Ford and GM both claim to have sold the most trucks in 2023. Who’s right?


Pickup trucks are not only big-ticket items, but they are also some of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. Ford, Chevy, Ram, GMC, Toyota, Nissan, and now Tesla are all scrapping for slices of this lucrative pie. Now that 2023’s books have been wrapped up, manufacturers are sharing their year-end sales totals—and there’s lots to dig through.

truck sales 2023
Eric Perry

Some of the biggest bragging rights in the industry go to makers of full-size pickup sales; it’s been a point of pride for Ford to tout its F-series as the best-selling truck on the market. Indeed, it has captured the title for best-selling model—several models actually—for 47 years in a row. In Ford’s year-end sales report, posted January 4, 2024, it claims, “Ford again was the No. 1 selling truck manufacturer for Q4 and for full year 2023. . . Ford sold 1,081,777 trucks and vans in 2023.”

Over at GM, its release touted that GM was the #1 in total trucks for the 10th straight year, citing 1.3 million “full-size pickups and vans, midsize pickups and full-size SUVs sold.”

truck sales 2023
Lisa Linke

The discrepancy, of course, comes from the fact that Ford is a manufacturer and also a brand. Meanwhile, Chevy and GMC are brands, while GM is the manufacturer. GM tallies up Silverado and Sierra sales to claim full-size pickup sales performance to investors, but Ford touts F-series sales in commercials to customers. Ford’s 750,789 F-Series truck sales in 2023 fell short of GM’s 840,000 combined sales of Silverado and Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500 models. Still, both companies have a lot to brag about:

  • Ford sold the most full-size hybrid and EV pickups, with 24,165 Lightning sales.
  • Silverado sales are up 6 percent on the year, and Trail Boss and ZR2 models are flying off lots.
  • GMC recorded its best-ever sales for Sierra (up 22 percent over last year) including record sales of AT4 and Denali trims.

In other 2023 full-size truck sales news, Tundra posted its best year ever, with 125,185 sales (up 20.5 percent). Nissan’s Titan saw a 27 percent increase in sales, although the brand still only managed to move 19,189 of them. Ram saw sales drop 5 percent, to 444,926 units, and looks to rebound in 2024 as it launches the 2025 Ram that transitions away from Hemi V-8 power to turbocharged inline-six power and launches an interesting plug-in hybrid powertrain. Tesla celebrated a record sales year, although wouldn’t break out how many of those vehicles were Cybertrucks, because, well, it’s Tesla.

The 2024 sales race is now on, and manufacturers are expecting the total market to grow year-over-year. We’re not sure if the full-size sales trends will continue, or if will we see a shakeup as hybrids and EVs gain ground, but it should remain interesting as newcomers challenge the status quo and innovation pushes power and efficiency higher.




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    It comes down just how you count things.

    GM sells more truck than Ford. But then Ford sells more vans but then GM sells more SUVs, GM also sells under two names vs Ford one. Finally Ford counts anything F series even the larger trucks that are not pick ups. Whewww! got that.

    So if you want bragging rights you just choose your words carefully. Either way both sell a lot of product.

    Probably pointless/useless to ask (because it likely doesn’t add anything into the article), but why isn’t Honda mentioned about trying to take shares of the truck market? Virtually every argument (unibody, “it’s not a real truck”, etc.) is reflected by the Cybertruck , and that got mentioned.
    It’s still a good article regardless, I’m just more curious than anything.

    Well it also has to do with the fact the Ridgeline sells only about 7% the volume as GM or Ford.

    People talk a lot about the unibody trucks but most people still buy full size.

    Sone years Honda only moved 30k trucks vs 1.8 million GM or Ford each moved of full size.

    GM didn’t ask me, and won’t ever…

    But I would have retired the GMC brand from the common 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton horse trailer specs…

    Save GMC for the heavy duty stuff. Maybe make a Jimmy that is an actual capable midsize SUV, promote Denali to a Cadillac model and be done with it.

    Does it increase sales at first… probably not. But not going to cost them either, I am a GMC person going back to my 69 1/2 ton. The differences between them the last 50 years are pretty superficial.

    Chev trucks would pull the sales titles many years. Being only heavy trucks… the GMC wouldn’t need different stampings to pretend-differentiate them, just the grill/badges and obvious heavy running gear. This would increase profitability.

    Over the long term I think it would increase sales. Especially if you added a Jimmy to the mix.

    Here is they why if GMC.

    #1 it give non Chevy dealers a truck. Buick and Cadillac dealers generally sell the GMC line. I even have a GMC dealer here that has survived well post Pontiac just selling trucks.

    #2 The Denali line is like printing money. The Denali line is very profitable le and has brand recognition most companies would kill for. The added price to a Denali well outsells the High Country models and accounts for 40% of GMC sales.

    The bottom line is it makes lots of money.

    #3 While it is cool to say you sell more but the truth is that it is better to make more money than the other company.

    While it is not marketed GM make a lot more money on trucks vs Ford.

    Ford pushes lots of low profit fleet sales to add volume. Ford also went to all aluminum bodies that cut deep into profits.

    GM is more focused on higher returns on investment. They chose as later Ram did to use Mixed metals to lower weight but retain cost of their trucks.

