November 30, 2004

Full-size pickup owners most loyal – survey

Westlake Village, California – Owners of full-size pickup trucks have become increasingly loyal to the segment in the past two years, and are now the most segment-loyal customers in the industry, according to actual trade-in data from the U.S.-based Power Information Network (PIN).

PIN actual transaction data indicate that heavy-duty full-size pickup owners and light-duty full-size pickup owners now rank first and second, respectively, when measured by the propensity to trade for another vehicle in the same segment.

“More than one-half of all full-size pickup owners are now trading for another one, which substantially surpasses segment loyalty rates for all other segments except full-size SUV, which maintains about one-half of its owner base,” said Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at the Power Information Network.

Among current heavy-duty full-size pickup owners, 63 percent will trade in their truck for a similar vehicle. While that percentage of loyal buyers is down from 67 percent in 2002, the rate of loyalty among light-duty full-size pickup owners has increased from 50 percent in 2002 to 58 percent in 2004.

One of the major reasons for the increase in light-duty full-size pickup loyalty is that fewer light-duty pickup owners are moving to heavy-duty pickups. In 2002, 19 percent of light-duty pickup owners moved into a heavy-duty pickup, while only 14 percent are doing so in 2004. There also are 2 percent fewer light-duty pickup owners going to compact pickups today than there were in 2002.

Full-size pickups have accounted for 15 percent of all new-vehicle sales through the first 10 months of 2004-up 2 percentage points from the same period in 2002. The 2004 share of full-size pickup sales equates to more than one in every seven new vehicles sold.

“Because they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, there is a full-size pickup available to meet the needs of nearly every buyer,” Libby said. “In addition to a variety of body styles, cab configurations, wheel bases and powertrains, full-size pickups also come in a price range from under $20,000 to more than $50,000.”

The full-size pickup segment-which includes both light- and heavy-duty pickups-is now the second-largest segment and trails the largest segment-premium midsize cars-by just 1 percentage point compared with 5 points in 2002.

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