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Although this year has seen a current dip in fleet sales, the retail market which comprises mainly of farmers and builders is still going strong.
Lance Bradley, the UK’s managing director of Mitsubishi Motors is optimistic about the future sales of pickup trucks. He said: “The pickup truck market is interesting as it’s a bit of an indicator of where the economy is going.”
Vice president of Nissan, Jerry Hardcastle backed this comment by agreeing that farmers and builders tend to buy when they are feeling positive about what the future holds, and said that thankfully, it is the people who produce our food and erect our houses who dominate the customer base within the retail market.
“The fashion of owning a pickup truck has lost its appeal so it’s going back to its roots as a working vehicle.”
“I go to Cumbria a lot, and the farming community both there and across the rest of the UK still very much use them the way they were intended to be used,” Mr Hardcastle said.
The other major buying sector for pickups is those groups who work in utilities, such as companies like British Canals and Cable & Wireless. In fact, Toyota enjoyed a rise of 43 per cent in their pickup truck sales in 2011 and this was due largely to a number of major fleet deals.
The advantages of buying and owning a pickup truck is that it can not only be used as a general workhorse, but also a twin-cab pick-up contains five seats, so can double up as a family car when necessary. This means that owners do not need to double up on both a van and a car, saving money.
Modern pickups have also become much more car-like inside, and contain a variety of equipment to rival other family-orientated cars and keep passengers comfortable and entertained on longer journeys.
Despite the encouraging rise in sales of the pickup sector, the UK’s demand for this type of truck is still fairly marginal in comparison to other countries. For example, Ford’s F-150 pick-up has been the best selling truck in the US for 34 years, and has also outsold any other car or truck in both the US and Canada for the past 24 years.