GM Launches New Pickups, but Ford's F-150 Still Owns the Truck Market

The U.S. full-size pickup market is incredibly lucrative for automakers, producing as much as $10,000 in profit per vehicle sold. Recently, General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) has been a step behind segment-leader Ford (NYSE: F  ) in this market. Combined sales of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra were approximately 575,000 last year, while Ford sold 645,000 of its F-Series trucks.

GM revamped its Silverado and Sierra full-size pickups for the 2014 model year with the goal of boosting its share of the full-size pickup segment. The new GM trucks will feature better fuel efficiency than the outgoing models, and GM is also offering more premium options in an attempt to raise its average transaction prices.

The 2014 Chevy Silverado (courtesy of General Motors)

These new 2014 pickups began hitting dealer lots recently, and interest in the new trucks -- combined with a rebounding housing market -- has helped GM post strong growth in full-size pickup sales recently. However, Ford has still managed to stay a step ahead in terms of sales volumes. With a redesigned F-150 hitting the market next year, GM doesn't have much time to make its move if it wants to take the market share crown from Ford.

Full-size pickup sales soar
GM dealers sold nearly 60,000 Silverado and Sierra pickups in June, producing a second straight strong result after selling more than 59,000 in May. According to GM executives, roughly 90% of last month's truck sales were 2013 models, but 2014 models are starting to flow steadily onto dealer lots. Despite the prevalence of 2013 inventory in dealer stocks, incentive spending has been moderate in the face of a strong demand environment.

As strong as GM's results have been in the past two months, Ford has managed to keep its lead in the full-size pickup market. Last month, Ford dealers nationwide sold more than 68,000 F-Series trucks, marking the highest June sales since 2005. Ford posted even more impressive pickup sales numbers in May, as customers purchased 71,604 F-Series trucks. That marked the first time monthly F-Series sales eclipsed the 70,000 mark since 2007.

Is Ford pulling away?
After GM's pickups outsold Ford's F-Series trucks through the first two months of the year, Ford has come roaring back in the last four months. In the second quarter, F-Series trucks outsold GM's full-size pickups by roughly 15%. Through the end of June, Ford maintained an 11% lead over GM in full-size pickup sales for the year, nearly as good as last year's 12% differential.

If you're a GM shareholder, there's no need to panic -- yet. The 2014 Silverados and Sierras have been turning at a very high rate, spending on average just 10 days on dealer lots before selling. This indicates that demand for the 2014 trucks outstrips supply by a wide margin. As GM delivers more 2014 models to dealers, the company may have an opportunity to regain some share from Ford.

That said, Ford has achieved a ton of momentum with its relatively dated F-Series trucks, just when it was supposed to be GM's time to shine. With Ford's next-generation trucks expected to offer significant fuel-economy improvements over today's F-Series pickups, GM needs to seize the day if it hopes to challenge Ford's dominance of this segment.

Foolish bottom line
Pretty much anyone selling a full-size pickup in the U.S. has posted nice sales gains in 2013, due to resurgent demand. GM has been no exception, and the company sold more than 59,000 full-size pickups in both May and June. However, Ford has turned in even more impressive performances, averaging nearly 70,000 pickup sales in the last two months.

Last month, I pointed out that the lingering distaste for GM among many Americans could hurt its efforts to gain market share in the pickup segment. It's still early, but if GM doesn't start to reap the benefits of its new truck architecture soon, it could signal that the next-generation pickup market will tilt even more heavily toward Ford.

Ford and GM may be duking it out in the highly profitable U.S. pickup market, but they are also looking to profit overseas.  China is already the world's largest auto market – and it's set to grow even bigger in coming years. A recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market," names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive handsome rewards for investors. You can read this report right now for free -- just click here for instant access.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 7:14 PM, dennypat38 wrote:

    Are you writers in the tank for GM the FRONT END IS JUNK you can put a tux on a PIG but it still is a PIG

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 7:28 PM, Leatherdaddy10 wrote:

    Why doesn't Chevy pick up on the Australian El Camino that was going to be built on the GTO platform??

    We saw the pictures of it and it was awesome! They would out sell Ford 2 to 1. Bring back the Chevy El Camino PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 7:39 PM, bigsike wrote:

    As long as they are both US made and owned I'm good with both of them. Oh by the way thinking a foreign car/truck is better because it's not made in the US doesn't hold any water any more, so sorry to burst that bubble.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 7:55 PM, boxersr4fun wrote:

    I made a promise to myself that I would never purchase another GM product since they were "bailed out" by the government. Ford unilaterally restructured their business model and survived the "Great Recession" without the help of any such "bailout." Moreover, I purchased Ford stock based on confidence that they would produce a higher quality and more efficient product line. I have not been disappointed. Three cheers for Ford!

