For the first time in recent automotive history, pickup trucks outsold passenger cars. That may be due to the Coronavirus, but it’s part of a larger trend.
Pickups outsold cars by more than 17,000 units in April, according to Autodata Corp. Part of the reason is that pickup sales are stronger in the middle of the country where COVID-19 was slower to hit and states were slower to shut down. Trucks also benefited from new 0 percent financing programs, “some of which stretched loans out for as long as seven years,” said Bloomberg.
Additionally, gas prices are extremely low at present.
Chrysler is predicting the run on trucks will continue into this month and outsell other vehicles, based on orders it has received as it waits for its factories to reopen, said The Detroit News.
While the April numbers are an anomaly, they point to a larger trend where “pickup trucks evolve from workhorses to luxurious family haulers,” as noted by The Car Connection.
Automakers are cutting production on sedans, coupes and hatchbacks to about two models per automaker. Pickups are simply more lucrative to the automakers.
At the same time, Motor1 cautions that the April numbers are unusual. There is a steep drop in passenger car sales at present. April passenger car sales dropped by 53 percent compared to a year ago and 37 percent compared to March, according to Cox Automotive.
As stay at home orders lift in many states, automakers are re-starting production. That combined with 0 percent financing should help car sales rebound in the next few months, says Motor1.