Trucks Gain Ground as Family Haulers, Edmunds Analysis Shows | Edmunds

Trucks Gain Ground as Family Haulers, Edmunds Analysis Shows


If sales continue at their current pace, full-size pickup trucks will be second only to SUVs as the vehicle of choice for a wide range of U.S. consumers in 2017, according to the latest analysis from Edmunds. In prior years, large pickups ranked either third or fourth in sales behind more mainstream vehicles such as compact cars, midsize cars and hot-selling compact SUVs.

Edmunds analysts say the upswing in popularity, which could give large trucks their biggest market share since 2007, is due in part to the increased practicality of pickups for daily family-hauling duties. Even base-model trucks now come with many of the comfort and convenience features found in passenger cars, and pickups can be outfitted to rival even some of the most upscale luxury sedans. And so far in 2017, crew-cab models, which offer the convenience of four full-size doors and a full back seat, account for 74.4 percent of all retail truck registrations, up more than 10 percent from five years ago.

"Shoppers used to just see trucks as a either a work vehicle or a second vehicle used primarily for towing and chores," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of industry analysis. "But trucks now have many of the same creature comforts as SUVs, but with added utility. For a growing family looking for a single vehicle that can serve all of their needs, a full-size truck has now become an attractive choice."

Unsurprisingly, fully outfitted large pickups don't come cheap. Edmunds analysts found that so far in 2017 the average transaction price of a full-size truck is $47,250, an increase of 24.5 percent from just five years ago. And choosing a luxury model with all the bells and whistles can nearly double that figure. As a result, leasing has become more common among pickup buyers. The leasing rate for full-size trucks this year stands at 16.7 percent, and while that's still much lower than the average for all consumer vehicles, it's almost three times the rate it was just five years ago.

"While it remains to be seen how much demand there will be for a truck that pushes six figures, there's no question truck buyers are ready and willing to spend more to get what they want. And for automakers who have strong truck offerings in their portfolios, this shift in consumer preference is a great opportunity as truck buyers are the most loyal in the industry," Drury said. More than 70 percent of buyers who opt for large trucks trade in their old trucks for another one of the same make and model. And more than 55 percent trade in their truck for another vehicle from that same brand.

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

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