The past few months have been especially troublesome for the automotive industry. With only a few exceptions, vehicle manufacturers were facing steep declines in sales. August sales, on the other hand, have provided some good news. Midsize and large-pickup sales have rebounded from a dip, posting generous increases over the previous month.
Many analysts, and even GM’s Mark LaNeve, attribute the shift to dropping fuel prices. LaNeve, vice president of sales for GM North America, told Automotive News, “With the recent moderation of fuel prices, we're seeing some relaxation of pent-up demand in pickups and utilities.”
For midsize trucks, the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger were leading sellers. Nissan’s Frontier and Honda’s Ridgeline also made considerable jumps. On the fullsize side, the Chevrolet Silverado returned total sales of 55,765 units. Not only was this the leading pickup but also the No. 1 selling vehicle in total sales, ahead of the Toyota Camry.
LaNeve followed with, "We're not indicating or pretending in any way that the truck market is snapping back. I think we saw the bottom and are going to start scratching our way up to numbers that are improving."
With the light-duty pickup segment representing one of the largest vehicle niches in the specialty-equipment industry, these results could provide some breathing room in a struggling economy.
For more specialty-equipment market research, please visit www.sema.org/research.