Best-Selling Truck in America
What is the most popular truck in America? We have all the best-selling full-size trucks right here:
Total new registrations of light trucks* and SUVs in the US broke 9 million in 2018 and around 12 million in 2019. Pickup trucks broke 2 million in 2018 and came in at about 2.8 million for the 2019. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 pickups sold about 3 million units. In 2021 pickups will be around 2.5 million units. That’s about a 20% drop in units due to supply chain shortages, especially for computer chips required for these vehicles.
*Note that the definition of a “light truck” is defined by GVWR classes and includes pickups, SUVs, CUVs and even some station wagons.
Best selling truck of all time
The Ford F-Series has been the most popular truck and best-selling truck in the US for nearly half a century. The Ford F-Series will reach an amazing 47-year streak in 2023 as the most popular truck in America.
Ford F-Series trucks have also been the most popular vehicle including cars in the US, not just most popular truck, for nearly 40 years.
The first F-series, the Ford F1, was introduced way back in January, 1948, about 75 years ago. Although popular in post-war America, it took 29 years to move to the top of the best selling full size trucks list. It has been there ever since.
The current F-Series includes the F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450 pickups and the F-550, F-650 and F-750 chassis models.
The F-Series was introduced in 1948 with the Ford F-1 through F-8 pickups. The F-1 was the lightest as a 1/2-ton truck with a GVWR rating of 4,700 lbs. It was followed by the 5,700-GVWR 3/4-ton F-2 pickup. The F-3 was a 3/4-ton “heavy duty” truck.
The second generation appeared as a 1953 model with the Ford F-100 replacing the F-1.
Ford announced the new all-electric F-150 Lightning on May 20, 2021. It went on sale as a 2022 model year truck. With Ford Intelligent Backup Power, and enough power to run your home in a blackout for up to 10 days, the new electric F-150 will probably help extend the F-150’s reign in the future. It also has a 9.6 kW option to run power tools and other accessories, using eleven 120 volt and 240 volt outlets.
The F-150 Lightning has a charge time of 14 hours at 220 volts. It comes as a crew cab pickup. The base MSRP is $39,947 and the initial 2022 model year is completely sold out.
Most popular truck in America: full-size pickup
|Full-Size Pickup||2022 Sales (proj.)||2021 Sales (approx.)||2020 Sales||2019 Sales|
|1. Ford F-Series pickup||618,000 Units||720,000 Units||850,000 Units||580,000 Units|
|2. Chevy Silverado pickup||480,000 Units||520,000 Units||575,000 Units||395,000 Units|
|3. Ram pickup||462,000 Units||550,000 Units||620,000 Units||426,000 Units|
|4. GMC Sierra pickup||270,000 Units||236,000 Units||230,000 Units||162,000 Units|
|5. Toyota Tundra pickup||89,000 Units||82,000 Units||110,000 Units||90,000 Units|
|6. Honda Ridgeline pickup||41,000 Units||40,000 Units||33,000 Units||27,000 Units|
|7. Nissan Titan/Titan XD pickup||19,000 Units||27,000 Units||31,000 Units||30,000 Units|
We’re projecting 2022 unit sales of full-size pickups to be around 1.979 million, down from 2.2 million in 2021.
In 2019 for every new automobile sold, 2.5 new light trucks were sold.
In 2021 it was 3.6 new light trucks for each automobile.
If you ask what is the best selling truck in America, it seems like they all are!
You can see in the chart the Ford F-series pickups continue their traditional dominance as the most popular pickup truck in the US.
Any list of most popular trucks has to start with the Ford F-150.
The Ram pickup isn’t the most popular truck in America but it’s making a run for it. The Ram pickup probably won’t ever be the best selling truck in America but it “picked up” second place 2019 through 2021. That spot traditionally belonged to the Chevy Silverado, which is projected to be back at the number two spot for 2022.
More top selling trucks in America
The list continues with Chevy Silverado’s sister pickup, the GMC Sierra, at number four. Then you have the Toyota Tundra (#5), Honda Ridgeline (#6) and Nissan Titan and Titan XD (#6).