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 8:02 PM, pwkrp wrote:

    @boxersr4fun Ford did take personal loans and a line of credit with the government for 9 billion dollars. Plus GM and Chrysler have paid it back ahead of time, if it not paid back they still have six more years yet. Ford has not paid all it's loans back yet.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 8:10 PM, kzcobalt wrote:

    The writer of this article needs to get the facts straight. I work for GM and assemble trucks. These new trucks will not be rolling down the assembly line until after july 14th. We have only made a few here and there so far. So for this article to say that the 2014 truck boosted GM's sales is false!

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 8:32 PM, guysisson wrote:

    I work on vehicles for a living and can honestly say that the Ford vehicles are significantly better today that the GM vehicles. I am also rather puzzled, I can see no difference in the 2014 Silverado.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 9:40 PM, Expert01565 wrote:

    And yet another horrible article by these fools!!, Seriously do they get paid for this stuff? I really want to know??

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 9:40 PM, bthor76 wrote:

    I work as a hotshot driver in southeast louisiana. We haul a lot of heavy oilfield equipment. Very, very few hotshots use Chevrolet trucks. In my estimation 70% of us choose Ford and the rest use Dodge (because of it's Cummins Diesel). Maybe 1 or 2% use Chevy/GMC. GM would do well if it investigated why hotshot drivers do not use their product.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 9:55 PM, scottford62 wrote:

    No one will beat Ford....they r the cats meow of trucks...Heavy duty, beat the F450 Platinum..come on now.You cant.. ;)

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 10:19 PM, stevenatorr wrote:

    @boxersr4fun chrysler hasn't paid there loans back, they are struggling to make payments same as ford. i will never buy a POS ford or chrysler. combined GM/CHEVY sells more pickups than ford by almost double. nice try ford but your junk trucks ain't worth $1 neither are your cars. i don't like chrysler/dodge but i would take 1 over a ford any day.

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 10:25 PM, NOMIDDLEROAD wrote:

    IM NOT BUYING A NEW GMC NOTHING WRONG WITH THE ONE I BOUGHT ALMOST 10YRS AGO! PLUS ITS BEEN IN THE SHOP FOR NOTHING AND STILL LOOKS AND DRIVES NEW FORD SALES ARE SO HIGH IS BECAUSE A LOT OF COMPANYS LIKE THE ONE I WORK FOR BUYS THEM IN BULK FOR DIRT CHEAP WEVE BOUGHT SO MANY THIS YEAR AFTER 22 F-150 WERE STILL WAITING FOR THE REST OF ORDER TO BE FILLED. AS FOR OUR F-550S THEY ARE JUNK EVERY ONE HAS HAD BRAKE ENGINE TURBO 4X4 AND OTHER MISC ISSUES AND NOT ONE IS A STRIPPED DOWN MODEL THE F 150 AND 550 ORDERS WERE DONE 2 YRS AGO AND AFTER THE RESULT OF THE 550 WE ALMOST BACKED OUT OF THE 150S BUT SALESMAN HAS DONE OUR BUISNESS FOR YEARS AND PROMISED BETTER RESULT FROM 150SO WE'LL SEE EVERY FORD WE'VE BOUGHT IS DEAD FROM 02-07 BUT THE CHEVYS ARE STILL PULLING THEIR WEIGHT WE ONLY HAVE 6 BUT ITS THE SAME 6 WEVE ALWAYS HAD ONE OF WHICH GOT DRIVEN INTO A RIVER NEW INTERIOR OIL/FUEL CHANGE 2YRS AGO STILL RUNNING STRONG IDK BUT MARKETS ARE INFLUENCED SALES WILL LEVEL OFF SOON ENOUGH

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 10:31 PM, Dellman72 wrote:

    @stevenatorr Ford has not receive federal aid compared to the $17.4 billion in federal loans provided to General Motors and Chrysler. - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/did-ford-get-a-bailout#sthash...

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 11:30 PM, h8Monday1 wrote:

    @pwkrp, Ford did not take a 9 Billion$ loan, they asked for a line of credit(because they diod not how they would be affected by their main competitors being bought and paid for by the us government),.... they never needed to call on it. They did take a 5.9 billion loan from DOE for development of more efficient engines in 2009. Their first payments come due in September of this year with interest, Ford says they will pay it off well ahead of schedule as the investment has paid off well with their Ecoboost engines. Pay attention to investment articles instead of the View and you will be better informed on where your investments should be!

