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GM Is Outselling Ford’s Pickup Trucks in 2020, But Just Barely

Ford is darn proud of its best-selling truck streak—you’ve seen the commercials. For 43 straight years, the F-Series has been the most popular line of pickups in the United States and, in some cases, it outsold every other car, too. However, with the pandemic playing big-time tricks on the auto industry in 2020, Ford has slumped and fallen behind General Motors, whose combined Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra sales are outpacing that of the F-Series. But only just.

Automakers recently turned in their updated sales results for 2020 and, per the numbers, GM has sold 589,295 trucks year-to-date. Compare that to Ford’s mark of 589,034 and you’ll see the race is neck and neck. The Blue Oval actually had a better third-quarter as it moved 221,647 units—a 3.5-percent increase compared to 2019—whereas GM saw a 2.9-percent decrease with 215,296 sold between its brands.

For what it’s worth, even if GM does outsell Ford with Chevy and GMC’s efforts combined, the F-Series will still be the sales champion if it records the highest number of any single brand. Last year, Ford trucks handsomely outsold GM with 896,526 compared to the latter’s cumulative figure of 807,894.

Following a strong 2019, Ram now finds itself somewhere in the middle of it all. The Fiat-Chrysler company sold more pickups last quarter than any single brand not named Ford; however, its YTD has dropped 13 percent with 402,410 units moved.

Toyota is yet to reveal its latest sales figures, though Nissan sits at the bottom having sold only 7,207 Titans last quarter. Versus its 2019 performance, Titan sales have sunk 23.6 percent with 19,403 units out the door thus far in 2020.

Production hiccups have seemingly had a larger impact on sales numbers than demand. Truck buyers are still forking over their money whenever they can, but automakers’ inability to get raw materials and various components slowed their roll significantly earlier this year. For instance, F-150 production was delayed in late May due to a seat shortage. Around the same time, GM told thousands of UAW members to stay home as pickup manufacturing stalled completely. Chevy and GMC made up for this downtime by ramping up production immediately after plants restarted.

The closing months typically bring about large incentives for buyers, though it’s yet to be seen if that pattern will repeat itself given the struggles faced in 2020. Ford is likely to pull out all the stops to retain its sales crown, however, so don’t be surprised if you see big specials on F-150s through the end of December.

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