Believe it or not, the Ford F-series trucks have been the most popular truck in America for over 45 years. Its reign started as the most popular truck in 1977, according to Ford.
America’s favorite truck is going electric, too. Ford has announced a new all-electric version of the F-150 and a hybrid version is available as a 2021 model. This hybrid F-150 has a twin turbo EcoBoost 3.5L V6 engine called the “PowerBoost.” This is coupled with a 10-speed auto transmission with an embedded electric motor. With the combined gasoline engine and electric with a full charge the PowerBoost has 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque.
The most popular fuel for full-size pickup trucks is gasoline or flex fuel. Diesel fuel is used in the heavy-duty versions of these trucks and ranges from 12% of all trucks sold (Chevy Silverado) to high-teens (GMC Sierra and Ford F-Series) to 20% (Ram and Nissan).
Most popular truck in America: mid-size
In the mid-size pickup category, you can see how Toyota dominates. It easily outsells the second most popular mid-size truck, the Ford Ranger. The Chevy Colorado used to be at #2 but in 2021 is projected to fall to #4.
A new American pickup truck: Jeep Gladiator
The new Jeep® Gladiator truck came in at #6 and first shipped in April 2019. The Gladiator started out as a 2020 model year and is now the third most popular mid-size truck.
|Mid Size Pickup||2021 Sales (proj.)||2020 Sales (approx.)||2019 Sales|
|1. Toyota Tacoma pickup||248,000 Units||240,000 Units||176,000 Units|
|2. Ford Ranger pickup||94,000 Units||83,000 Units||46,000 Units|
|3. Jeep Gladiator pickup||89,000 Units||40,000 Units||18,000 Units|
|4. Chevrolet Colorado pickup||63,000 Units||120,000 Units||98,000 Units|
|5. Nissan Frontier pickup||50,000 Units||72,000 Units||53,000 Units|
|6. GMC Canyon pickup||22,000 Units||32,000 Units||28,000 Units|
The Nissan Frontier has fallen from third to fifth place.
Keep your eye on the Jeep® Gladiator mid-size pickup (also known as the Jeep JT). It resembles a Jeep Wrangler JLU Unlimited with a pickup bed attached. It started shipping in May 2019. Is is a 2020 model and is already very popular.
We saw a lot of Gladiators at the 2019 SEMA Show, such as this one sporting the overland style, complete with mounted tent. The 2020 SEMA Show was cancelled but we saw Gladiators at the 2021 and 2022 shows.
The Gladiator only sold 18,000 units in 2019. Unit sales have steadily grown and the Gladiator could threaten the Ford Ranger’s position in 2022, especially with incentives offered by FCA. The Gladiator is also very versatile if you want to go off-road or just look the part.
You may also be interested in our latest article on Jeep® owner demographics.
When is the Tesla Cybertruck coming out?
The Cybertruck had a lot of publicity around its November 2019 unveiling. At one time it was the most discussed truck in America.
It certainly stands out with a unique profile and all-electric drivetrain. With the optional Tri Motor AWD version you get acceleration from zero t0 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. And you get 7,500 lbs. towing capacity.
You can pre-order the Tesla Cybertruck now. Tesla originally claimed production would start in late 2021. The Tri Motor AWD trim version was supposed to production in late 2022. Now it looks like we won’t see any Tesla Cybertrucks until late 2022.
Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric truck will go on sale as a 2022 model year vehicle.
Pickup truck brands included in this article
We cover Ford, Ram, Chevrolet, GMC, Jeep, Honda, Nissan and Toyota in this article. One pickup truck brand not included is Jiangling, a pickup truck brand in Asia manufactured in China and commonly called JMC. Jiangling pickup trucks include the Baodian and Yuhu. Another brand not included is Great Wall, another Asian pickup brand manufactured in China. Great Wall manufactured the Wingle 3, replaced by the Wingle 5 and Wingle 6 (also sold in the UK as the Great Wall Steed). Another brand is Mitsubishi, manufacturer of the Triton pickup (also known as the L200 in most markets around the world, as well as the Mitsubishi Strada and Fiat Fullback).
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