With April pickup truck sales closing strong, especially for all three Detroit truck makers, it's no wonder everyone is trying to figure out why.
At a recent presentation at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant, where the automaker is expanding F-150 production, Doug Scott, Ford's truck group marketing manager, said that the best leading indicator Ford has seen regarding truck sales are the government's numbers on new housing starts.
Ford's data indicates that F-Series pickup truck sales and new residential construction are about as closely tied together as you can get. In fact, with only a few exceptions — mostly due to the seasonal buying habits of truck buyers — as housing starts have gone, so have full-size truck sales. And that relationship goes back to at least 13 years.
When questioned at a local media gathering in Southern California last month, Scott was wary of making any predictions about how closely tied these two numbers will be in the future, but he was optimistic about Ford truck sales during the next 12 and 18 months.
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