Pickup Truck Prices Continue to Climb, But That's a Good Thing

Truck Sales II

According to some industry analysts, the average price for a pickup truck is about $10,000 higher than it was just eight years ago. This is great news for the big truck makers, because sales in those segments are climbing much faster than any other automotive category.

A recent Automotive News story reported a more than 30 percent of the overall sales increase for the auto sector when compared to last year's numbers. In fact, full-size pickups are up more than 20 percent while the auto industry is up less than 10 percent — specifically, the Ford F-Series is up 21.7 percent; Chevy, up 23.9 percent; Ram, up 23.0 percent; and Toyota (combining Tacoma and Tundra) is up 19 percent.

At this rate, many of the Detroit Three marketing gurus are suggesting that the 2-million-unit level could be possible this year or next. And with housing starts and housing sales on the upswing, the full-size pickup segment looks to stay strong for a while.

It's worth noting the only manufacturer not seeing some kind of increase in sales for the 2013 is Hyundai-Kia; those manufacturers do not offer any kind of pickup truck. Sounds like this might be a good time for them to seriously consider getting into this segment, especially if it looks like it is going to be growing for a while and providing solid profit margins.

Might we suggest an inexpensive, high-quality midsize pickup with a few high-mileage power train choices?



You should aim that comment at VW or BMW. I'd buy a German truck. I don't think I could drive a Korean.

If the upward price trend continues that would open the market for mid size trucks even more. Maybe Ford and Chrysler will get back in the game too? One of the biggest complaints about mid sizes are their price. Why pay for a mid when you can get a full for the same price? This suggests there is room for a mid size truck as long as you price it right. If a full size crew (4 doors) starts at $40 grand, there is plenty of room to bring a capable mid size with 4 doors to market around $28 to $30 thousand. It works for the SUV line up and the car line up. Why not trucks?

Keep in mind: a big part of that $$$ increase is due to luxury pick ups. 8 years ago if the Luxury crowd wanted a big, plush car they bought an Escalade or Maybe a F-150 Lariat. Today, you can get the equipment of an 8 year old Lariat on the XLT and a small but financial significant portion of the market consists of the Laramie Longhorn, the F-150 Platinum, etc models.

So yeah, the *average* is a lot higher. What I want to look at is the median average, the increase in cost for the model that most people buy. Most people buy the XLT, or LT, or Big Horn models of the Ford, GM, or Ram trucks.

Or maybe, it could also have something to do with inflation? (e.g., the Fed printing $85 BILLION a month.)

I'm GM all the way, but I do want to say that I'm a very competitive person and I enjoy reading articles that show Ford and Ram doing well. At the end this brings more jobs to our Homeland.

God Bless our Country and General Motors who kick ass year after year, and that's not my opinion it's proven with facts.

In '03 I bought a Tundra SR5 for $19,5.
Today that would run about $30, after negotiation.
They used to have a harder time selling them it seemed like. They weren't really big and powerful enough for all the rednecks to buy them. But now the rednecks can't get enough of them.

I've been priced out of the segment. They keep making them bigger and bigger and putting more crap in them. That drives up the price too.

I don't have any reason to go buy a new truck (they haven't given me any reasons) but if I did, I would probably buy a used one or downsize to a "midsize"... not that those are necessarily cheaper when comparably equipped but at least you can get a stripped down one.

The only way they're going to get me to spend 30-35k on a truck is if they give me a damn good reason. And that damn good reason would be a PHEV powertrain. I'm not going to pay that kind of money for something that gets even worse gas mileage than it did 10 years ago after we've seen the price of gas quadruple.

It's a business decision for me. Trucks are just another tool I use here, not toys. The less my business spends on tools and operating them, the more we get to take home.


In 2011 I bought a 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5 DC Longbed for $32,500 (give or take) but now the very same thing would cost me closer to $40K for the same model and trim.

The only reason the cost of trucks is up is because trucks are the cash cow for any automaker and they'll jack up the price on them to whatever the market will bear, because they can.

