Demand for pickup trucks rises during pandemic, but supply slows

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CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) — If you’re in the market for a new pickup truck, you might be hard-pressed to find the one you want.

Dealerships nationwide are reporting little inventory just as the demand for trucks has increased since the pandemic hit.

“The problem right now is the selection is very low,” said Brett Hedrick with Hedrick’s Chevrolet in Clovis.

Pickup sales are outperforming the market, with business at Hedrick’s up close to 30% from this time last year.

Experts say financing incentives combined with increased demand for pickups is driving down dealer inventories.

And that’s evident by the rows and rows of empty stalls on the lot.

“On March 31st we had 375 vehicles in stock and now we have about sixty,” said Hedrick.

Another issue for dealers trying to keep up with the demand is that automakers have only recently resumed operations after being shut down due to the global health crisis.

Shipments of new vehicles, especially pickups, are still slow to arrive at most dealerships.

“Factories are having to get back to rolling again and new procedures or maybe they can’t make as many vehicles an hour as they used to. When they shut down for any length of time, it’s hard for them to catch back up,” said Hedrick.

And it’s not just light-duty pickups that are selling out. Families are also spending big bucks like never before on trucks with a higher towing capacity.

“The bigger pickups, the 2500, the 3500, are selling a lot faster now and I think it’s because people are buying RVs and things like that just to be able to get out.”

To keep up with the demand, Hedrick’s Chevrolet is also looking to hire for a number of positions, including sales associates and technicians.

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