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Truck wars: Did Ram, Ford or Chevrolet win the battle for America's most popular pick-up in 2021?

For the 45th year in a row, the Ford F-Series was the top-selling truck in America last year.

Pick-up trucks are huge business in the United States and each year the big three Detroit brands battle for sales supremacy.

Despite a number of curveballs like parts shortages and low stock, overall US sales grew by 3.3 per cent last year, with trucks once again dominated the top of the sales charts.

Ford’s F-Series pick-up held onto the top spot in the US last year with a haul of 726,003 units. While that represented a 7.8 per cent decline on 2020 results, it was enough to beat the second-place getter by more than 156,000 sales.

Ford says the F-Series – which includes the F-150, F-250 and the like – has been the best-selling truck for 45 years and the best-selling vehicle overall in the States for 40 years.

Second place belonged to the RAM pick-up range (including the 1500 and 2500) which outsold the perennial number two, the Chevrolet Silverado. Ram’s tally of 569,389 was up by 1.0 per cent on its 2020 result and about 40,000 units in front of the Chevy.

The Silverado had the biggest sales slide of the three big trucks, dropping 10.7 per cent in 2021 to 529,765 units for the year, but it nabbed third place and outsold the fourth-place getter by more than 100,000 sales.

While Ford is claiming segment leadership, Chevrolet parent company General Motors says otherwise.

The Ram pick-up range, including the 1500, outsold the Chevrolet Silverado last year. The Ram pick-up range, including the 1500, outsold the Chevrolet Silverado last year.

GM says combined sales of the Chevy Silverado and its mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra, add up to 768,689, which would give GM segment leadership – a position the company has held since 2003.

However, if you’re just looking at individual model sales, there’s no questioning Ford’s win.

What about the also-rans in the truck segment?

The GMC Sierra came 12th overall with 248,923 sales, and then it was daylight to the fifth-placed truck, the Toyota Tundra in 54th place overall with 81,959 sales. That’s a 25 per cent dip on 2020, largely due to the introduction of an all-new model.

The Nissan Titan ended 2021 with 27,406 sales, landing in 121st spot for the year. Despite a major refresh for the 2020 model year, reports have suggested that Nissan has not committed to a next-generation version of the Titan beyond the current model due to slowing sales.

The Silverado was pushed to third place, but GM still claims segment leadership. The Silverado was pushed to third place, but GM still claims segment leadership.

When it comes to medium pick-ups – or what we would just call pick-ups or utes in Australia – the Toyota Tacoma was top dog on a little over 252,000 sales, just missing out on a top-10 spot.

The second-best seller was the Australian-designed and engineered Ford Ranger on 94,755 sales. It was just ahead of the Jeep Gladiator (89,712), and soundly beat the Chevrolet Colorado (73,008), Nissan Frontier (60,679) and Honda Ridgeline (41,355).

When it comes to the passenger cars and SUVs, the highest selling non-truck model was Toyota’s RAV4 medium SUV in fourth overall with a massive haul of 407,739 units – nearly double Toyota’s total sales in Australia last year. It was more than 46,000 units ahead of the fifth-placed Honda CR-V SUV.

The Toyota Camry was the most popular sedan in American in 2021, coming in sixth overall with 313,795 sales. The rest of the top 10 included the Nissan Rogue (X-Trail in Australia) in seventh, the Jeep Grand Cherokee in eighth, Toyota Highlander (Kluger in Australia) in ninth, and the new-generation Honda Civic in 10th.

American electric vehicle sales hit a high last year, with the Tesla Model Y the most popular EV, clocking up 161,527 sales, enough for 20th place overall.