US: classic, rugged pickup truck becomes luxury asset today image

Undeniably, the US auto market has returned to its good old days: gasoline is dirt cheap, automakers make an incredible amount of money and buyers swarm to purchase crossovers, SUVs and – of course – full size pickup trucks.

And because the latter also bring some of the heftiest profits in the industry, the carmakers know how to maximize them even more: offer poshed-up versions. Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler US (formerly Chrysler Group) sell pickups that can commend prices of $60,000 and up. In fact, Ford, the segment leader, sells the most as a percentage of deliveries. According to KBB.com, around 31 percent of Ford pickups go above $50,000, almost twice what Ram has – at 18 percent and way more than GM’s 12 percent figure on Silverado sales. Fiat Chrysler has caught the trend and just in time for the fast approaching Chicago Auto Show, the Ram Laramie Limited variant comes with timely upgrades – designed to snatch even more market share of the high-end and high-margin sector.

While the same thing happened during the last truck boom, analysts and industry experts believed it would never happen again – though the figures now say something else. “There’s money to be made in that $50,000 category,” comments Michelle Krebs, an analyst with KBB. Figures also show that the average selling price for a pickup has soared .5 percent to $44,036 since January 2013, as opposed to the slower climb of the average light vehicle price – up just 5.5 percent to $34,633.

Via Bloomberg