If you want to know why the Big Three Detroit automakers — GM, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler — are selling so many pickup truck and banking the profits from these all-American vehicles, look no farther than a simple statistic.
The average are of a vehicle on the US road is more than 11 years.
That’s practically unprecedented, a hangover from the financial crisis, and a big driver of booming car sales in 2014 and 2015.
Americans don’t drive old cars. But for years, they have been, hemmed in by a weak economy, job losses, and tight credit.
The situation is even more stunning on the pickup truck front.
According to Ford CEO Mark Fields, 50 per cent of the pickups in the US fleet are 10 years old or older.
And 25 per cent are 20 years old or older. (Fields remarked on the age of US pickups during the Ford’s third-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.)
America has become the home of the free and the land of the totally beat-to-crap truck.
That’s good news for Ford, however. The automaker builds the F-150 full-size pickup, for decades the bestselling vehicle in the US. And after taking a big risk by re-engineering the mighty F-Series to include more lightweight aluminium, Ford is ready to sell a brand-new truck to all those people whose old F-150 is celebrating a 20th birthday.
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