Lower gas prices and an improving economy appear to be contributing to the recent surge in large pickup and SUV buying. Americans are buying big pickups and SUVs at a pace the industry hasn’t seen since before the recession. There’s a lot of pent up demand. The average pickup on the road in the U.S. today is around 12 years old and most of the buyers replacing these aged rigs need a new truck. This is driving a lot of businesses to refresh their fleets and many are utilizing vehicle leasing and financing to help.
This buying trend is great news for American automakers that make bigger profit margins on pickups and large SUV’s than they do on smaller vehicles. Auto sales are on track to top 15.6 million in 2013, which is the largest advance since 2007. In October, sales of light trucks rose 15% compared with a 6.6% increase for cars, according to Autodata. Sales increased 18% for Ram, 13% for Ford F-Series, 13% for GMC Sierra and 10% for Chevrolet Silverado.
Sales of the 2014 Dodge Durango are on fire, posting a 58.5% sales surge as commercials with fictional “Anchorman” Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), pitching them all over the airways during Major League Baseball’s playoffs and World Series. Historically, pickup sales always surge at the end of the year.