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Pickup sales shine at year’s end

Jan. 4, 2013

Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors – the so-called ‘Detroit Three” – all finished 2012 with strong sales number for all of their vehicles, with pickups in particular witnessing heavy demand.

Chrysler said its U.S. sales in December totaled 152,367 units, a 10% increase compared with December 2011, with sales for the year exceeding 1.65 million units – a 21% jump compared to 2011. Chrysler’s Ram Truck division reported a sales increase of 16% in December, with sales for the year topping 300,928 units; an increase of 17 % compared to 2011.

The company noted its Ram pickup truck recorded its best annual sales numbers since 2007, with sales of the Heavy Duty Ram up 20% and sales of the Light Duty Ram pickup increasing 14%, while sales of the Ram Cargo Van increased 287% in December versus the same month in 2011.

“We also recorded 33-consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth and our strongest annual sales in five years, while seven of our vehicles recorded their best ever annual sales in 2012,” noted Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Chrysler’s Dodge division and head of U.S. sales for the company.

Ford said that its U.S. sales grew across the board in 2012, with cars up 5% and trucks up 2% for the year. Overall, Ford said it ended 2012 with over 2.16 million vehicles sold.The automaker added that its F-Series sales were up 10% for 2012 and that Ford commercial truck sales finished the year up 7% over 2011; marking the best sales year since 2008.

Overall, Ford said it sold 645,316 F-Series units in 2012, with total Ford brand truck sales – including Transit Connect and E-Series – up 2% for the year at 829,477 vehicles sold. Finally, the automaker noted that its December 2012 sales of 214,222 vehicles marks its best December sales month since 2006.

GM noted that sales volume this past December marked its best December month in five years, with deliveries up 5% year over year to 245,733 vehicles.

December was also GM’s best retail sales month of 2012, with retail volume up 38% from November – about double the industry’s estimated increase.

“All four GM brands increased their sales year over year in December and we were strong across the board in cars, crossovers and pickup trucks,” said Kurt McNeil, vp of GM’s U.S. sales operations.

He said December 2012 sales of pickups, vans and SUVs were equal to volumes sold in December 2011, but compared to November 2012, December truck sales increased 52%. McNeil added that year-over-year sales of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup increased 6%, while sales of the GMC Sierra pickup were up 13% – the highest level of pickup sales for GM since September 2008.

“GM’s strong finish in 2012, the industry’s momentum and the overall health of the U.S. economy make us optimistic about 2013,” he pointed out. “The budget compromise reached in Washington this week removes uncertainty and clears the way for full-year light vehicle sales to increase, reaching the 15 million to 15.5 million unit range in 2013.”

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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