Autos

Pickup trucks dominate America's 10 best-selling vehicles of 2020

Key Points
  • Led by the Detroit automakers, pickup trucks accounted for five of the industry's 10 best-selling vehicles in 2020.
  • Ford's F-Series pickup remained America's best-selling vehicle for the 39th straight year. It's also the industry's top-selling truck for 44-consecutive years.
  • The three top-selling pickups accounted for about 13% of the 14.5 million vehicles estimated to have been sold last year in the U.S.

In this article

2021 Ford F-150 Limited
Ford

Look no further than the automotive industry's best-selling vehicles of last year as proof of America's love for pickup trucks.

Led by trucks from the Detroit automakers, pickups accounted for five of the industry's 10 best-selling vehicles in 2020 despite their increasingly higher prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Ford Motor's F-Series truck retained its decades-long sales dominance, followed by pickups from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. The three top-selling pickups accounted for about 13% of the 14.5 million vehicles estimated to have been sold last year in the U.S.

"Pickup trucks have been very successful. They have marched through this pandemic so well," Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights for auto research firm Edmunds, told CNBC. "They have boosted up all of their respective companies. Particularly the Detroit companies, they have kept business afloat fairly well."

As sales to commercial and other fleet customers came to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pandemic, automakers touted retail consumers purchasing pickups as quickly as they could produce them in 2020. The companies are still attempting to resupply inventories following a roughly two-month shutdown of their North American plants last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"It was astonishing. It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I think the automakers were magicians basically in selling trucks this year," said Jeff Schuster, LMC Automotive president of the Americas. "It was a remarkable year for trucks."

Ford's F-Series, which includes the F-150 and its larger siblings, remained America's best-selling vehicle for the 39th straight year and the industry's top-selling truck for the 44th consecutive year. GM's Chevrolet Silverado regained its silver medal position after dropping to third in 2019 behind Fiat Chrysler's Ram pickup.

Newcomers to the 10 best-selling vehicles last year included GM's GMC Sierra as well as the Toyota Tacoma, which outsold the Toyota Corolla compact car. Falling off the sales leaderboard compared to 2019 were the Corolla and Nissan Rogue, which ranked sixth in 2019.

Here's the full list of America's 10 best-selling vehicles in 2020:

1. Ford F-Series (Sales of 787,422 units, down 12.2% compared to 2019)

Ford CEO Jim Farley takes off his mask at the Ford Built for America event at Fords Dearborn Truck Plant on September 17, 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan.
Nic Antaya | Getty Images

2. Chevrolet Silverado (594,094, up 3.2%)

2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss
Source: General Motors

3. Ram pickup (563,676, down 11%)

2019 Ram 1500
Mack Hogan/CNBC

4. Toyota RAV4 (430,387, down 3.9%)

2018 Toyota Rav 4 on display at the 2018 New York International Auto Show on March 29th, 2018.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

5. Honda CR-V (333,502, down 13.2%)

2020 Honda CR-V
Honda

6. Toyota Camry (294,348, down 12.7%)

Toyota Camry TRD
Source: Toyota

7. Chevrolet Equinox (270,994, down 21.7%)

A Chevrolet Equinox SUV is seen on the production line at SAIC-GM Wuhan Manufacturing Plant on April 7, 2017 in Wuhan, China.
VCG | Getty Images

8. Honda Civic (261,225, down 19.8%)

2021 Honda Civic sedan
Honda

9. GMC Sierra (253,016, up 8.9%)

2021 GMC Sierra HD pickup
GM

10. Toyota Tacoma (238,806, down 4%)

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road
Source: Toyota