U.S. Pickup Sales Top Passenger Car Sales For the First Time

Published on May 6, 2020 in News by Guillaume Rivard

It had to happen sooner or later. And apparently, that time is now.

For the first time ever in the U.S., pickup sales (186,000) reportedly exceeded passenger car sales (169,000) during the month of April. That represents a difference of 17,000 units.

Of course, we need to be cautious with those numbers. The announcement was made yesterday by market research firm Autodata Corp., but just like the latest Canadian sales compiled by Desrosiers Automotive Consultants, we’re looking at an estimate more than the real picture.

The reason is simple: Detroit’s Big 3 and several other automakers have abandoned monthly sales reporting to focus on quarterly results. We’ll have to wait until early July to get more accurate figures for this spring.

Photo: William Clavey

Just five years ago, cars outsold pickups by more than half a million units in a single month in the U.S. Since then, numerous models have been dropped. With low gas prices aiding, pickups—along with SUVs—have taken over.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely hit the East Coast and the state of New York in particular, where cars are usually much more popular. In the heart of the country, where shutdown orders have had less of an impact, pickup sales have remained strong. Moreover, new 0-percent financing offers are proving to be a powerful incentive to choose a Silverado over a Malibu, for example.

According to Automotive News, the situation is such now that many U.S. dealers are starting to run out of stocks and more and more customers are placing orders for pickups that are not yet in production due to the idled assembly lines.

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