After running flat last year, the midsize pickup truck market has suddenly become one of the hottest segments of the auto industry.
According to a Trucks.com report, sales of the smaller pickups rose 21% during the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Overall, U.S. auto sales rose 2% during the first quarter to 4.1 million vehicles, according to industry research firm Autodata Corp.
The Nissan Frontier, a model that hasn’t changed substantially since the current generation first went on sale in late 2004, spearheaded the gain in midsize pickup sales. Frontier sales rose nearly 47% to 22,825 in the first quarter.
Sales of newer models such as the Tacoma, the top-seller, and the Colorado, No. 2, also rose by double-digit percentages. Tacoma sales jumped 34% to 53,779. Colorado sales grew 29% to 28,859. Both the GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline experienced sales declines.
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