In the USA there was a shortage of pickupsMay 22, 2020
Jerry Bill is worried that the new coronavirus could harm the business he runs, but not because of a lack of buyers for Ram’s large pickups.
After falling sales in April, when consumers stayed at home, Bill expects pickup sales to close in May, as they did a year earlier. And if demand remains high, Bill said he will run out of popular models in June. Fiat Chrysler began a slow launch of its Ram truck assembly lines on Monday after a two-month stop.
The US economy shrank in the first quarter at the fastest pace since the Great Recession of 2007-2009. due to measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. Economists warn that the second quarter will be much worse.
However, far from state restrictions such as New York, Michigan, or Ohio, dealerships such as Stew Hansen have provided rivals FCA and Detroit General Motors and Ford with a rare bright spot: high pickup sales in the heart of America.
In general, sales of cars and light trucks in the US last month fell to their lowest level in 50 years. However, sales of large pickups under the Detroit brand, especially in the southern and western states, less affected by the outbreak, were far ahead of the market, industry leaders and analysts said.
Pickups are one of the most profitable car segments in the world. They make up a huge portion of the Detroit automakers’ profits and created a huge bait for Peugeot, which expects to merge with the FCA by early 2021.
Detroit automakers in March introduced big discounts – for example, interest-free loans for seven years – to prevent cars from leaving dealerships.
“Many people who have two-year-old trucks can get a new one for the same (monthly) payment or less,” said Noah Voltaire, general manager of Charles Gabus Ford in Des Moines, who sold about 1,500 new cars. last year. “This is the easiest swap ever.”
Demand for large pickups is “incredibly high,” said Ford Sales and Marketing Director for the United States Mark Lanev. Large pickups accounted for 21% of all US car sales in April, compared with an average monthly share of 13% to 14%.
Jerry Bill said that at Stew Hansen in Urbandale thanks to discounts, customers can buy a Ram truck for $ 55,000 for $ 44,000. This prompted some to switch from SUVs or cars to newer truck models equipped more like luxury vehicles than old working trucks.
Mike Kowal, FCA’s interim Ram brand manager for FCA, said the inventory of some versions of his Ram trucks is “a bit scarce,” but the automaker has focused on increasing inventory in states where dealers have remained open throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
Karl Moyer, owner of the Karl Chevrolet in Ankeny, Iowa, America’s second-largest Chevrolet dealer with 4,000 new cars sold annually, said he was recovering from the crisis due to stocks.
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