Auto Manifesto

July 24, 2008

Pick Up Trucks Plunge

Essentially for the last 30 years the best selling vehicle in America has been the Ford F-series pick up truck. The market has finally begun to correct itself in response to high fuel prices. Large pickup trucks are selling at heavily discounted prices. In some cases new ones are advertised at 50% (!) below their retail prices.

We are starting to see the extent to which people have bought big pickups to use as transportation. In other words, the public has been buying them for a long time due to want rather than need. A greater proportion of the people who are buying them now simply need them for work uses, while there are fewer "discretionary" buyers.

There are a lot fewer buyers now. In an article in this week's Automotive News, JD Power & Associates estimate that GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Nissan will produce roughly 630,000 full size pick ups in the second half of 2008 compared to production of 1.1 7M units in the same period last year, and manufacturers are retooling truck plants to build smaller cars.

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