the 2007 Toyota Tundra Half-Ton Passed the 2007 GMC Sierra Half-Ton
The first ever drop of the Detroit Three's combined share of the U.S. vehicle market below 50% may not have been the only history made in July. It appears Toyota has breached the domestic automaker's exclusive hold on half-ton full size pickup sales by outselling General Motor's GMC Sierra year-to-date.
I'm estimating that the 2007 Toyota Tundra half-ton has become the first full size truck from a foreign brand to overtake a domestic full size brand in an 'apples-to-apples' sales comparison against the Sierra 1500.
General Motors has reported 115,185 GMC Sierras sold in the U.S. since January 1, 2007. That figure includes both 2006 and 2007 model year trucks and rolls up sales of light and heavy duty versions. It also combines sales numbers for the 2006 and 2007 'Sierra Classic', based on the old GMT800 truck platform, and the new 2007 Sierra built on the next-generation GMT900 frame.
GM doesn't provide a breakdown of model year or light and heavy duty sales splits in the Sierra's year-to-date sales number, but looking at summarized GMC Sierra production data provided by Ward's for 2005 and 2006 shows the production mix was 64% Sierra 1500 (half-ton), 27% Sierra 2500 (three-quarter-ton), and 8% Sierra 3500 (one-ton) in 2005. In 2006 the mix changed slightly to 66% Sierra 1500, 28% Sierra 2500, and 6% 3500.
Of course production data is different than sales data, but with two years of production data to review it's likely that the Sierra's reported sales mix is very close in composition to its production splits. So, assuming that 2/3 of Sierra sales in 2007 are light duty pickups, this would give a sales figure of approximately 76,700 1500-class trucks year-to-date (115,185*66.6%).
Toyota has reported 105,990 Tundras sold in the U.S. since the start of the year. Toyota spokesperson Bill Kwong says the all-new 2007 model makes up 97,290 of those sales. All of those units are light duty pickups directly comparable to the GMC Sierra 1500, because Toyota doesn't manufacture a heavy duty Tundra (yet).
Apples-to-apples, light duty to light duty, it certainly seems that Toyota has accomplished something that no other foreign truck manufacturer has done before, moving up to take the number four spot in half-ton truck sales, behind Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge, by outselling the GMC Sierra 1500 97,290 to approximately 76,700 (give or take a few percent).
In total sales of light and heavy duty trucks, GMC still hangs onto the #4 spot, but it also looks like Toyota will overtake GMC in total full size sales by October at the latest if sales trends for both brands continue on their current paths.
A historic feat indeed.