Supersize trucks are selling so well that manufacturers are rushing out new versions, like Nissan's Titan King Cab. (CNS PHOTO COURTESY OF NISSAN)
As gasoline prices go up, sales of gas guzzlers go down. Right?
Apparently not, if you're talking about big pickup trucks. Though sales of some pickups seem to be stalling as gas prices increase, sales of the biggest pickups seem to be heading toward record levels. In fact, the bigger a pickup is, the heavier it is and the pricier it is, the better it seems to be selling.
Take for instance
Ford said it conducted research into what was driving the pickup market. They found, "Buyers want maximum luxury, V8 power, ultra sport, uncompromised utility."
Dodge is said to be studying an 8-foot bed for its Mega Cab models. The popular Mega Cab is hampered somewhat by only offering a 6.3-foot bed. When creating the Mega Cab - reportedly the biggest in the industry - Dodge cut a foot and a half out of the bed and lengthened the cab by a corresponding amount. It's selling well despite the bed limitations, fuel economy in the low teens, and a sticker price that starts at $40,540.
All these top-line trucks, with options, can push $50,000. But they are far from the most expensive models on the market. Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge all offer larger heavy-duty trucks that, while they sell in smaller volumes, do more and cost more. They also sell well, regardless of gas prices. In fact, models like Dodge's Ram 2500 and 3500 models, especially those with Cummins Diesel engines, have almost a cult following.
There are also the luxury liners of the industry. Lincoln, which flubbed in the truck market a few years ago with its now-discontinued $52,000 Blackwood pickup, is back with an F-150-based LT model that has a base price of $41,495.
But at this end of the market, lowering your price doesn't necessarily translate to increased sales. A good case in point: Cadillac's Escalade EXT just keeps going up in price, setting records for what can be charged for a pickup. The EXT now starts at $53,975 and can easily top $60,000 fully loaded. Buyers, Cadillac notes, "can't get enough of 'em."