This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

End of an Era: Death of the U.S. Pickup Truck

For example, the profit margin on a Cadillac Escalade SUV or an "optioned-up" Ford F-350 could run $10,000 to $12,000, he said.

The closely matched 2011 Ford F-250, Dodge Ram 2500 and Chevrolet Silverado have manufacturers' suggested retail price ranges of $28,415 for the Chevy on the low end to $31,875 for the Ford on the high side.

A culprit for the sales decline is gas prices. The prospect of $4 per gallon fuel is seen as a sort of psychological tipping point in car buyers' minds when it comes to deciding on a full-size pickup or a mid-sized or small car, at least for use as a commuting vehicle or grocery-getter.

Full-sized pickups offered by Ford, GM's Chevy and Chrysler's Dodge Ram average about 14.3 miles per gallon, versus about 28 mpg from the Toyota (TM - Get Report) Camry, a family sedan.

Assuming a consumer uses a tank of gas a week, at $4 a gallon, it would cost $104 to fill up a Ford F-150 pickup and $74 for the Camry, and that $30-a-week difference in a household budget now is a big gap for many families.

Toprak says Ford and GM executives have said, and it likely applies to Chrysler, that sales outside the U.S. is where their future growth lies and that the domestic market will continue to shift to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. That will push companies to offer a more balanced product portfolio.

Ford, for example, has made big steps to improve fuel efficiency, as it offers a modified V-6 for its pickups and new high-tech powertrains, both of which have boosted mileage while keeping the performance of many of its larger vehicles.

"The good news is that all of these companies are recognizing that they need to change," said Toprak, and they are putting management teams in place that can respond to meet consumer demand.

Indicative of the turmoil in the once-staid industry, on Tuesday, Chrysler shuffled its executive ranks, replacing its U.S. sales chief and the head of the Dodge brand, even though its sales are up 19.5% this year through May.
3 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
F $14.53 0.00%
GM $36.37 0.00%
TM $124.37 0.00%
AAPL $117.81 0.00%
FB $105.45 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs