New Truck Sales Are Soaring: Here’s Why You Should Wait
Car sales of all GM and Ford vehicles increased for the first quarter of 2023, with an overall average increase of almost 10% over last year. With 1.37 million vehicles sold, it is the highest monthly increase since May 2021. With trucks at dealers waiting for buyers, now must be a great time to look for a new pickup, right?
Why is this not a good time to step up for a new truck?
Not so fast. Since 2020, the price car buyers pay for a new car has jumped higher than at any time in the past 35 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So everyone is paying more. Like, $12,000 more on average since 2019. That applies to used cars too, at $9,000 on average.
The good news is that as new car sales are increasing, used car demand is going down. But not nearly as fast as it went up. On average, a new car in 2019 was $36,000. Today, it is $48,000, according to Edmunds. That’s a big difference over such a short period of time.
Why are prices so high?
Interestingly, pickup trucks are so popular in the South, that it is inflating truck costs throughout the U.S. Again, Edmunds shows that the average large pickup truck price is $62,500 for 2022. And the trend for more luxurious trucks and SUVs means people pay more overall.
Work trucks still sell well to fleet buyers, but the average consumer wants more ‘Luxe. Wanting pricier trucks incentivizes the truck makers to make more of them over middle trim models. So if you’re a potential truck buyer looking for a middle-trim pickup, you might spring for one.
That, then, increases the overall price average paid. So for the short term, you should wait until truck makers satisfy the demand for luxury trucks and start upping mid-trim truck production. Unfortunately, when that might be is anyone’s guess.
When is the right time to start looking?
According to Automotive News, truck volume right now is made up of equal parts fleet sales, small, midsize, and half-ton trucks. And keep in mind that all of these sales are completed in a storm of higher interest rates for car loans, increased retail prices, and credit getting tougher overall.
So the environment, conditions, and manufacturers’ building loaded trucks, all combine to make this a time to pause your truck shopping until such time that all of this settles down. That means waiting for more favorable credit, lower interest rates, stabilized pricing, and a broader selection of trims.
We’re pleased that automakers are finally emerging from the shackles of supply chain issues. And there are plenty of shoppers that don’t need to heed the challenging environment for car buyers. But for those with the flexibility to wait before pulling the trigger on a new truck, a less expensive new truck will surface eventually.