Say Goodbye to the Full-Size Pickup Truck Inventory Shortage and Hello to Higher Pickup Truck Prices
This production shortage in the car market has been one of the most disruptive economic factors we’ve seen in a while. The lack of new car inventory and the demand for new cars during the COVID era have driven used car prices through the roof and then some. The result was many millions of Americans suddenly found themselves unable to buy a new or used car. Now, after a couple of years, it seems the new car shortage might be easing its grip on us. An influx of new pickup trucks is heartening, yet we still aren’t out of the woods.
When will the new pickup truck inventory get better?
According to J.D. Power‘s April sales forecast, there are more new pickup trucks on the dealer lots than there have been in years. In even better news, the percentage of new trucks selling for over MSRP has gone down from the peak of 48% (July 2022), now down to 32%.
All new vehicles are showing production increases, but pickup trucks are particularly pronounced.
According to Cars.com dealers, the average inventory for new full-size pickups grew like weeds after a summer shower, with a 177% increase from April 2022 to April 2023. In comparison, total new-vehicle inventory climbed by roughly 26% in the same timeframe.
The truck models driving this significant boost in inventory were the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500. Meanwhile, models like Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Frontier increased production too, but not quite at the same level as the others.
When will pickup truck prices go down?
Despite the bump in inventory, prices have yet to drop in any significant way. In fact, prices are still trending upward due to other economic factors like inflation. What we still haven’t seen return is the new car incentives that were once, on average, for trucks and SUVs, $3,618 in April 2019 and $3,173 in April 2021.
According to Cars.com, the estimated median prices among associated dealers in April were $54,500 for the Silverado 1500; $63,800 for the F-150; $60,600 for the Sierra 1500; $62,600 for the Ram 1500; $58,200 for the Titan; and $55,000 for the Tundra. Year over year, median prices have climbed 7%-10% on average for this selection of some of the most popular pickup trucks.
As production increases make it hard for OEMs and dealers to use low inventory as an excuse to cut incentives, the new car incentives have barely reached half of what they once were. The average combined incentive on trucks and SUVs in April was $1,673 (an increase of $644 from April 2022).
Buying a new car is still a pain
What all this data suggests is that despite the production issues trying to get worked out, dealerships are still trying to charge as much as they can possibly get away with, despite the fact that new cars and trucks are sitting longer on the lots. The market is starting to show an unwillingness to pay the predatory prices (along with insane interest rates), yet dealers’ heels are dug in. Here’s to hoping that getting a new car can once again become possible for most Americans. Hell, if used car prices could just come back down to Earth, that might be good enough.