Why are pickup trucks at the center of the automotive universe? Because people keep buying them

2024 piston 1500 rpm

Pickups are in demand, so manufacturers are respondingAries

  • It’s Super Bowl Sunday and the world is getting its first look at the 2024 Ram 1500 REV. This upcoming electric truck is another sign that the segment is changing.

  • A gaggle of plug-in pickup trucks is about to join the fossil-fuel classics, amid statistics showing nearly 80 percent of new-vehicle purchases are trucks and SUVs.

  • New trucks need new truck buyers, and it turns out the demographics of today’s truck buyers are expanding to include more women and young people.

One of this year’s Super Bowl car ads is Ram’s big reveal of its upcoming all-electric Ram 1500 REV 2024. EV ads have been the star of the Super Bowl for the past few years, so it makes sense that an all-truck brand like Ram would use the big game attention to promote the first of what will be a whole lineup of electric models.

For many US car buyers, electric trucks represent a somewhat contradictory combination. Pickups are hugely popular, but electric vehicle technology is still finding a path to mainstream sales. Electric trucks could be the solution.

Truck sales remained strong in 2022

Three of the top five best-selling vehicles in the United States last year were trucks: Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado and Ram pickup trucks. Ford never tires of telling the world that the F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for the past million years. And a look at the sales figures reveals how many more Ford trucks it sells than other models. In 2022, for example, Ford sold 653,957 F-series trucks, according to data from the Automotive news Database. Ford’s second best-selling model last year was the Explorer, which sold 207,673 units.

Chevy sold 513,354 Silverados in 2022, and the charts follow a similar trend to Ford’s. The Equinox SUV finished second to Chevy, with 212,072 sales last year. Ram, which otherwise sells only ProMasters and vans, sold 468,344 pickups, the most of its 529,280 overall sales for the year.

Who buys all these trucks?

Aside from a few F-150 Lightning models, all of the pickup trucks sold last year were powered by fossil fuels. The growing list of new electric pickup models in the works from Chevy, Ram, Tesla and others means it’s no secret that changes are coming to this market segment.

But another shift is taking place in the demographics of the truck buying world. CBS News notes that the number of women interested in driving a pickup truck continues to grow, and JD Power found in late 2021 that millennials bought the most pickup trucks in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The trend line shows that this interest has not waned in the following years. As CBS has noted, you can’t be a vehicle for success if you only appeal to a small number of people.

2024 chevrolet silverado ev and 2022 chevrolet silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado EV and Silverado 1500. Car and driver

What’s next?

While the two segments are sadly lumped together, JD Power recently released a report that predicted trucks and SUVs accounted for nearly 80 percent of all new vehicle retail sales in January.

The rough lines of the truck market will remain the same in 2023 and the two main facts mentioned above suggest that we will soon see even more trucks on the road. Exciting new electric models and technology are coming to the world of pickup trucks where in recent years fancier and more inventive trucks have been the norm, and these will encourage people who have never considered a truck before to give them a second look.

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