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Consumer Interest in Full-Size Pickups is Growing

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer January 2012
  • More consumers are searching for full-size pickups.
  • Increased searching for pickups is likely a sign of economic growth.
  • Interest in compact cars is decreasing.

Growing consumer interest in full-size pickups is a positive sign of increased economic growth. That's the latest from AutoTrader.com's monthly New Car Insights Report, which analyzes search activity on the leading automotive marketplace to reveal trends in new car shopping activity.

According to January's report, full-size pickups like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram showed major year-over-year increases in search activity. The report also pointed to boosted consumer interest in the entire full-size pickup segment and higher average asking prices as examples of increased consumer interest in trucks and overall economic growth as a whole.

"Full-size trucks are closely associated with many work-related endeavors, leading us to believe that the strong renewed interest in these vehicles is a leading indicator that green blades of grass are beginning to shoot through the snow in this segment," said Rick Wainschel, AutoTrader.com's vice president of automotive insights.

Indeed, search activity in December showed that interest in the full-size truck segment increased by a whopping 5.4 points over the previous year and an impressive 7.2 points compared to December 2009. In contrast, last month's search activity for budget-restrictive compact cars decreased by 5 points versus December 2009, another indicator that consumers are beginning to loosen their purse strings in the search for a new car.

The New Car Insights Report also showed that nine of last month's top 20 most viewed vehicles on AutoTrader.com were full-size pickups. The Ford F-150, which typically tops the list of the site's most viewed vehicles, did so again in December, while several variants of the F-150 and rivals from Chevrolet, Dodge and GMC joined it on the list. According to the report, four of those variants didn't appear among the most-searched vehicles during the same period last year, again proving that consumers are increasing their interest in full-size pickups.

But it isn't just pickups consumers are looking to buy. Other models that ranked high among the top 20 most searched new vehicles in December include the Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Camaro, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Challenger.

What it means to you: Increased interest in full-size trucks is further proof that the economy is starting to recover, slowly but surely.

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.
Consumer Interest in Full-Size Pickups is Growing - Autotrader