If there’s one thing you can depend on, it’s that automotive sales are never boring. Amid constant change and upheaval, the monthly sales reports are an excellent indicator of how well the auto industry is responding to the shifting demands of customers. And after looking at the May sales reports, it doesn’t seem as if many pickup truck manufacturers are doing well. Pickup sales declined again in May for some — in keeping with slumping overall automotive sales — but there were a few bright spots.
As the unofficial start of summer, the end of May provides a long Memorial Day weekend for car and truck shoppers to peruse dealer lots. That didn’t seem to help this year. To compensate, some companies, such as Ford, are cutting jobs and turning to new leadership, while others, such as Toyota, are trying to become more efficient and focused with their offerings.
The big sales standout in May was Ford, on pace to beat its impressive 2016 sales record with the new F-150 Raptor and Super Duties in the pipeline. When you total GM’s two-brand, three-truck strategy, Ford still outsold it in year-to-date and monthly sales with its leaner pickup lineup.
From a percentage standpoint — and excluding outliers Honda Ridgeline and the Nissan Titans — Ram made a strong showing in May as well, outselling the Chevrolet Silverado for the month again. Toyota saw a slight improvement in May over April; its yearly numbers weren’t down by as much and its monthly numbers showed an increase.
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