GM and Ford sold fewer pickup trucks in September image

GM posted a 20 percent drop in pickup truck sales in September, with Ford also posting an 8 percent fall over September 2011.

Toyota however is expected to report a large sales increase.

GM and Ford’s reduced sales are worrying, especially since pickup truck sales tipically strengthen in September. Both GM and Ford said trucks made up about 12 percent of sales last month, down from 13 percent in September 2011.

“There has been a fundamental shift of truck to car that we’ve been seeing for the past few years. Consumers, because of the price of fuel, have definitely shifted over the last couple of years to a stronger mix on the car side,” Chevrolet’s sales chief Don Johnson was quoted as saying by Reuters.

GM sold 210,245 cars and trucks last month, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier but a slowdown from GM’s 3.4 percent growth during the first three quarters of this year. Ford sold 174,976 cars and trucks last month, similar with its results from a year ago, with retail sales to consumers increasing 4 percent. During the first nine months of the year, Ford sales increased 5.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Toyota said vehicle sales, including pickups, rose 41.5 percent to 171,190 last month, besting its 32 percent in gains year-to-date. The results reflect Toyota’s recovery from inventory shortages last year after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.