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The US Pickup Truck Market

Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by valiant67, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Where is the sales growth in the pickup truck market?

    Lifestyle trucks are a non-starter. Hopefully FCA won't try an entry for the US market in this category.

    Full size pickups are selling in the same volume they did in 2005. While we (followers of FCA) think full size pickup sales are growing rapidly, the truth is they are growing slowly overall but Ram is gaining sales that other brands (like Chevrolet ans Nissan) have lost. For the last 7 years, overall growth in the full size truck market is in the single digits per year.

    Midsize pickups are the area seeing rapid growth. Growth has averaged 20% per year the past 5 years. Even with Gladiator and Ranger coming on line, the older entries in the market still sold well. There's lots of room for Ranger and Gladiator to grow sales (especially if Gladiator price is adjusted) r, there's no better time than now for a new Dakota.

    Was 2019 a boom for pickup trucks? Yes, but not a record (at https://www.autobison.com/2020/02/was-2019-a-boom-for-pickup-trucks-yes-but-not-a-record/ )
     
    #1 valiant67, Feb 20, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  2. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    It's funny that lifestyle trucks have never caught on. Even the El Camino didn't last, though they bring in big money today. Most people never tow or take their trucks offroad or come close to the payload. It's as though every Challenger had a 6.4 or 6.2 Hemi...
     
  3. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I think it's that they can't always handle the bulk, not the weight, of what some people want to carry. With trucks being so expensive these days, people are unwilling to buy something with space limitations on transport.
     
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  4. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Great analysis!

    IMO, the issue with lifestyle trucks is that they make their owners look wimpy the moment they need their trucks to do something truck-like. It’s not unlike having a Corvette with a 90 hp motor.

    Honda can afford to sell 40,000 Ridgelines/year and still make money. It is based on Pilot/Odyssey, and even shares the same assembly line.

    Gladiator is a different type of lifestyle pickup in that it claims to do macho stuff, like crawl over rocks and run across the desert. However, long-term JT’s lifestyle positioning is going to remain a challenge, particularly in light of the volumes and prices FCA now expects it to fetch.

    Let’s face it: JT is sitting on a 200,000-unit plant capacity. As long as that remains the case, FCA is going to feel pressured to push hard on JT production. Like Mark suggests, a solution may be for FCA to launch a Dakota to be built alongside Gladiator: Dakota could take the role of the traditional truck that brings the volume, freeing Gladiator to be the niche player that commands the Hollywood dollars.
     
    #4 aldo90731, Feb 20, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The really odd thing about the Chevy El Camino was that in many cases it had a lower payload than the 4 cylinder FWD Dodge Rampage!
     
  6. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I got a great deal last summer on a Ram 1500. I really like the truck, but at times the size is simply overwhelming.

    I'm seriously considering going down south and finding a nice 2000-2004 or 2008-2010 Dakota quad cab. Or hoping Gladiator prices drop a little more in the next year or so.
     
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  7. hmk123

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    I saw a news clip saying there is a new millennial trend back into the urban less crowded areas. And am sure they will all want to drive Jeep Wranglers. FCA just prepared itself for when the boom accelerates... :) Just wait until you see LA style traffic jams on the Rubicon. :)
     
  8. pug-man

    pug-man Well-Known Member

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    Our ram crew is great....am I a blue collar worker using the bed to the max every day?
    No. There are many features I don't milk every day. But when I do need it it's damned convenient.
    For us it's more about dealing with winter, ground clearance, 4x4, being able to get to work no matter what being on call, better visibility.

    ValiaNt67 I agree the size of ram can be challenging in urban settings. Having owned a 03 Dakota quad it was more nimble...easier to park
     
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  9. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    We live out in the sticks in Delaware, so a full size would work well out here. In fact, I almost get run over daily by the local morons in their lifted trucks who have no idea how to drive them...speed limits are just a suggestion to them...and keeping in their lane is optional. But I have a long commute up to Philly, and city driving and parking is not the ideal environment for a full size pickup.

    Plus, I want a Jeep. I would consider another midsize if I had to, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

    It always amazed me that people were so adamant that the “midsize market” wasn’t big enough for more entries back before Gladiator arrived and before Ranger returned. I understood the rationale, but if you really think about it, the market for any segment is as limitless as the number of paying customers. Any customer could potentially buy any type of vehicle depending on their current or future needs +/- wants. We may be seeing full size customers switch to midsize trucks, but there are Wrangler customers buying Gladiators, and I’d bet that sedan customers are buying midsize trucks too.

