• Dec 5, 2008
The sales of pickup trucks seemingly rise and fall in unison with gas prices. For instance, Ford's newly-redesigned F-150 is selling well enough right now that the Blue Oval has added an extra shift of production at its assembly plant in Kansas City, MO along with approval for scheduled overtime. An extra shift is also being planned for the Dearborn assembly plant. These are the types of "problems" that automakers don't mind dealing with after a successful new product launch.

This sales increase begs an obvious question: just how short is the memory of the average American? The answer is debatable – how much of the uptick is due to lower gas prices and how much is attributable to the truck's redesign? What's more, sales are still down considerably from their peak in 2004, so the pickup market may just be right-sizing itself in the wake of a down housing market, high priced gasoline and the ongoing credit crunch. We'll see for sure in the coming months, but a familiar nameplate is back on top of the sales heap for November at least. Check out our list of the Top Ten Best-Selling Vehicles for November 2008.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 52 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      One reason trucks sales might be doing better now is because they are so desperate to sell cars that they are running great deals right now. My brother works in construction and he's looking at getting an F150 right now because he can get it at $7K less than the list price.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is spot on. Right now there are so many deals to be had on trucks and large suvs that the people who need them or want them realize it's a good time to buy them.

        We were even looking at picking up a new dumptruck for the business as the deals on them are so great. My brother was also looking at getting rid of his '87 Suburban for a new one because they're willing to do $20,000 off '08 leftovers in some cases.

        The deals to be had combined with low fuel prices make it a great time to pick up that new truck you've been needing or wanting. It makes it much more affordable than waiting until after the economy gets better and fuel prices rise. If anything, it's actually helping our economy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I expect a rude awakening for F-150 owners when the economy recovers in 2010-11, they are in the middle of their car loan and gas prices are suddenly back near $4-5/gallon.

      Rinse, repeat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, the 2WD fuel economy edition F-150 is rated 21 mpg highway.

        If you have the kind of foot to get 24 at best out of a 5 year old Taurus you can look forward to around 15 out of a truck. Maybe 16 if it's the fuel economy edition.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Will they?

        The 2009 F-150 gets 21 MPG from a 320 HP 5.4L V8. My 2003 Taurus with a 200 HP 3.0L V6 gets 24, at best. The utility of a truck more than makes up for the 3 MPG.

        I can't haul plywood or drywall. Can your Pious?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well i don't think that it is truck that are making come backs, it's just that there are a lot of morons living in USA who never learn their lessons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Frylock, keep on trucking. The rest of the educated world will continue to point and laugh at you, while inferring you have a small pecker.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin

        You ain't from around here are you...

        Yee Haw
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gas is cheap!

        Margins on the F-150 are among Ford's best.

        What's to argue?

        Better margins for Ford now mean less money I have to loan them and less "management fee" that Barney Frank and his boyz take off the top.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its people like you that make me enjoy commuting to work in an 8 passenger Suburban all by my lonesome. When I bought my Suburban I learned my lesson alright. I learned that its a fantastic vehicle and I've been an idiot for not buying one sooner.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When the lease on my GMC Sierra ended in September I decieded to see what all the fuss was about regarding "sedans" or "regular cars" so I leased an 09 Mazda 6. I quickly learned that I am a truck person, I prefer the ride, the utility, the increased road visibilty, the better handling, the ability to been by semi trucks, etc.

      The second I can get out of my lease and get back into a pickup truck I will. So yeah, some people just prefer a truck, simply as that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Regardless of the economy, people will still need trucks for recreation and work. Just a few examples, towing your boat to the lake, hauling motocross bikes or ATVs to go riding, etc. There are tons of people who like to do this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Not everyone buys
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm going to look at this as the glass being half full. Considering the tightened credit, the people buying these must be in decent financial shape and will be able to weather rebounding gas prices. Plus who knows what they traded? Maybe they traded in their 10 yr old trucks that were getting 15mpg. In the end consumption will still be down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree with Jake, besides a lot of people who leave such negative comments are just sad, pathetic, unhappy know-it-all's.