    This is why GM stock has been in the $30 plus range or higher while Ford even selling tons of trucks has struggled to stay over $10 per share.

    Ford also has had debt issues as they did get government loans from the Energy Department when FCA and GM got bailed out. It was close to $7 billion and this does not count the bank loans they got. But that is another story.

    Back to GMC. Even if they shut down Buick most of the dealers would survive on GMC sales alone. GMC holds that much value as a brand.

    Ford did not get bailed out that was gm and ram.Ford took money to retool factories to make better fuel efficent vehicles.Goverment motors wouldn’t even be around nor would dodge if they wouldn’t have been bailed out.Google is your friend.

    And that is why I would never buy a GM or Mopar product. Ford does not need nor will take from the government like GM did. Besides, I watch GM commercials and wonder why they focus on their tailgates and not safety, quality, durability, etc.

    There was a time not that long ago where Ford owned over 50% of the 3/4 ton and 1-ton market, with Dodge well over 20%. GM had barely 20% with both GMC and Chevy. In the same years GM dominated in 1/2 ton sales.
    An interesting dichotomy when GM HD trucks aren’t seen as rugged like Ford and (Dodge) Ram.
    I will personally never go back to a GM HD pickup. Fool me once …

    We might get to see how accurate that last paragraph is soon. I see where a lot of Buick dealerships, refusing to make the investment to “serve” EV vehicles are balking and GM is buying them out. If they are a combo dealership (which, yes, most are), then they may only have GMC sales/service (plus a few Caddys here and there) to live on. It’s quite possible that those dealers did the math and said (like hyperv6 indicates), “hey, I can survive on GMC biz only”.
    This off topic (pick-up sales volumes), but with Buick being mainly an overseas car nowadays, we could see it disappear as a brand in the U.S. That would be kinda weird, but then again, there as all sorts of weird stuff going on in the automotive industry these days!

    I was looking at some overall sales figures for GM in the past 20 years (maybe not the last 2-3 years) and China was almost equal to North America for total sales. This was a sudden and fast change in the data set. Aside from South American markets nothing else really jumped out as being all that significant (as in… GM could pull out of more markets and not necessarily miss them).

    I don’t know, but I don’t think truck sales are a big part of those China numbers. But the influence of that market on what they make, how it is made is surely impacting decisions. So we need to convince Chinese consumers that 74 Cutlass style coupes are cool…


    Where I live there is no longer a differentiation in GM dealerships and the GMC trucks are sold beside the Chev. Hyper’s comment made me realize/remember that I have skewed context –especially since I am not going to research various states franchise laws, though I recall an article some time ago mentioning that GM was over-dealershipped in the USA and somewhat unable to do much about it.

    Hyperv6 also touched on something not mentioned in the article: Retail Sales of Full-Size Pick-Ups to Consumers vs Fleet Sales to Commercial Customers. In 2022, Silverado 1500 and 2500/3500 outsold F150/250/350 for the first time in forever. Not sure where that battle ended-up for CY23.

    If I read this correct it looks like they are including full size SUV’s in the GM Chevy/GMC truck totals but not including SUV’s in the Ford truck totals. That can’t be a very fair comparison for Ford if GM totals include SUV’s and Ford doesn’t. Not that I care because I drive a Chevy truck but fair is fair.

    It seems that most years the combined Chevrolet/GMC outsold Ford in pickups. Adding Cadillac to GM and Lincoln to Ford will only increase the total so much, the volume is the in the more mainstream brands. I will say I see a lot more GMC than Cadillac SUV’s even though the can be in the same neighborhood price wise.

    When did Ford pass up Chevy? It started with the poor build quality of the 1973 “square body” trucks. Since then, the perception is that Ford builds a better truck.

    Tesla is going to clobber all of them. The Model Y is already the best selling vehicle on earth of any kind, gas or electric. They have two million standing orders for their new truck and are getting ten thousand orders per day. The gas truck party is almost over.

    The cyber truck is never going to be able to pass internal combustion engines unless they can competly change batters for something that weighs alot less and has twice the range loaded.
    We the people who work these trucks like real work trucks the electric truck has absolutely no value to get the jobs done.

    Tesla Model Y is the best selling worldwide, anything is possible and never say never, but Model Y is like #5 now in US and probably wont happen anytime soon with it becoming the top seller…Americans seem to really love their trucks, been that way for almost half a century where Ford full size and Chevy full size have routinely been the top 2 sellers

    Dave, oh my! I do believe you might be smoking a powerful Elon Musk brand of weed. The Model Y is NOT the best selling vehicle on earth. Not really even close. The Model Y is Number FIVE in sales, however feel free to head back to the Tesla Kool Aid stand and have another drink.

    I don’t see that ugly Tesla truck being a huge seller. In my opinion, all of Tesla’s cars are ugly. I know they appeal to the first adopters, who like weird things anyway, but they don’t seem to be a mainstream product.

    Tesla may not clobber everyone? But Dave is right in stating that the Model Y out sold the #1 Globally selling car model for years(Toyota Corolla). China is a very big market and they really like them Model Y’s which open your eyes was the #1 selling vehicle. There is a lot different market out there than just the USA.

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