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Why do Americans like Pickup trucks?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Matias, May 6, 2015.

  1. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    Why do americans like Pickup trucks?
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    In the 1970s, pollution controls were mandated and safety requirements were made more stringent for cars. This made pickup trucks more affordable and with better gas mileage and performance than cars. There was even a R&T or C&D (I forget which) that had a pickup beating a Corvette. The performance and lower cost caused many people to purchase a pickup rather than a car. People found they liked the ability to see over the cars ahead of them (no one though about rollovers), and they had room to carry junk without messing up the interior of the vehicle.
     
  3. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    I'm not sure if it is a status symbol or not. Most people I know don't use a pickup truck as a working vehicle.
    I asked one person if I could use his pickup truck to put a few yards of mulch in the back. He looked at me like I was crazy and replied "you don't put stuff like that in my truck". :confused:

    Personally, if I got a pickup truck, it would be to carry firewood, top soil, mulch, etc.
     
  4. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Here in CT, pretty much every home owning family (extended) that I know well has at least one pickup truck within the family for just the reasons you describe.
    (In my case my son has one as does my brother-in-law).
    For those folks who are situated in a city, or are more cerebral, tend to not do things themselves (hire the guy types)... well the likelihood of a pickup truck in their family deminishes.

    I am sure in other parts of the US this observation of mine becomes invalid.
     
  5. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Popularity of pickups and SUV increased here in the U.S. after CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) requirements were legislated in the 1970's. Trucks and SUVs are allowed lower average mpg than cars. So instead of buying a huge Cadillac or Chevy with a trailer hitch (no longer available) customers buy SUVs or pickups. Pickups allow fifth wheel trailer hitchs which are easier to hook up, more safe and stable on the road, and allow even more humongous trailers.

    CAFE is not the only reason, but an important one I think.

    GSP
     
  6. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    small weeny syndrome???? (yes, I'm a PU owner)
     
  7. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    People wanted a vehicle that could do farm work weekdays and haul people on weekends... the pickup was born.
     
  8. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    There are many people with small farms and businesses where a pickup is very handy. It is also great for hauling a bunch of scouts and their camping gear.
     
  9. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    #9 tomas, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    Space for their gun rack? Tailgate perfect for "little boy peeing on ford/Chevy" bumper art? Chrome seated nude silhouette mud flaps? I could go on.
    image.jpg image.jpg
     
  10. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    Many men in their 50's who are substantially overweight have a hard time getting out of cars as they have to rise up when getting out. A truck sits high enough that they step down. When I look at truck beds in the parking lot at work almost none have any sign anything has ever been hauled in it.
     
  11. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    There is another issue at play too, besides the CAFE standards. Being built on a "truck" body means that a lot of safety regulations that applied to cars didn't have to be obeyed, making them cheaper. This was also true for behemoths like the Chevy Suburban.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    As an American who was of driving age in the 70's and remembers that well, it makes me laugh to read that. Yes, it is true. But try reading it from the perspective of someone in Europe where gas costs much more. It sounds crazy. "You mean that pickup trucks became popular because they were less fuel efficient than cars? What?"

    Only in a country where gas was and is relatively cheap does that make any sense at all. And of course the U.S. auto manufacturers lobbied Congress to exempt "light trucks" from the mileage standards that passenger cars had to comply with.

    Americans like pickups for all the reasons posted here: you can haul lots of stuff in them, even though they are not fuel efficient people still drive them because gas is relatively inexpensive in the US, and of course some guys think driving them looks manly or projects an image of toughness
     
  13. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    #13 wk057, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    I don't need a pickup truck. With the seats in the Model S folded down I basically have a small pickup truck worth of cargo space inside.

    Not that I'll be hauling mulch or anything like that, but I've easily fit three carts of stuff from Home Depot, a 70" LCD TV, and two of the largest PV panels in the world in the Model S.

    I've also fit a door with frame, some 2x4s, electrical conduit, 3 Outback Radian GS8048A inverters, and many many other things with room to spare.

    Plenty enough cargo space for me, all at 10x the efficiency of a pickup truck.
     
  14. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    This was my hypothesis :tongue:

    Here in Finland pickups are very uncommon. People do buy SUV:s and Crossovers but not pickups. I guess in whole europe pickups are uncommon?
     
  15. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Perhaps they just wanted to feel needed. EVERYONE wants to have at least one "friend" who has a pickup truck.
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    While Canada and the US have similar tastes in vehicles (i.e. tons of pickups on the road here), I always preferred the SUV format. In the early days, they were essentially pickups with the back enclosed under the roof. When I was a kid, station wagons were very popular, and SUVs are really just tall station wagons when you think about it.

    My wife, elderly mother and a couple of friends all have problems getting into and out of my Model S (and to be fair, my previous cars as well). They all prefer "taller" vehicles for reasons already mentioned here.

    Another form factor that is not common here (but I actually prefer) is the hatchback. I find them immensely more practical than a sedan with a little trunk. That's one of the things I like about the Model S. I do find it interesting that people refer to it as a "sedan" and not a "hatchback" and that they call what I would refer to as the "hatch" as the "trunk". Years ago, I had a Chrysler LeBaron GTS Turbo that looked like a sedan in profile but was actually a hatchback. It was commonly referred to as a hatchback and nobody ever referred to the rear storage area as a "trunk". I'm inclined to think that the terminology used with the Model S is just a reflection of "anti-hatchback" preferences and a reluctance to call it what it is.
     
  17. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Pick up trucks driven by those who frankly "don't need a truck" are a huge environmental problem...better ICE alternatives exist that would help the environment in the short run... if consumers would simply make wiser, more intelligent choices, our current environmental situation would be marginally better.

    This is why I find Chevy's current TV ad marketing campaign so low and disgusting...using sexual sterotyping (Women preferring the so called "macho" pick up truck driver over the regular car driver) and extending this B.S. sterotyping to children (the "what kind of pet would the truck owner have...a german shepard (macho) dog as the young kid states, vs the car driver having a bird as a pet).

    This type of marketing is beneath contempt, and Chevy should bet ashamed of themselves...
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #18 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    I think the issue is that there's no commonly-used separate term for "shallowly-sloped hatchback" and when people hear hatchback they think "steeply-sloped rear hatch".

    And back to topic ...

    People like pick-ups because they're big, powerful and practical (except when you need to park in small spaces), so they tick boxes for people of various wiener sizes (including people without wieners).

    And oh my god the Chevy Colorado commercials makes me both angry and sad.
     
  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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  20. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    While I don't disagree with the sentiment, I find that sometimes people driving even less fuel efficient ICE cars will "slam" those driving trucks or SUVs without realizing that the SUV they're complaining about is actually more fuel efficient than the car they're sitting in and complaining from. For example a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid gets 20/23 US MPG (city/highway) compared to a Ford Taurus that gets 17/25. The big 'ol Caddy SUV is actually better in the city and within 2 MPG on the highway of the smaller, mid-size Taurus. Back in '01 I bought a GMC Envoy and with it's new in-line 6, it actually got better mileage than several regular cars I had looked at, but I still got the odd comment about driving a big, wasteful SUV that I'm sure drivers of the less fuel efficient car models didn't get.

    The Chevy ads do make me wince, but really they're just playing to their target audiences. That's what ads are supposed to do. No serious eco-minded person is going to buy one of those vehicles anyway, so what harm (to sales) does it do to offend them if, by doing so, it gets a couple more of their target audience into showrooms.
     

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