      Job 1: Built Ford Tough
        • 6 Years Ago
        the new f150 is pretty hot. hopefully this has to do more with people wanting trucks and less with the drop of fuel prices.
        s13hybrid
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ JC06: I have to agree. Hopefully the mentallity of these people are "I really need a truck for the utility," or "I have always wanted a Ford F150 because they are really good vehicles and I can use it for what it is made for." And not so much "gas prices are down I think I will go ahead and get something that gets worse gas mileage than what I have now because we have seen the worse gas prices that will ever be."

        I don't care if people buy trucks as long as it is for the right reason, and they are not doing it blindly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @adrenalnjunky,

        My Suburban rides BETTER than any modern sedan. It also gives me superior safety and room compared to a MB S-class for a fraction of the price.

        Point is, buy what you like not what others want you to buy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't care if people buy trucks for whatever reason. Their reason isn't my business. This is the USA not the USSR.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I agree with Jake, besides a lot of people who leave such negative comments are just sad, pathetic, unhappy know-it-all's."

        Spot-on. Add to that "That have probably never ridden in a well-equipped F-150, or Silverado/Sierra Crewcab, and realized they approach sedan comfort even on long trips, have good handling/ride quality (If you want a sports sedan, then go buy one.) and have the added bonus of having a bed for hauling stuff around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Before we all get too up-in-arms about this (oh, wait, it's too late), let's remember that truck sales aren't just to lone-driving commuters--they're to builders.

      Truck sales were through the room during the housing boom, and slumped with the housing market. Maybe a turnaround in truck sales could indicate a turnaround--however big or small--in the building market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This sales increase begs an obvious question: just how short is the memory of the average American?

      ^I LOL'ed. Like a goldfish.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants: Or maybe, just maybe, Ford will have learned its lesson, and diversify their product portfolio to include a mix of competitive cars, trucks and SUVs, big and small, so they will always have something to offer to changing consumer demands.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly. And then when the economy rebounds and gas spikes again everyone will be blaming Ford for being so stupid and building all those trucks that are polluting the environment and sending money to terrorists.

        Or maybe they'll realize that it's people, not the car companies, who willfully and wantonly burn gasoline at a prodigious rate without a care in the world. But I doubt it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the "short memory" thoughts are a little backward.

      the reality is fuel prices are traditionally low, and will be continue to be so.

      I always put the silly "fuel crises" in the context they have belonged in since the first one in 1973: short-lived.

      AZMike
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just like the housing crisis is a wake up call for consumers, the problem with these trucks isn't MPG. It is a question of what people can afford. Buy what you want, but don't be crying in two years that gas is 4.00 a gallon again.

      A work truck is a work truck and fuel is just one of the expenses of doing business. Some soccer mom crying she can't afford to drive to work AND get her grande latte enema every day invokes no sympathy from me...and it was truly tiring to watch on all the news shows just a couple of months back. How quickly we do forget.

      Good for Ford though..in the short term. Hopefully their lineup will continue to improve as they get their small/medium cars back on track.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed - especially about the very distinction of people buying a truck for need vs want. I don't care why anyone buys a truck; it's their responsibility to maintain the whole package. The way I see it, you know what you're getting into when you buy a truck, so when you say it's none of my business what you buy, I'm all for that. By the same token, it's also none of my business when you can't afford to maintain it or fill the tank.

        "Good for Ford though..in the short term. Hopefully their lineup will continue to improve as they get their small/medium cars back on track." - joe

        Another good point. And if the latest Malibu and upcoming Fusion are any indication, I think it's clear that GM and Ford finally get it. Let's hope it sticks this time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's the question that took 3 pages to ask:

      Why is Ford (or any car-maker) allowing overtime if they're trying to cut budgets? So you have to wait a few more days for your truck so that the company doesn't have to pay 50% more on labor to build it...big deal.

      It's the little things that these companies aren't changing that are keeping them on the death watch.
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