Truck Buyers Upgrade to Bigger Models

By: Stacey Wilson

Several midsize owners are now shifting to bigger models. In addition, a significant number of which stays with same car manufacturer. With this apparent condition, automotive analysts are advising automakers to invest more on midsize pickups.

J.D. Power and Associates, an auto research firm said: midsize pickups are one of two segments in the automotive industry that reliably funnel consumers into predictable -- and more lucrative -- models later. The other so-called feeder category is compact cars.

It has also been found out by the firm that midsize pickups such as Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado contribute significantly to boost the sales of bigger models. Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for J.D. Power's Power Information Network noted, "Almost every third midsize pickup owner trades that vehicle in for a large pickup. About 31 percent of consumers who trade in a midsize pickup buy a large pickup, Libby reports. Another 28 percent trade the vehicle in for another midsize pickup."

Toyota Tacoma, a compact pickup truck, is the replacement of Stout. were radically updated. The new version incorporated new suspension, body, frame and engines. Consequently, incorporated new generation engines that include 2.9 L LLV I4 and 3.7 L LLR, to improve the performance of Colorado.

"Tacoma is now No. 1 in that midsize segment," Libby said. "This is good for Toyota. It has developed this pool of consumers that, based on history, will go to a full-size pickup. Toyota is building a very likely funnel of buyers." Additionally, just more 40 percent of Tacoma buyers trade the vehicle for another pickup - 28 percent of Tacoma buyers trade the pickup for another Tacoma while 12.3 percent trade them in for Tundra.

Chevy Colorado is the second in the line for brand loyalty. It has 36.3 percent of buyers who trade in a Colorado for another Chevy pickup - 22.6 percent purchase Silverado while 13.7 percent purchase another Colorado. Ford retains 31.5 percent, Nissan, 26.9 percent, and Dodge with 25.3 percent.

"For the most part, the Big Three have basically said, 'We're not making money here; there is no money in small pickup trucks,' " Merkle said. "That's been Ford's argument. ... You could say they're right. But I'm concerned, not for next year, or the year after that ... but 10 years from now, that Toyota could be a force in the pickup segment."

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