GM Passes Ford in Closely Watched Truck Race

General Motors Co. in 2020 dethroned rival Ford Motor Co. in Detroit’s closely watched “truck wars,” securing the top slot in the lucrative market for large pickup trucks.

For the first time since 2015, GM outsold Ford in large pickup trucks, a category that generates the bulk of global profits for each auto maker.

U.S. sales of GM’s two pickup models—the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra—rose 3.9% last year, to 839,691 trucks, even as industrywide sales sank nearly 15% amid disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic. Ford’s F Series line, which includes its F-150 truck as well as the larger Super Duty, fell 12%, to 787,422, the company said Wednesday.

The rivalry among GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Ram brand—which combined dominate the U.S. market for large pickups—has become more intense as that category has grown as a share of the overall vehicle market. Large pickups accounted for 16.7% of overall sales last year, up from 12.5% in 2015.

The trend has bolstered the bottom lines of the Detroit auto makers, helping to fuel a prolonged period of prosperity that only recently was disrupted by the Covid-19 health crisis.

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