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Americans Still Buying Pickup Trucks Despite Pandemic

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No pandemic will stop America’s love for trucks.

When the coronavirus hit the United States, several states imposed shelter from home regulations and ordered the temporary halt of operations for various industries.

This eventually took a toll on America’s automotive market, which recorded a significant decline in passenger car sales by as much as 48.6% and 36.6% for SUVs from March to April, according to Kelley Blue Book, a car research service.

But while sales of cars and SUVs plummeted, pickup truck manufacturers are enjoying a little bit more stability. Despite sales dropping by 18.7%, the latest data show that Americans are taking advantage of low-interest financing deals offered by car companies.

In April, pickup sales even exceeded car sales for the very first time.

Red Toyota Tacoma in parking lot
The Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup sold 8.6% more units (24,853) compared to the previous year.

“They’re significantly outperforming the market,” said LMC Automotive president Jeff Schuster, a global vehicle forecasting research firm.

As of May, a few pickup models are also showing improvement despite the overall pickup sales still being down. Case in point, the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup sold 8.2% more units (11,529) compared to the previous year. The same thing applies to the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup, which rose by 8.6% with 24,853 units sold.

Analysts think that another plausible reason for the increase in sales is because states, where the most pickups were sold, are generally less affected by shutdown orders. These areas are also less populated and were not placed under quarantine orders.

“The buying demographic has been in places where shelter-in-place orders haven’t been as strict,” an analyst from car-research site Edmunds said.

Automakers in the United States have since resumed operations in their respective facilities. Shipments of other models are also continuously arriving. But it still remains to be seen how the automotive market will fare in the succeeding months.

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