It’s very interesting to see how the US auto industry’s revival is once again supported by the segment that was going towards the grave according to many – the hulking full-size pickup trucks.
Back in 2009 after the economic crisis chewed its way through the world’s economy, US automakers were shown the bill – build hybrids, kill trucks. They didn’t do exactly that and they are thoroughly compensated – the pickups and SUVs are selling very well and bring fat earnings to the company vaults.
Meanwhile, the hybrids are going the opposite way – with many buyers skipping the eco-conscious buy because the technology hasn’t advanced enough yet and the costs remain very high. The segment could get a new life if plug-in hybrids swarm, but so far the carmakers (for the most part) are only planning, not delivering.
According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national US average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has reached just $3.04 – that means many states are well below the $3 per gallon mark. And not coincidentally, September has shown 18.5% jump for pickup sales, according to Autodata. For the same period, the most popular hybrid out there – Toyota’s Prius – has gone down around 10%. According to analysts at TrueCar, the incentive that a carmaker typically shells for hybrids is now even bigger than for conventionally powered cars.