Trucks & SUVs

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

As the pickup truck evolved, it moved into position as America’s favorite automobile choice. With utilitarian roots, trucks and their pickup beds have been helping farmers and ranchers for nearly a century. Popular pickup trucks like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, or Ram 1500 have become more than a cowboy’s chariot. Today, families in city suburbs prove that you don’t have to be a bonafide cowboy to be a bonafide truck lover. Pickup truck sales are better than ever.

The GMC Hummer EV is an all-electric pickup truck.
GMC Hummer EV | GMC

Trucks are for everyone. In fact, they are for bachelors and families with toddlers. They are shared by siblings. Carpools and drop-off lines would miss them. A pickup truck helps friends move into their new apartment and gives you the perfect place to lay down and look at the stars––no matter where you are. This prominent vehicle segment has carved a lasting impression on the auto industry. Plus, it surges forward into the future with releases of hybrid and electric trucks.

Trucks are going anywhere––and they aren’t just for cowboys

Picture the image of a rugged, booted horseman with a classic cowboy hat on silhouetted alongside his pickup truck. This iconic image or something of the same vein has marketed pickup trucks to countless buyers. In addition, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys definitely do put trucks to work. The modern pickup truck can do a days work then wash up for a nice dinner in town.

The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch Truck appears at the Ford Built for America event at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant
The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch | Nic Antaya/Getty Images

RELATED: The ‘Wicked Wrangler’ Pickup Truck

Pickup trucks demonstrate versatility and embody a certain rugged appeal. It’s no wonder it has reached the masses. It’s rarely surprising when someone wants a truck. In fact, the more technology we gain and the further the pickup truck evolves, the more practical it becomes. Though they aren’t by any means economy cars in terms of fuel-sipping, the truck has improved its mileage over the years. The improvements may be small, but they exist. Plus, manufacturers will continue to work on improving their product.

Trucks aren’t going anywhere

Top trims offer decadent luxury paired with the utility of a hefty payload and strong tow rating. Off-road trucks like the Ford Raptor, Ram TRX, or the Toyota TRD-Pro Tacoma and Tundra bring some extra fun into the mix as well. Then there are the fundamental work trucks for everyday people doing everyday tasks. All of these trucks add to the awesome pickup truck sales numbers.

A silver 2020 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup truck parked on display
2020 Toyota Tacoma on display | Photo via Toyota

Construction workers and teachers, lawyers and artists––it doesn’t really matter what you do. People that choose a truck have their reasons. And the list of reasons won’t stop growing. As long as there are people that buy automobiles, trucks will be sold. Pickup truck sales aren’t slowing down.

A leading segment

The original pickup truck may have been designed with ranch work in mind. Today, however, there are many different shades of truck. Consumers get to choose from a wide range of sizes and configurations. There are several brands to choose from as well. We expect more brands to join the party in the next few years, following suit with Jeep’s Gladiator.

An interior view of the driver and front passenger seats and dashboard of the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition.
The interior of the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition | FCA

In recent years, the truck has sold more units than the passenger car. While cars aren’t going anywhere, trucks do look like they’ll maintain their position in the hearts of consumers across the country. We may not all be cowboys, but we love pickup trucks.