colorado for the first time passing the Nissan Frontier in year-to-date sales. Chevy has outsold the Frontier in monthly sales for the last two months, but with sales like these, the Colorado is not likely to give up the No. 7 slot on our list for the remainder of the year.

The Nissan Titan, which now includes the new Titan XD with the Cummins engine, is continuously improving its monthly sales pace by 20 percent and more, and when the half-ton version comes on line in the fall, that number is likely to jump again.

Finally, we see the inverse sales relationship between the midsize Toyota Tacoma and full-size Tundra, which makes sense because they’re manufactured at the same plant on the same line. If Toyota wants to make more Tacomas (which it does), it needs to drop the corresponding number of Tundras to make room for them. We’ll likely see this trend continue until Toyota finds a way to increase total volume at the San Antonio or Mexico plants. In the meantime, the Tundra is the only pickup posting negative March sales numbers besides the Honda Ridgeline, which won’t be updated until later this year.