A triple whammy has hit the pickup truck market and many people in the auto industry feel it is over for good:
1. rising fuel costs,
2. a terrible economy,
3. just plane changing consumer tastes.
About ½ of the pickup market has evaporated over the past 12 years and those former truck buyers are not likely to return. The big pickup has been down-and-out many times before but has always managed to stage a comeback whenever times were good.
The volatile economy has eroded consumer confidence. Couple that erosion of confidence with the growing acceptance that gas is never going to be "cheap" again and you can see why many feel the “age of the big pickup truck is over".
Pickup trucks made up about 12% of industry sales in 2010 but more consumers are shifting away from big pickups and opting for mid-sized "crossover" vehicles like the Chevy Equinox and the Buick Enclave. These vehicles offer big cargo and passenger capacities, but are smaller and more fuel efficient. They get about 24 miles per gallon which is about 50% more than that of pickups.
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