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 11:44 PM, h8Monday1 wrote:

    @ stevenatorr we tried buying Chevys, to tow our race boats back in the mid 80s. mid 90s and early 2000, and we have had nothing but bad service pour communication and failed trannys, turbos, rear ends, etc, they care of nothing for their customers and always have excuses and failed promises. We use Chevy engines in our race boats, but would never buy another of their trucks if they gave one to me for free

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 11:46 PM, h8Monday1 wrote:

    We do like to sit by the shore on cool summer evening and listen to the sound of Chevys rusting away! :)

  • Report this Comment On July 05, 2013, at 11:46 PM, pwkrp wrote:

    @h8, were did I say they took a 9 billion dollar loan. I said "Ford did take personal loans and a line of credit with the government for 9 billion dollars." Pay attention to what people write.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 12:41 AM, Aurora911 wrote:

    I used to own a F150 for several years. It gave me great service, but everything on it just rusted like crazy (i.e. oil pans, brake components, brake/fuel lines and body panels). The darn thing just rusted away. I decided to buy a new truck and wanted something a little heavier duty. I am not specific to any one brand. I buy what is best at the time I need it. I looked at all three US makers. The Cummings in a Dodge is good, it is just that the rest of the truck is junk. In the end I chose the Chevy Silverado HD2500 with the Duramax engine. Sorry Ford, I couldn't stomach that you have gone through 4 different diesel engines in the past decade. The newest still doesn't match the Duramax. I have had the truck for just over a year with not one problem. I have hauled some pretty big heavy trailers and have been impressed. Numbers in these articles of vehicles sold doesn't do me much good as there are way too many brand specific buyers and would buy that brand just for the name.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 1:05 AM, dwiunit wrote:

    What I want to know is,why are Chevy/GMC still using rear drum brakes on their full size trucks when Ford and Dodge are still using rear disc brakes on their full size trucks.Wonder if the guys at Chevy/GMC are now going back to rear disc brakes or if they still using rear drum brakes for the 2014 models.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 1:48 AM, texcruzzer wrote:

    @Steveantor, this is not news as several others have informed you that you haven't clue. Ford out sold chevy gmc combined by 70,000 units last year for starters. Secondly Ford does not make payments to Uncle Sam. They didn't take any bailout money. Third, Ford Rules .

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 1:51 AM, stb999 wrote:

    I have seen the 2014 Silverado in east TX there is a lot full of them in Lufkin, the picture is NOT a 2014 Silverado. They have changed the fender wells, added an indention above the wheels and changed the grille. I think it looks good and I'm a Ford man, but kzcolbalt is right, they must be in very limited production, because I live in the DFW area and have yet to see one outside of east TX.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 2:12 AM, ilovecars100 wrote:

    Um, how could you not possibly know that the truck in the picture is NOT the '14 but the current model?

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 2:52 AM, stb999 wrote:

    You could be right, I may have spoken too soon, the one picture is a 2500, I have seen the '14 model 1500 and the body has clearly changed, not a lot but there is clearly a difference in the side panels above the wheels, the doors, and in the grille. Google 2014 Silverado and see for yourself. Although I could be wrong about the 2500 models as pictured, They might not have changed that model yet. Sorry

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 3:04 AM, stb999 wrote:

    I do feel that they should have shown the redesigned 1500 models in the picture since the article is talking about the new Silverado, showing one that looks just like last years model when there is a redesigned 1500 out there doesn't seem fair. And again, this is coming from a Ford guy.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 3:16 AM, mso88 wrote:

    GM's pick-ups are trying to be too many things to too many people. The once-trendy "car-like" interior is now passé. Ford has a more clearly-conceived, functional, dare-I-say "macho" image that appeals to all pick-up buyers. I lust after a Raptor regardless of the fuel costs...GM isn't even the ballpark.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 8:30 AM, Ronnie43 wrote:

    I personally think Ford and Dodge are the nicest trucks being made. I own a Toyota Tundra but miss my 96 Dodge with the 318 in it. I know my truck has more American parts on it than GM and probably Ford also. I have a friend that owns a GM and he put breaks on it and said nothing was made in America on it. So which do you do buy a truck with American parts or one just assembled in America?

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 8:43 AM, bradshaw555 wrote:

    Let me just talk REAL facts,their are more GM trucks on the road today then FORD or DODGE.I drive down the road everyday of the week,and i make a point to count the trucks on different highways,GM WINS EVERYTIME ford comes in 2nd and DODGE last everytime.So if you want a truck that last and will cost you less to operate then choose GM,if you want a truck that needs repair often buy a FORD,and DODGE well they are great out of the gate but not long lasting!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 12:01 PM, Desktopguy wrote:

    Ford Trucks have always been far better than any thing that Government Junk or mean Motors has.

