Pickup Sales

John Zekany, Americas Vehicle Forecast Analyst

18 March 2021

Where are Pickups more popular: Argentina or the US?

One might be forgiven for assuming that the US Light Vehicle market has the highest share of Pickups when compared to the other markets in the Americas, but, in fact, Argentina now tips the scale. Last year, Pickup sales in Argentina held a 22% share of the domestic market, more than 2 percentage points higher than in the US. Only Canada, at 24%, had a greater share.

The Midsize Toyota Hilux is the bestselling model in Argentina by a considerable margin, with sales of the model making up 6% of the total Light Vehicle market and 27% of the Pickup segment. One of the main factors behind the popularity of the Hilux is that it is locally built and therefore not subject to import taxes. 

Given that they are classed as Commercial Vehicles, Pickups have the additional advantage of being exempt from an internal tax that applies to many domestically built models. As is the case in the US, Pickups are prized in Argentina by a subset of the population who view them not only as practical, but also as a reflection of their lifestyle – a status symbol, if you will. The bodystyle also fits in well with the needs of Argentina’s agricultural sector, which accounts for a substantial share of the country’s GDP. Many of those who drive Pickups would never dream of switching to a different vehicle type.

In a bid to capitalise on the hype, Ford launched the F-150 in Argentina last year, and we expect the GM Silverado to arrive shortly. Neither model is likely to rival the bestselling Pickups in the market, however, as both the F-150 and Silverado are considerably larger and more expensive than the leading models, while also being subject to import duties. The additional costs from these duties are a significant burden for imported models. To illustrate, of the 11 imported Pickups in the market last year, only the Ram 1500 sold more than 1,000 units. By way of comparison, the Hilux sold more units in any given quarter than the combined full-year total of every imported model.