Before compact vehicles, 4-cylinder engines and hybrids, American automakers were counting on SUVs and pickups to make them the largest chunk of their profit. However, when the recession and economic downturn tidal wave hit the auto industry last year, domestic automakers changed their focus to catering to a ‘fuel-efficiency’ minded customer.
While that may be a good thing (depending on how you look at it), latest statistics show that pickup sales gained a significant amount of traction last month and industry executives are once again dreaming that the most profitable segment can be counted on to haul a larger share of their recovery for the rest of the year and the years to come.
“Pickup sales seem to be emerging as one of the most dependable engines of an industry recovery that, overall, remains tepid and even somewhat tentative,” said Ivan Drury, a U.S. sales analyst for Edmunds.com. “We’ll feel more comfortable with that call when economic fundamentals line up even more favorably for pickup trucks.”
Large truck sales accounted for 12.4 percent of overall U.S. auto sales in July 2010 – the biggest in nine months and larger than the segment’s annualized market share for the last three years.
Edmunds.com analysis of the segment expects pickup trucks to account for 11.4 percent of the overall market for 2010. Looking forward Edmunds.com expects the market to rebound even further to 12 percent in 2011, 12.4 percent in 2012 and 12.6 percent in 2013 and 2014.
– By: Omar Rana