Things are getting weird when, for the first time ever, trucks are now outselling passenger cars in the U.S. This isn’t so much about trucks all of a sudden becoming super popular in a Mad Max kind of way, but more that passenger car sales have fallen off a cliff.
Pickups beat cars by more than 17,000 units in April, according to market researcher Autodata Corp.
Just five years ago, cars outsold pickups by more than half a million units in a single month. Detroit began ditching sedans the following year and hasn’t looked back. Full-size truck models alone were more than 40% of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler’s sales in April, according to Evercore ISI.
Around 186,000 trucks were sold in April, according to the data, with around 169,000 cars sold that same month. The same month six years ago saw 656,000 cars sold, and 190,800 trucks.
Bloomberg postulates that we’re seeing more trucks sold now because they sell best in states that have less restrictive shelter-in-place orders, like middle America and the South. That’s one theory, but I suspect it’s also about trucks being expensive, and the people that can afford them haven’t been hit by the pandemic in the same way as someone in the market for a new Chevy Spark.
Of course there are those zero-percent financing deals too, which are probably also boosting things. But I really only bring that up to share this quote from the story, an all-timer of the financial analyst genre.
“Even in a pandemic there are some offers too good to pass up,” Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive’s senior economist, said Monday.
It is somewhat comforting that the world can be ending and you can still get some guy from Cox Automotive on the blower to talk about how good the deals are.