Pickup truck sales are expected to outpace the broader U.S. auto market this year helped by a recovering housing market and a slew of new models from the three big U.S. automakers, executives and analysts said on Sunday (Feb. 10).
Reuters reported that revamped models from General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC will be on view this week at the Detroit auto show.
Ford and GM are fierce competitors in the full-size pickup segment where profit margins are larger compared to cars. Pickup trucks made up about 11% of the U.S. market last year, well below the historical average of 17%.
“The pickup truck sector is poised to outperform the rest of the market this year,” said Citi analyst Itay Michaeli at a conference of the Society of Automotive Analysts.
Analysts said gas prices were unlikely to surge this year, which would support truck sales. Micheali said that a mix of pent-up demand and new models will drive pickup sales this year.
GM is counting on a new version of its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks to show investors and car buyers that the No.1 U.S. automaker is back on track after its $50 billion U.S. taxpayer-funded bailout in 2009.
GM’s new trucks are on view Monday, along with a new RAM 1500 pickup from Chrysler. GM’s arch rival in the pickup truck market, Ford, will tease a concept version of its upcoming F-150 truck Tuesday. The F-150 will be built for the 2015 model year.
“The majority of pickup vehicles on the road are about to be redesigned,” Micheali said. “The product cycle will unleash demand.”