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Cheaper Gas Inspires Shoppers to Reconsider Trucks

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer July 2011

With gas prices going down, trucks and SUVs are making a comeback. So says AutoTrader.com's June Trend Engine Report, which examined consumer searches and other activity on the website last month. According to the report, full-size pickups saw the highest increase in consumer interest in June, while compact cars declined in popularity.

Leading the charge among full-size pickups was Ford's F-series. Among the most-searched new vehicles, the heavy-duty F-250 moved up five spots from number 18 in May to number 13 last month. The F-250 also moved up two spots among the most-searched used vehicles to end June in sixth place, while its F-150 stablemate unseated the BMW 3 series as the most-searched used vehicle overall.

But it wasn't just Ford whose large pickups gained popularity in June. The heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado 2500 moved up six places among the most-search new vehicles, going from 24th place to 18th. And the Dodge Ram 1500 jumped four spots, from 13th to 9th. Among used vehicle searches, both light- and heavy-duty versions of the Silverado also had moderate increases.

Increased search activity for large pickups is surprising as gas prices continue to average above $3.50 per gallon nationwide. While that's certainly down from recent peaks of around $4.00, gas prices are still higher than averages from the beginning of the year, which hovered just above $3.00 per gallon.

That may be an indication that consumers think gas prices are still falling - a theory supported by a drop in searches for fuel-efficient compact and midsize cars. According to the Trend Engine Report, search activity for used Honda Civics and Accords, Volkswagen Jettas and Nissan Altimas declined last month, as did interest in new compacts like the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. Only sports cars remained steady, with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro continuing their dominance as the first- and second-most searched new vehicles overall.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Cheaper Gas Inspires Shoppers to Reconsider Trucks - Autotrader