It makes sense: If you have more competition, pricing among the competitors will be tight and as low as the various manufacturers can afford. Just look at the compact and midsize car segments. There are as many as 15 to 20 competitors thrashing it out against each other, cage-match style. For the most part, what consumers get is a pretty good bang-for-the-buck proposition.
Now look at the full-size pickup truck segment, with relatively few competitors, a strong brand loyalty component and a governmental safety net (a 50-year tariff of 25 percent on imported pickups) that practically forces any serious import truck makers to invest in expensive production plants in this country.
According to The Detroit News, some experts think that the stronghold U.S. pickup truck makers have on the full-size truck market adds several thousand dollars to the average price of a pickup for U.S. truck buyers. In fact, the story reports that the average new-truck price for a full-size pickup has far outpaced (more than doubled) the price increases seen in all other vehicles.
Ongoing negotiations regarding a free-trade agreement between 11 countries (including Japan, which much drop trade barriers that discriminate against the U.S. for things to move forward) and the U.S. still have many obstacles to overcome, but the possibility of removing the "chicken tax," as the tariff is called, does look like it is on the table. Clearly, brand loyalty will always play a significant role in the full-size segment, but more competition would be nice for lowering prices and getting more features on new trucks.