"Here's a News Flash for People Who Are Expecting the Full-size Pickup Market to Come Back: Those People Are Gone."

heres a news flash for people who are expecting the full size pickup market to come

Ford CEO Alan Mulally's turnaround plan might not be able to overcome the weight of history, but these guys sure seem to have a handle on, gulp, reality. To wit: FoMoCo analyst George Pippas' [above] acknowledgment of the American consumer's shift away from pickup trucks. Pippas' remarks come via BusinessWeek, which reports that April light truck sales (pickups, minivans, SUVs and crossovers) dropped by 17.4 percent across the board. That's compared to an overall passenger car increase of 4.5 percent. And a total new vehicle sales decrease of 7.8 percent, to 4,819,709 units. So, what does GM make of the pickup truck cash cow barbecue? "We certainly think the pickup truck market will bounce [back], but it's hard to say how quickly and how high that will go," pronounced Marketing Maven Mark LaNeve. Chrysler? "We don't see this market as a sea change against pickup trucks," spokesmouth Stuart Schorr said. "But it is a challenge. That's why we're developing hybrids, for instance. But Americans will continue to want pickup trucks." Toyota used PR-speak to split the difference between realism and delusion. ""Consumers are delaying their purchases now," admits ToMoCo GM Bob Carter. "But it's going to recover in the future." One thing for sure: the future isn't now. [thanks to jthorner for the link]

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 04, 2008

    I stopped by several dealerships today - Ford, GMC, Toyota, and Chevrolet. ALL were packed with pickups, and two were open for business. Fusions and Corollas were observed coming back from test drives. I think that pickups will still sell in big numbers but not yesterday's big numbers. Even at a 30% reduction in sales, we are still talking big numbers. Tradespeople, industry, and those who simply will not buy anything else will support a large number but the manufacturing infrastructure is now geared for too much capacity. So a shakeout in production capacity is inevitable. Those who purchase trucks for reasons other than true "need" are the ones who are gone for good.

  • CB1000R CB1000R on May 05, 2008

    I live in the country. Lot's of second/third-hand pickups and SUVs around, taxing themselves to the tune of 5-10 mpg. I wouldn't care much if they weren't a danger to everyone else. Especially on Friday/Saturday nights when during the course of bar hopping they plow into the guard rails and flip and injure/kill themselves, and unfortunately, others. The ones that aren't incapacitiated or dead go out and buy another used pickup/SUV and raise it they next day or within a week. It's a seemingly endless cycle out here in East Bumfuck. I keep thinking the supply of used pickup/SUVs will run out, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. Folks out here just don't buy cars. If they make it to their 40s and 50s, they may at least become responsible drivers. I suspect his is why my insurance went UP when I moved from the city/inner burbs.

  • Geeber Geeber on May 05, 2008
    thx_ztec: Actually the “cheapest” way to stay in San Diego is to buy a beach house, you can stay for “free”. Except that you are paying for the house, not to mention property taxes and utilities (even when you aren't using it). That hardly sounds like "free" to me. menno and BKW: There is some controversy as to who designed the 1949 Ford. For the postwar program, as originally envisioned by Edsel Ford and stylist Bob Gregorie, there was to be a "big" Ford and a "little" Ford. Both were designed by Bob Gregorie, who had designed most of the prewar Fords and the Lincoln Continental. Edsel Ford died in 1943, which meant that this postwar plan lost its champion and Gregorie lost his chief patron. Henry Ford II was released early from the Navy to run the Ford Motor Company, thanks to intervention from his mother (Edsel's widow) and grandmother. The federal government actually feared that the Ford Motor Company, an important supplier of war material, would collapse if Herny Ford I were allowed to run it, as he had suffered a few strokes and was 80 years old in 1943. Believe it or not, there was even talk of the federal government taking over the Ford Motor Company and arranging its sale to Studebaker! After Henry II was released from the Navy, his grandfather and Harry Bennett attempted to undermine him, so his mother threatened to sell her stock (Ford was 100-percent privately owned at that time) if Henry Ford I didn't step aside in favor of her son. He did, and Henry Ford II fired Harry Bennett and brought in Ernie Breech to run the company. Breech immediately decided that the big Ford was too big, and the little Ford couldn't be sold at a profit. The big Ford became the 1949 Mercury. What was to be the 1949 Mercury became the 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, only without the hidden headlights. Hence, the "sunken eye" appearance of the 1949 Lincolns, as those headlights were originally supposed to be covered. A proposed second-generation Continental was killed. The little Ford was sent to France as the Ford Vedette. Breech set up a competition between Bob Gregorie and George Walker's group, retained on contract, to design the 1949 Ford. Some of Walker's men worked with unemployed Studebaker stylist Dick Caleal to finalize the 1949 Ford. The clay was completed in Caleal's kitchen. Caleal had some input on the design, but it was not entirely his. Breech had also demanded that both teams use the 1947 Studebaker, designed by Raymond Loewy, as the size template for the new Ford. In the immediate postwar years, the 1947 Studebaker was the most advanced American car in the styling department. The Champion models were also noted for their economy and light construction. Remember that there was a great fear that the end of war production would throw the economy into another depression, as happened after World War I. Decent fuel economy and low price were paramount. At the same time, Americans still wanted a car that didn't look too small (hence, the decision to send the little Ford to Europe). In that environment, it made sense to look at the 1947 Studebaker as a template for Ford's first all-new postwar car. The model produced by George Walker's group was ultimately chosen. Gregorie resigned, went to Florida, and designed yachts. Walker was later named head of Ford styling. Note, however, that before he resigned, Gregorie had also designed Ford's first all-new postwar pickup, which debuted even before the all-new 1949 Ford. Those trucks are very attractive and are becoming collectible, too.

  • BKW BKW on May 05, 2008

    The Deuce (Henry II) was brought in as prez of FoMoCo because the War Production Board deemed 'ol Henry unreliable. When Henry balked at making his grandson prez, Clara said she would sell her Ford Stock if 'ol Henry didn't relent. The first thing The Deuce did when he became prez was to fire Bennett and all the members of the "Service Dept" ..Ford's in-house security service known as Bennett's "goon squad." Thanks for the ref on Dick Caleal, I couldn't remember that name for the life of me. btw: I'm also a Ford car/truck collector, and spend a good portion of my day (I'm retired) on two Ford truck websites created for owners/enthusuasts of old/new trucks, Broncos, and etc.