CarGurus Releases 2020 Pickup Truck Sentiment Study
Analysis shows several bright spots for popular vehicle segment, but affordability concerns remain amid pandemic
The study’s major findings include that the COVID-19 pandemic may have helped spur pickup truck sales over the course of 2020, and that younger car shoppers are a main reason for this trend:
- 26% of those who bought a pickup truck during the pandemic had not planned to before. Among them, over half (15%) were originally planning to buy a car, but decided to buy a truck instead.
- Younger shoppers helped fuel the pickup truck demand, and pandemic truck buyers were 24% more likely to be Generation Z or millennial.
- These younger truck buyers were also more likely to say that the vehicle was for road trips (40% vs. 31% of other pandemic buyers), was purchased to treat themselves (29% vs. 18%), and they were more likely to cite their stimulus check as a driver to purchase the truck (24% vs. 15%).
Despite the optimism stemming from pandemic truck purchasers, the “CarGurus 2020 Truck Sentiment Study” also uncovered potential headwinds in the category:
- Affordability issues have been continuously pushing owners out of the pickup truck category with 17% of truck owners noting they probably won’t buy another truck.
- Despite new interest in pickup trucks from younger shoppers, 20% of current Gen Z/millennial truck owners said they probably won’t buy another one vs. 12% of older truck owners.
- Two-thirds (66%) of truck owners say if their preferred brand increased prices by
$10,000, they would switch brands.
The study also discovered that the future for the segment appears to be bright with current truck owners expressing excitement around electric pickups. The also data showed that younger truck owners are showing signs of preference towards the newer electric truck brands:
- In September 34% of current truck owners say they will probably/definitely own an electric pickup truck in the next ten years and 23% in the next five years. These results are consistent with pre-pandemic results from February, 33% and 22%, respectively.
- Gen Z/millennial truck owners are over two times more likely to expect to own an electric truck in the next five years when compared to older truck owners (30% vs. 12%).
- The same age cohort of younger consumers are also two times more likely to consider a truck from category-newcomers like Tesla (32% vs. 14%),
Rivian(11% vs. 4%) or Hummer (13% vs 6%) when compared to older truck owners.
“Our study shows a tale of two different pickup truck trends. While there is certainly excitement for these vehicles among consumers, that is offset by those that have affordability concerns,” said
The full results of the
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Source: CarGurus, Inc.