Pickup Sales Plummet to 10-Year Low

Trucks can't pull their weight as gas prices rev up, housing stalls
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2008 7:35 AM CDT
A 2008 GMC Denali XT Concept. GM, betting that pickup drivers have been itching to jump on the hybrid bandwagon, will introduce a new hybrid full-size pickup this week at the Chicago Auto Show.    (AP Photo/General Motors Corp.)
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(Newser) – US pickup truck sales tumbled in March, hitting their lowest level in nearly a decade. The Big Three all reported double-digit percentage drops in sales this month—the Dodge Ram was down 26%—and large pickups represented barely more than 10% of the auto market. High gas prices added fuel to the freefall, but the housing crisis—and an attendant drop in carting construction loads—may have had the most impact.

BusinessWeek reports that Detroit offered consumers sweet deals on the torque-heavy machines, including 0% financing and hefty rebates, but pickup sales didn’t pick up. "They spent a lot of money on incentives, and they still couldn't hold sales up,” one analyst laments. Used pickup sales also faltered: A used truck lost $4,000 in value this year, double what it did two years ago.