    You could not pay me enough money to own a Chevy truck they are completely useless they break down every time you turn the key.

    You know there is a reason why Ford has been number one for thirty plus years.

    That is because they know how to build a truck and they listen to their customer's.!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 12:01 PM, Nohurry1 wrote:

    There are many people here who are clearly upset about the article. Reading several responses, it's clear the writer did a good job, as many "complaints" are based on foolish pride or misunderstanding(due to lack of reading comprehension for too many) the point.

    GM's new pickups will be good, as are the current versions. They will not likely, however, be as good as the current Ford offerings because GM CHOSE to make an inferior product. It's not that it cannot match Ford. It's that it generally won't. Outgoing: GM chose a lighter, weaker frame as a starting point. GM chose to fall well behind in the electronics area. GM is too concerned with their LS and LQ series engines to worry over total build quality in pickups or most of their vehicles, sans ONLY the Corvette. The rest fall short, end of story. Incoming: GM still lacks tremendously where electronics are concerned and from early reports, overall strength. That part has yet to be determined.

    For those who are upset that Ford looks better here, complain the GM, not the truth-teller who wrote the article. Reality is, GM builds a quality product. It just isn't as high quality as Ford. It's not the fault of the author. It is the fault of GM.

    Ford those talking about Ford getting any sort of bailout as opposed to a typical loan, along with the LAUGHABLE idea that GM repaid its loan, go get some facts for yourselves. Hint: Loan #1 was indeed paid back... with money BORROWED from the same gov't who gave the bailout! Other loans aren't paid back.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 1:11 PM, Nohurry1 wrote:

    KZCOBALT: You claimed yesterday, July 5th, 2013, that you work for GM and actually assemble trucks. You also stated, matter of fact, that the new pickups won't be rolling off the assembly line until JULY 14th, 2013... Guess what, GM TRUCK PLANT WORKER??? I just called 4 random dealerships, each of which claims, IN WRITING, to have several brand new 2014 full size GM pickups on their lot. You need to get out more! Venice, FL, Tampa, FL(3 dealerships). If the guy assembling them doesn't even know they're available, no WONDER people question GM quality!

    PS, the writer didn't say that the new model boosted sales. Not even once. ;) He clearly and concisely wrote that it was the goal, not the accomplishment. Maybe you should read two or more times prior to lashing out at others, please?? Plus, go find out what your own employer is ACTUALLY doing before spouting that someone who is correct, is not correct. You're making GM look bad all by yourself!

    STEVENATORR: Do you also work for GM on the pickup assembly line? Just curious, as your version of facts is incredibly different than that which is reported by GM and FoMoCo. GMC and Chevrolet COMBINED last year to sell about 70,000 FEWER full-size pickups than did Ford under the F-series moniker alone. That is to say, not only did GM not outsell Ford by nearly double in full-size pickups, but it sold LESS outright!

    Some of you really do need to get educated before whippin' out that typing finger! Those were just two examples of "CHEVY LOVERS" who don't have idea #1 what's going on in the automotive world, even after it's been explained to them in plain and simple wording.

  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 1:47 PM, SwK0212 wrote:

    Honestly the new Chevy looks horrible. I think the GM designers should be fired outright. When you look at what Ram and Ford have and this is the best GM could do says a lot. Trucks still look like a box on wheels, wheel wells that are way to big, frame still sits way to low to the ground, no solid axle under the front only the IFS car like suspension, and an interior that still leaves a lot to be desired when compared to Ford Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. Even the Ram Laramie Longhorn looks better. The GM designers have been quoted as saying they were shooting for evolutionary over revolutionary... well it should have been the other way around. This is the number one reason why Ford is not only still out selling them but also stealing all of their thunder.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2013, at 10:58 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    It will take a while for the Ford fan to find out the new GM truck is a much better truck then the Ford. Chevy had a minor fault with the interior, but that has been taken cared of with the 2014. The V6 Ecoboost that Ford brags so much about has worst gas mileage then the new GM v8, so will they still keep bragging about having better gas mileage than the competition? I suspect that won't slow them down. GM trucks has better handling, better braking and better everything. You can not beat the durability of a Chevy truck.

    The only thing Ford has is better marketing.

    http://www.dailytech.com/GM+Tired+of+Fords+EcoBoost+V6+Bragg...

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2013, at 11:04 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    A message to "nohurry",

    The only thing about you is the fact that you are not in a hurry in telling the truth. You got your facts so wrong that I don't have that much time to get you corrected.

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