    To illustrate, take me for example. Our current vehicles are an Encore, an A3, and a Mustang. Even my old Liberty. Knowing that, what would you think our next vehicle purchase be? Another small or sporty car? Another CUV? Would anyone guess that a midsize truck would be on the list?

    Customer want & needs change over time depending on their life situations. Predicting what they’ll want or need, or convincing them that they want or need what you’re selling is key. It ain’t easy, that’s for sure.
     
  10. wvutuba

    wvutuba Well-Known Member

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    I definitely would love to see a Dakota brought to market, but it would be interesting to see how they would position it. If they try to make it a volume vehicle that has some commonality with the Gladiator, will they offer a (relatively) inexpensive 4x4 version? And if that vehicle shares some with Gladiator, will consumers be able to easily customize it with aftermarket parts? Sure, this theoretical Dakota may have IFS and not be as capable off road as its Jeep counterpart, but how many people (myself included) really need all of the off road prowess a Jeep has to offer?

    I do think there would be a bit of irony if consumers started to flock towards a less expensive 4x4 Dakota versus a Jeep which carries a premium price tag.
     
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  11. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    The Problem with the Ridgeline is the high price. If you need to haul or tow super heavy loads then you need a full size. But most suburban warriors need it to move a lawn mower or some bags of mulch. A caravan pr Pacifica base truck would be perfect.
     
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  12. aldo90731

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    Gladiator’s main draw would be the image-seeking buyers with its unmistakeable Jeep styling, removable top and doors, big tires and stickers. A Dakota would appeal to traditional pickup buyers who don’t want the size and heft of a 1500; it’d look like a baby Ram, with a fixed steel roof, air-cheating windshield and headlights, smaller tires and wheels for easier ingress/egress and yes, IFS for better handling, etc. It’s main role would be to do truck things in a more purposeful and efficient way. Perhaps offer two bed lengths.

    Entry price of Dakota would be in the mid $20,000s, to compete with Ford and Chevrolet. That is $15,000 less than a Gladiator Sport with automatic and a hardtop (~$40,000).

    If anything, Dakota’s main competition might be a stripped 1500, as is usually the case with Compact pickups.

    With Dakota taking care of the volume and utilizing most of that plant capacity, Gladiator can be left to being the eccentric, expensive and exclusive relative.
     
    #12 aldo90731, Feb 21, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  13. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Active Member

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  14. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    Put a Ram badge on it and bring it here, it even looks like a Ram already.
     
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  15. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Active Member

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    Funny you should say that. I was thinking the same thing as I was watching the video.
     
  16. sickboy

    sickboy Well-Known Member

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    A Dakota could work very well as a volume truck, think work truck. The kind you’re company might use for deliveries. You get fleet version with rubber mats and base radio/info system. And consumer grade, with two or three trim levels.
    But keep options and prices low. And have plenty of room to upgrade and customize. As in, can you buy a larger touch screen and put in better speakers? How about a sub? Switch to gladiator shocks? Can you switch out the mats and seats for carpet and leather? Mopar can supply it all, and make all the money back.
     
  17. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Looks great! But how’s that thing’s reputation for long-term durability?

    Hilux’s global reputation rests on its virtually indestructibility which, btw, is the bulls eye of consumer demand for pickups.

    If PSA were to bring that nice looking pickup truck ove here, more than slapping a Ram badge onto it, it ought to make sure the truck delivers on what pickup buyers want: being virtually indestructible.
     
  18. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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  19. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    BTW, Hyundai has been looking into bringing a pickup to the US on-and-off for 10+ years.

    The latest reports are that Hyundai is working on bringing a small, unibody pickup to be called Santa Cruz.
    [​IMG]

    Goes to show that no matter how global a company’s reach or how deep its pockets, it is still entitled to making its share of mistakes.
     
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  20. Bajanbuoy

    Bajanbuoy Durango Dave!
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    The problem with "Lifestyle" trucks is not so much that they make the owners feel wimpy, it's because for the most part they are ugly and their proportions are ungainly. Nearly half of auto sales are women,... and for the most part, they do not care about appearing wimpy because of things like payload and towing.... However, they do care if it is ugly... The Santa Cruz concept is probably one of the best looking designs I have seen for a "Lifestyle" pick up.
     

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