Small Pickup Truck

The Small Pickup Truck Market: Q3 2023 vs. Q3 2022

In the automotive world, the battle for supremacy is never-ending, and one of the most fiercely contested arenas is the pickup truck segment. While it has been a well-established fact that domestic automakers dominate the large pickup truck segment, the same cannot be said for the small pickup truck market. As we delve into the sales data for Q3 2023 compared to Q3 2022, it becomes evident that Asian automakers are gaining ground in this competitive niche. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind this shift in small pickup truck sales dominance and provide a detailed breakdown of the most popular models from both Asian and domestic manufacturers.

OriginQ3 2023Q3 2022Sales Change
Small Pickup Truck Sales

Why the Shift in Dominance?

To understand why Asian automakers are gaining an upper hand in the small pickup truck segment, we must consider several factors. These factors include consumer preferences, pricing strategies, and the strengths of individual models.

Consumer Preferences and Fuel Efficiency

In recent years, consumers have become increasingly conscious of fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Small pickup trucks tend to offer better gas mileage than their larger counterparts, making them an attractive option for those who need the versatility of a truck without the higher fuel costs. Asian manufacturers, such as Toyota and Honda, have been pioneers in producing fuel-efficient vehicles, and this reputation has likely contributed to their success in the small pickup truck segment.

Pricing Strategies

Price sensitivity is a significant factor in the small pickup truck segment. Asian automakers have traditionally offered competitive pricing for their models, making them more accessible to a broader range of consumers. Lower starting prices can be particularly appealing to first-time truck buyers or those on a tighter budget.

Supply Chain Disruptions

The global supply chain has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other factors. This has led to shortages of parts and materials, which has made it difficult for automakers to produce enough vehicles to meet demand. Domestic automakers may have been more affected by these disruptions than Asian automakers. .

Individual Model Strengths

Let’s take a closer look at the individual models in the small pickup truck segment to understand their popularity and why some are performing better than others.

Toyota Tacoma

  • Origin: Asian
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 62,836
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 45,754
  • Sales Change: +37.3%
  • Price Range: $28,308 – $48,501
Toyota Tacoma 4WD

The Toyota Tacoma has long been a favorite among small pickup truck enthusiasts. It offers a reputation for reliability, off-road capability, and a wide range of trim levels to suit various needs and preferences. The significant increase in sales from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023 reflects the Tacoma’s enduring popularity.

Chevrolet Colorado

  • Origin: Domestic
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 25,520
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 24,405
  • Sales Change: +4.6%
  • Price Range: $31,095 – $48,395
Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is a domestic contender in the small pickup truck segment. While its sales growth has been modest, it was the 2nd best selling small pickup truck in Q3 2023. The Colorado offers a competitive option with a variety of configurations and engine choices.

Jeep Gladiator

  • Origin: Domestic
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 14,202
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 21,512
  • Sales Change: -34.0%
  • Price Range: $41,515 – $53,770
Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator, with its rugged design and off-road capabilities, appeals to adventure seekers. However, it experienced a significant drop in sales from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023, possibly due to increased competition and consumer preferences shifting toward more fuel-efficient options.

Honda Ridgeline

  • Origin: Asian
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 12,138
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 12,515
  • Sales Change: -3.0%
  • Price Range: $40,175 – $47,605
Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline stands out for its comfortable ride, car-like handling, and innovative features. While it saw a slight decrease in sales, it remains a solid choice for buyers seeking a well-rounded small pickup truck. The Ridgeline MSRP ranges from $40,175 to $47,605 and is available with 4 trim levels.

Nissan Frontier

  • Origin: Asian
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 11,756
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 13,187
  • Sales Change: -10.9%
  • Price Range: $31,065 – $40,995
Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier offers affordability and a straightforward approach to truck ownership. Although sales decreased, it still attracts budget-conscious consumers. The Nissan Frontier is available in 12 trims starting at an MSRP of $31,065.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

  • Origin: Asian
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 9,033
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 8,600
  • Sales Change: +5.0%
  • Price Range: $27,985 – $42,405
Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a newcomer to the small pickup truck market, blending crossover-like features with truck utility. Its sales growth demonstrates its appeal to consumers seeking a unique blend of versatility.

GMC Canyon

  • Origin: Domestic
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 7,627
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 7,751
  • Sales Change: -1.6%
  • Price Range: $37,595 – $55,895
GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon, a sibling to the Chevrolet Colorado, offers a more premium experience. While its sales have remained relatively stable, it caters to a specific segment of buyers looking for added refinement.

Ford Ranger

  • Origin: Domestic
  • Q3 2023 Sales: 7,385
  • Q3 2022 Sales: 12,453
  • Sales Change: -40.7%
  • Price Range: $34,160 – $56,960
Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger, another domestic offering, experienced a substantial decline in sales. This could be attributed to increased competition, changing consumer preferences, and supply change issues.

Wrapping It Up

The shift in small pickup truck sales dominance from domestic to Asian automakers can be attributed to a combination of factors, including consumer preferences, pricing strategies, and the strengths of individual models. Asian manufacturers, with their focus on fuel efficiency, competitive pricing, and reliable options like the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline, have gained traction in this segment. However, it’s important to note that domestic manufacturers, represented by models like the Chevrolet Colorado and Jeep Gladiator, continue to play a significant role in the market. As the small pickup truck segment evolves, competition will likely intensify, leading to more innovative and appealing options for consumers in the future. offers accurate estimates of new and used car loan payments based on self-selected credit score, current rebates, down payment, and trade equity or negative equity, without customers having to provide their personal identifying information such as email and phone.

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