I'm not ashamed to say that I'll pay whatever they want for the 2015 or 2016 Tundra 5.7 4-door Limited 4X4 I will be buying in the future because I like my current Tundra that much, and it is worth every penny I have to pay for it.

The fact that trucks are the best-selling segment in America should tell us all a lot, even though they may not be a great deal.

Trucks are the most versatile utilitarian vehicle anyone can own, and if you can own just one all-purpose vehicle, a trucks is the way to go. Been that way since the beginning of automotive time.


"They weren't really big and powerful enough for all the rednecks to buy them. But now the rednecks can't get enough of them."


Marcus is right. A decade ago, trucks were still built as trucks. Today, more soccer moms drive them to Piggly Wiggly and they expect luxury. Hence, the price increases.

The ratio of trucks:cars sold was this way in the late 1990s. This is nothing new.

Well,folks complaining about the new trucks rising in price should also note that your job you should also have grown in salary,if not time for a new job kids !

Furthermore,take care of your truck dont beat it up,keep it clean,waxed and it will look new for a long time.

My buddy has a 2002 Ram 2500 8.0 V-10 with 200,000 MILES and it looks and drives like new,always waxed,washed,clean inside..No motor problems no trans problems,keep the oil clean and change it often.We just did the wheel bearings and 3 years ago we put new gears in ,he wanted 4.56 gears.

Dont throw stuff inside the cab,dont put heavy items on the seats or dash ,dont jump around,slam doors,drive rough then your truck will look/drive like new for decades ! Dont throw crap in the box,place it lightly otherwise your truck will look like hell,dont lean over the box sides as you will scratch the paint to no end....If you dont like what i say then buy a new truck every other year and beat it up and dont complain about the expensive price....People always had to work hard,long hours to pay for things,even back in the day it was expensive..Nothing ever was cheap !

I bet the low interest rates help manufacturers to raise the prices,same with home prices back in the 50-80's it was 16% interest,my first truck loan was even 15% in the 80's and it cost me $27000 in todays dollars.

@ MaXx,

So you say only rednecks buy trucks ? Darn you must be upset if poor,uneducated white farmers from the south can buy a $60,000 new truck and you the educated,non white elitist cannot.I am so sorry for your hardship.

I have a truck and dont use it for work,around here people drive fullsize trucks daily,even high gas prices.We dont need it for cold weather as our weather is mainly mild,not much snow either most years none,think Seattle,Portland fairly much the same as here..Here Ford trucks are the best seller followed by RAM Trucks they outsell cars here,we love them.Mostly new canadians drive imports here.

As for size of trucks,I am a tall guy well over 6 feet and small trucks are like a childs toy,no room..

As for gas mileage,my 395 horsepower Hemi gets 18 average mpg,my old 5.9 Ram was getting 14 mpg on average.

I guess Toyota has gone backwards,time for you to own a real truck.

I love the new trucks all domestics are bigger,more powerful and loaded and get better gas mileage as you say Toyota have gotten worse,so I agree with you on that point,afterall Toyota only those people buy them lol...My RAM rides smooth like a luxury car and gets good gas mileage,hell 1980's 4 cyl mid size cars averaged 17-22 mpg !!! I will take a V-8 fullsize 5800 pound truck that does 6 flat 0-60 anyday my friend,anyday !!

Well, we've been going through this here in Australia now for the past 5 years or so. Increasing sales of pickups up to the point where the Hilux is the largest selling vehicle some months.

If pickup sales keep on in the US like they have been improving shows that your market has room for expansion. A greater range of products on offer to the consumer can only improve the pickup's position.

In Australia over the past several years we've had 4 new manufacturers enter the pickup market, this is great. Choice.

I just hope this is a sustainable increase in economic activity not just pickup sales but an improving economy in the US. As the US economy strengthens it also helps our economy.

After adjusting for inflation, the average transaction price still has increased by 8%.

