More pickup trucks sold than cars for first time ever in US


America, you love your pickup trucks.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

For the first time in history, it may be absolutely safe to say the passenger car, once the bread and butter of automaker lineups, is unpopular. In April, more buyers purchased trucks than passenger cars for the first time ever in US history.

Bloomberg reported on data from Autodata Corporation on Monday that showed pickups outsold cars by just over 17,000 units. Granted, that’s a small lead, but one that’s grown in recent years. Americans have, by and large, defected to utility vehicles and shunned passenger cars. It’s reflected in automaker lineups, too. The Ford division doesn’t sell a single passenger car, Chevrolet sells just one mass-market sedan and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles continues to pitch three rather old car models: the Charger, Challenger and 300. That’s it.

Even outside of domestic automakers, brands have started to pull back the number of sedans sold, or they’ve become second to popular crossover SUVs and trucks.

Trucks, meanwhile, have grown in popularity to the Detroit Three’s gain. The data shows pickups mad up 40% of GM, Ford and FCA sales during April. Is this a one-off instance, though? Possibly.

Analysts looked at where pickup sales are most concentrated and found middle America has the largest appetite for trucks. During April, coastal states enacted some of the strictest lockdown measures in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic, which left truck country to purchase more pickups, while other areas that may have slid into a passenger car stayed home.

Even if the pandemic skewed results in the pickup truck’s favor, the trend lines are clear.

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