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.


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  • 34 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      1) People aren't working 2) Fuel prices are making people think twice about buying a big ol' truck and using it as a grocery getter / commuter ( something that makes zero sense to me.. but so many people do it ) No surprise here. But interesting to see the numbers.
      Richard S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It will be interesting to see if in a couple of years there will be a pent-up demand for pick-ups as older ones are scrapped (even if they last a long time) or there will not be as a large chunk of sales were to people looking for the "look and lifestyle" of a pick-up although they had no need other than twice a year carrying some crap from Home Depot.
      Delfin Ashley
      • 3 Years Ago
      I totally agree with dtanker607........... Big is not good ............ bang bang bang.......... Wake up USA Wake up _______________________ http://www.truckerstruck.com
      ApplePie
      • 3 Years Ago
      good riddance trucks are so ugly
      ..
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see the moonbats and other libloonie sock puppets have even invaded Autoblog. Sheesh. Wassamatta? ACORN not hiring? Or is this the new target of your insane "community activists" scripted rantings? I was recently looking for a new truck myself but what stopped me was not the price of fuel, but the price of a truck. Sorry, but the automakers are missing a significant piece of the pie by not producing anything mid-range or mid sized. I don't need a super blinged out $50,000+ Harley Davidson F-150 to haul manure or fertilizer and tow the occasional utility or camp trailer. My 04 (trouble free) Ranger could be the last truck I'll buy. For the money, I think I'll buy a really nice car that gets crappy fuel milage. Oh, and ditto on what "LUSTSTANG S-197" said.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @..
        "I see the moonbats and other libloonie sock puppets have even invaded Autoblog. Sheesh. Wassamatta? ACORN not hiring? Or is this the new target of your insane "community activists" scripted rantings?" LOL That's good stuff. I'm with you. I hate liberals with a burning passion, and I'm not even a conservative.
      Bob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good to hear if it means what I hope it means: That slowly, only the people who have a need for trucks and SUVs are buying them. Very much looking forward to the day when I can see past the car in front of me when I'm driving or the car to the left or right of me when I'm trying to make a turn and they have to block of my view to get closer to the street. That and not have to worry about all the bad and/or sociopathic drivers with these behemoths..
        Jim
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bob
        Home construction is at the lowest level since they started keeping records. That's why truck sales are low.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good. Very happy to read this. We are finally getting closer to the point where only people that actually NEED (or really, really want) a truck will buy one.
        Shiftright
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        So true.The people that really NEED one get the ones with with 2WD, painted steel wheels, the 'smaller' engine and perhaps a long bed because they're more concerned about utility, cost of operation and being a good professional. Posers drive the leather lined chrome laden models with shiny factory dubs.
        TruthHertz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        It probably has more to do with the carpenters, framers, roofers, plumbers, contractors, and electricians that would be buying them are currently unemployed because nobody is build new houses anymore. People buying in excess of their need means people have liquidity and are confident in their financial position. That's not the case right now, especially with every Tom, Dick, and Harry having to pay $4+ for a gallon of gas. I'm happy you are happy the economy is in the toilet douche.
          EnzoHonda
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Current ways are unsustainable (as proven by the fact that the economy is in the toilet). So if some people can learn to live within their means a little more, it's a good thing. Hopefully they won't go nuts on credit and spending, the old habits, when things pick up again.
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      The comments here are amazing. Almost to the point where only those who need them drive them??? Where does this insanity come from? Besides the fact nobody has a right to decide what some else should drive or what they spend their money on - where does it end? House size? Number of kids? How much money you are allowed to make based on "needs"? It's wacko liberal nutjob thinking like this that has completely screwed us over.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      PIckup truck sales my be down, but truck sales are up. Because every CUV is a truck. Nearly every wagon is a truck. Instead of meeting car efficiency standards, companies are making their cars fit the truck classifications.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      Sgt Beavis
      • 3 Years Ago
      Manufacturers have only hurt themselves when they abandoned small pickups. The F-150 V6 can get up to 24mpg. Just imagine what that drivetrain could do in the soon to be extinct US spec Ford Ranger. 30MPG wouldn't surprise me. Put in an Ecoboost I4 and 35mpg or better would probably be doable. Instead Ford grew the new Ranger too large to the US market (never mind that it is still the same size as a Toyota Tacoma) and won't sell it in the US. Hopefully GM won't make that mistake with the new Colorado.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sgt Beavis
        European pickups have a mileage comparable with a very good V6 mid-size sedan. But I don't know, if you'd buy a 2 liter turbodiesel in the USA ;)
      • 3 Years Ago
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