Best Selling Pickup Truck

Pickup Truck Sales Dominate In 4 Of The Top Metro Areas

One Major Metro Where Trucks Dominate

by Peter Levy

Americans like their vehicles big, and they snap up SUVs and pickup trucks at rates that fuel a major part of U.S. vehicle sales overall. In June, we looked at the SUV part of that equation, by digging into our sales data to figure out the metro areas where the most SUVs move off dealers’ lots annually.

The answer, it turns out, is Denver, Detroit and Boston.

The findings begged the question: would those trends hold for trucks, too? What is the best selling pickup truck?

best-selling pickup truck market share

Best Pickup Truck Sales In Your State

So Carjojo dug into the data again to determine the best selling pickup truck in the top twenty largest U.S. metro areas over a one-year period. We looked at 11 pickups –  — the “big eleven.”

A different picture emerged.

First, the ten most-popular SUVs — the “big ten” — sell at significantly higher rates than the eleven truck models analyzed. They account for 23% of all vehicle sales in those 20 metros combined, compared to 10% for the trucks.

That means the big-ten SUVs outsell the big-eleven pickup trucks by 124% in big metros.

But that’s not the most interesting difference we found:

Did you know...

SUVs outsell the best selling pickup trucks by 124% in big metros

The Ford F Series Is The Best Selling PickUp In The Cowboy States

Houston, Phoenix, Dallas and Denver — cities in traditional “cowboy” states — are the top four metros when it comes to their rates of the best selling pickup truck. The Ford F Series is the best selling pickup truck in all four metros.

In Houston, big-eleven trucks account for a whopping 21% of all vehicle sales, more than twice the average big-metro rate. Those trucks make up a healthy 16% in the other three.

But Houston not only takes the top spot when it comes to sales of big-eleven trucks, it’s also the only big U.S. metro in which those trucks outsell big-ten SUVs, doing so by eleven percent. As far as we’re concerned, that makes it “America’s truck capital.”

Denver is unique, too. It has big sales of both big-eleven trucks and big-ten SUVs, with those two groups together making up just about half of all vehicle sold there, the most of any metro. So Denver takes the prize for being the metro area in which you’re the least likely to see regular cars on the road.

Dallas and Phoenix sell SUVs at relatively modest rates compared to the big-metro average. Big-ten SUVs top big-eleven truck sales by just 12% in Dallas and 20% in Phoenix.

So in Houston, Phoenix, Dallas and Denver, people really love trucks, which have utility in ranching, agriculture and other industries that may be relevant there. In all those cities other than Denver, people are relatively more ambivalent towards family-friendly SUVs, bucking the national big-metro trend of big-ten SUV sales significantly outpacing those of big-eleven trucks.

Cowboy states are the top metros when it comes to their rates of truck sales

Top 5 Cities with the Best Pickup Truck Sales

Where Pickup Trucks Need a Pick-me-up

New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles — metros with densely populated downtowns and notoriously challenging parking — sell pickup trucks at the lowest rates of all big metros.

Big-eleven trucks account for a tiny 3% of all vehicle sales in the Big Apple, just 5% in San Francisco and Chicago, and 6% in L.A.

But a couple interesting things jump out when we compare those truck sales to big-ten SUVs in those places.

Big-ten SUVs outpace sales of big-eleven trucks in NYC, Chicago and SF by leaps and bounds — more than seven-fold in NYC, nearly four-fold in Chicago and about two-and-a-half times in SF — showing the astounding degree to which residents there choose SUVs and turn their back on trucks. It’s a massive exaggeration of national trends and the inverse of what we see in Houston, Phoenix and Dallas.

And Los Angeles sticks out because people there dislike both trucks and SUVs. The combined rate of sales of big-eleven trucks and big-ten SUVs is 21%, the lowest of any major metro. You can’t win them all.

Best Selling Pickup - big-ten SUVs outsell the big-eleven trucks by 124% in big metros.
CITY Market Share Pickup Trucks Market Share SUVs Market Share Sedans
Houston 21% 18.81% 5%
Phoenix 16% 19.75% 4%
Dallas 16% 18.26% 5%
Denver 16% 32.95% 1%
St. Louis 15% 21.12% 2%
Minneapolis 14% 29.42% 2%
Tampa 13% 20.44% 4%
Riverside 13% 17.07% 7%
Detroit 13% 31.60% 4%
San Diego 12% 18.34% 2%
Atlanta 11% 18.36% 5%
Seattle 10% 27.05% 2%
Boston 10% 29.92% 3%
Philadelphia 8% 27.15% 5%
Miami 8% 17.52% 7%
Washington DC 8% 24.69% 6%
Los Angeles 6% 15.07% 14%
Chicago 5% 25.60% 5%
San Francisco 5% 19.14% 3%
New York 3% 28.04% 13%


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About The Auto Insider Report

The Auto Insider Report is Carjojo’s monthly analysis and insight into the current state of the automotive industry. Each mini report takes a deeper look at a specific brand or related topic.

We analyze hundreds of millions of data points daily on nearly 100% of new cars on dealers’ lots — over 4 million vehicles (and growing) — across nearly all makes and models. This level of real-time market intelligence is unprecedented in our industry, and unique to Carjojo’s proprietary technology.  The aim of our report is to highlight key industry trends, including sales, inventory, bloat, and more. And we’ll have it days or even weeks before any other report is made public.

If you have any questions or comments to our report, please feel free to contact us at

Thank you and enjoy.

-Carjojo Team

Methodology: Carjojo calculated sales of all vehicles in each of the top-twenty most-populated U.S. metros, from May 2016 to May 2017. We also calculated total sales of America’s ten best-selling SUVs in May 2017 and 2016’s eleven best-selling trucks, in each of those metros in that same year-long timeframe. Those sales figures served as the basis for the other calculations reflected in this blog post.