Once exclusively used for hauling workloads and usually only seen on construction sites or out in the country, pickup trucks are gaining popularity across urban America.
Originally designed for heavy duty work, pickup trucks have long been a part of American culture. Many people see them as representative of the American working class and as a symbol of the American economy. However, these rough-and-tumble roots seem to be getting a bit of a makeover in recent years, as pickup trucks grow in popularity, even as luxury vehicles and suburban commuter vehicles.
Light trucks, including pickups, SUVs, and vans, outsold cars for the fifth straight year in 2017, jumping to a market share of 64.5%. Families everywhere are trading in their sedans for pickups, even in situations when the trucks aren’t being used for work. These trucks, built and designed to haul large, bulky, and heavy loads, are spending more and more time hauling groceries as pickups become a popular choice for suburban families.
So why the sharp climb in sales for these particular vehicles? Pickup truck designs are shifting to accommodate the modern consumer, with higher safety standards and more advanced features. Bed space is now being sacrificed for cab space, making room for more passengers. These changes are appealing highly to families and women; while a majority of pickups are still owned by men, the number of women registered for pickup trucks increased by 67% between 2008 and 2016.
Pickup trucks are now even being bought and shown off as luxury vehicles, with many celebrities purchasing and driving them in recent years. Wealthier pickup drivers love the full lineup of features and accessories these new luxury trucks offer, with most being as well-equipped as many modern luxury cars, if not more so. Plus, these luxury trucks have the added bonus of being able to tow other expensive “toys” around – boats, RVs, horse trailers, and more.
The pickup truck’s days as a symbol of the working class and a rough-and-tumble attitude may be nearing their end, as a new breed of luxury pickup gains popularity. While many standard pickups still are bought and sold every year, luxury trucks are on the rise and are sure to be a more common sight on the roads in the future.