It Actually Happened: Pickup Trucks Outsold Cars in the U.S.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

2020 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck
For the first time in U.S. history, Americans bought more pickups than sedans.
Ford
By Alex Lauer / May 7, 2020 7:00 am

We all know trucks have been selling well over the last few years, right alongside SUVs and crossovers. They’re selling so well, in fact, that dealer lots in the U.S. might run out during the pandemic. But no one, I repeat, no one, ever thought they’d sell this well.

According to Autodata Corp, pickup trucks outsold passenger cars in April for the first time in American history, Bloomberg reported. And there’s no need for a recount, either. According to the numbers, pickups topped sedans by a healthy margin of 17,000 units. 

“Just five years ago, cars outsold pickups by more than half a million units in a single month,” Bloomberg wrote. “Detroit began ditching sedans the following year and hasn’t looked back. Full-size truck models alone were more than 40% of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler’s sales in April, according to Evercore ISI.” 

Of course, despite the growing dominance of larger vehicles in the U.S. marketplace in recent years, this particular win for the pickup is somewhat of a coronavirus fluke. As we noted yesterday, automakers have been offering great deals on trucks during the COVID-19 fallout in the form of no-interest loans, which has kept sales steady and in some places increased them; and simultaneously, car sales have plummeted, at least in part because of the lack of similar savings and because they’re not as “essential” of a purchase as the workhorse pickup.

In other words, don’t expect the pickup to stay on top long. Once automakers get back to business, we may even see a rare spike in the sale of reasonable sedans as purchasing habits rebound. One can only hope.

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