In 2002 I bought a fully loaded F250 long bed ext. cab 4x2 for 30K and that was with the 7.3 litter turbo diesel. The same truck today would go low to mid 50k. I'm glad the automakers are having a booming year but with this rate of increase they are going to start pushing would be buyers away. Its already happening but not in great numbers... yet. There is a reason the average pickup on the road is 11 years old now. It has less to do with the great recession and more to do with how much higher new pickups cost verses several years ago, a cost that has not kept inline with inflation. Bottom line they are overcharging by a lot.

I only want two doors. I already have a 4-door vehicle and I don't need another. Since my truck is expressly a utility vehicle, then two doors are enough. While you guys suck through your limited incomes by buying overpriced Road Whales™, I'll buy a standard- or extended-cab "stripper" that costs $10-$15K less and does what I need.

I squawked paying $28K for my Wrangler Unlimited, I won't pay more for less and a pickup truck is less to me in every way except size.

The bigger they get and the more the price increases the better the mid-size looks.

Why are you spinning "higher prices for consumer is a good thing"? Did Ben Bernanke tell you to?

Detroit counts on this...Stupid people always overpay.
Detroit stock prices are higher due to higher pickup truck sales where the profit margins can be 25%...25%! Margins on mid size sedans are maybe 2%. Detroit will never allow their political thugs to get rid of the chicken tax!

It is BS that prices are climbing considering at least a 20% profit margin. As long as the USA truck market is protected, we will see gouging as the economy improves.

@Swordman248 makes a valid point, if full sized trucks get too expensive, that will open the door for more smaller trucks as they will be more attractive to buy with a greater margin between large and mid/small sized trucks grow.

Higher full sized truck prices will also make it more attractive for companies to import "knock down kits" to end run the 25% chicken tax. The only other way to get around the chicken tax is to figure out a way to disguise a pickup as a car and that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

I forgot to add that both USA congressmen and UAW have lobbied government to stay away from free trade negotiations with Japan and to keep the 25% chicken tax off of the table with FTA negotiations with Thailand.

"Refreshing honesty comes from a surprising camp. Four dozen democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to President Barak Obama, warning against a free trade agreement with Japan. The alleged closed market found only passing mention. The lawmakers don’t worry about exports to Japan. They are worried about imports from Japan. Says the letter:
“In an industry with razor-thin profit margins, the elimination of the 2.5 percent car tariff (as well as the 25 percent truck tariff) would be a major benefit to Japan without any gain for a vital American industry, leading to more Japanese imports, less American production and fewer American jobs.”
What Detroit is REALLY worried about is a fall of the Chicken Tax. Detroit has a near monopoly on trucks, which drive its profits.
There is one part about free trade agreements automakers the world over love: A harmonization of standards. Biegun said that the cost of designing and producing according to separate EU and U.S. safety standards was between $3 billion and $6 billion, different environmental rules added a cost of $1.5-2 billion."

UAW propaganda letter supporting the chicken tax.

Excerpt #1
· If this free trade deal reduced or eliminated the 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks, we could be flooded with a surge of imported pickup trucks from Thailand.
Excerpt #2
To prevent this, the Kildee-Quinn-Levin and Levin-Voinovich resolutions (H. Con. Res. 366; S. Con Res. 90) express the sense of Congress that negotiations on automotive issues should not be done on a piece-meal basis through bilateral trade deals (such as the U.S.-Thailand free trade deal), but rather should only be handled through comprehensive negotiations between all automobile producing nations. This effectively means that any U.S.-Thailand trade deal should not reduce or eliminate the 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks.


If the chicken tax 25% tariff is ineffective at keeping trucks out of the USA, politicians and the UAW would not be lobbying to keep it in place.

It works - The UAW knows it and so do politicians who want votes from auto workers and donations from auto companies.

Why would anyone say it doesn't work?

Truck prices are rising faster than inflation.

