Overall new pickup sales between January and August 2008 declined by 24% compared to last year. Despite the drop, more than 1.4 million new pickups have entered the market since the beginning of this year, adding to the 40 million-plus pickups already on the roads today, according to R.L. Polk vehicle registration data.
With such a large population of pickup owners today, SEMA members selling to the light-truck market could benefit by focusing their marketing and product development efforts on consumers that own older pickups.
High gas and diesel prices have plagued pickup owners this year, and these consumers are doing what they can to help alleviate some of the pain at the pumps. According to SEMA’s latest Automotive Lifestyles study, 63% of all pickup owners said that they purchased specialty equipment that could help improve the fuel economy of their vehicles. According to survey responses, enthusiasts purchased products including air intakes, exhaust kits, programmers and tonneau covers to help gain better mileage from their pickups, according to survey responses.
Current pickup owners are already telling the specialty-equipment industry that they want better fuel economy from their vehicles, so as new pickups hit the streets, opportunities for future sales could lie ahead. The table below shows which pickup models are current top sellers.
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