New Chevrolet pickups being delivered to dealer

Auto sales were up sharply in April, but trucks continue to make up less of the overall pie. Ward's Automotive reports that light-duty pickups accounted for only 11.8 percent of overall vehicle deliveries; the lowest total since Ward's began collecting data back in 1980. Back in 2005, when the auto industry and the economy at large was far healthier, light trucks accounted for 22.9 percent of all vehicles sold.

There are a lot of reasons truck sales are flagging as of late, not the least of which is gasoline prices that are currently at about $4 per gallon nationwide. But truck sales are also being hurt by unemployment rates and continued weakness in the housing sector.

Trucks are no longer such a large portion of over all car sales, but the utilitarian vehicles are still selling far better than they were in 2010. Truck sales are up 17.9 percent year-over-year, but that number has been outpaced by overall growth of 19.4 percent.

While trucks aren't quite as popular as they were a few years ago, we suspect that this trend may lose steam as the economy improves. After all, light trucks continue to outsell cars even with high gas prices and a poor housing market, though the advantage is down to 5,000 units so far in 2011.