"Pickup Truck Prices Continue to Climb, But That's a Good Thing"

LOL! Ben Bernanke? Is that you? And what did you do with Mark Williams?

Yup. We all get to pay higher prices for pickup trucks because of terrorist scum like the UAW Terrorist Organization(TM) paying off politicians to create laws to steal from the rest of us. Filthy Parasites.


"UAW propaganda letter supporting the chicken tax."

"Propaganda" is right. The Chicken tax does absolutely nothing to save jobs or prevent a "flood" or "surge" of imported pickup. As we seen in the '80s when Japanese OEMs flooded the US with a surge of imported pickups. Where the HELL was the Chicken tax then???????????????

The propaganda is there to convince tax payers, especially UAW plant workers that politicians and UAW leaders have their 'backs' and earning their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$...

Not that a flood or surge of cheap Japanese or Thai trucks would hurt the or impact the sales of US trucks. Are you really saying they'd be in direct competition??? They would devastate Japanese car OEMs the most. And just why would they shoot themselves in the foot like that?

The '80's flood/surge of Japan import trucks was a response or even a retaliation for the "voluntary restraint agreement" (VRA) and they had everything to gain by flooding the US with a surge of cheap, cut rate import trucks to fill the void, ONLY while Japanese OEMs scrambled to put up US assembly plants for their autos. And what possible reason would they have for a repeat of the '80s import truck craze/fad/invasion?

“In an industry with razor-thin profit margins, the elimination of the 2.5 percent car tariff (as well as the 25 percent truck tariff) would be a MAJOR BENEFIT TO JAPAN without any gain for a vital American industry, leading to more Japanese imports, less American production and fewer American jobs.”

Really? Japanese OEMs already build their bread & butter autos in the US. AND it's a cost benefit to build in the US. Get a clue already....................

Trucks are the family sedan for the modern world. I wouldn't even want a car. You have 4wd, plenty of room for the family, 4 doors, can haul things including groceries with a topper, can tow things if needed and have a safe vehicle you can feel confident in. And sure prices have gone up for trims, why wouldn't you want a loaded truck unless it's for fleet duty? On a personal vehicle, I'm loading mine up. Platinum trim and all. If you're spending that much money, you might as well spend a little more and be happy making the payment while really enjoying your ride.

A lot of people don't make payments but count on a truck retaining its resale value for when they trade to buy a new one. I was surprised to learn how much my 2009 F350 Diesel is worth if I trade it in on a brand new one, next model year.

I'm risking big repair bills if I keep my 2009 much longer. We had six warranty incidents that would have cost me a bunch of money had they happened after the warranty expired.

It's good news in a perverse way that prices are rising.

"Trucks are the family sedan for the modern world."

Trucks are not cars. I actually want gas to go up so we can get these low-MPG beasts back where they belong: slimmed down and reserved for work. Today's trucks are cartoons: too tall and too big. Most of these "trucks" don't even have real beds (ie. 6.5 feet or longer).

It's time for a hard-working pickup for $20K new, without all the comfort-oriented crap. It is amusing to see these shiny rigs carrying around fat dudes who I'd wear out on the farm in 10 minutes.

Until cheap work trucks re-emerge, I'll be buying used trucks to beat up as they do work. That's what a truck is for.

I am old school an I can't belive a pickup is worth 30 to 50 thousands dollars I bought a new GMC4X4 in 89 for 16 thousand and thought that was high. But I couldn't buy a new truck now. I live on a f I xed income . I just think our world has gone nuts. Prices are way to high on every thing our wages have not kept up. Why pay that much for a truck it's just nuts.

A pick up truck is supposed to be a work vehicle meant to haul lumber, farm produce, animal feed, equipment and parts, scrap iron, fertilizer (including manure) and other such things, not a passenger car, and the price should be lower than that of a passenger car and should also be a durable vehicle, made with heavy guage steel and ruggedness. .Something is wrong in the engineering of them, the pricing and buying market for the now, so called, but not, pick up, trucks that will bend with the first real load placed in them.

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