It’s no secret that full-size pickup trucks are the most popular vehicles in America. In 2019, the Ford F-150 was the best-selling vehicle by a wide margin, while its two main rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, were the second- and third-best-selling vehicles, respectively.
But who is buying all these pickup trucks and what is driving them to do so? Those questions and more were answered in the 2020 Great American Truck Survey, which was commissioned by Ford Motor Company and carried out by research company Penn Schoen Berland. The survey included roughly 2,000 owners of various truck models – not just the Ford F-150.
The survey indicated that 54% of American pickup owners are male, while 46% are female. Additionally, it found that most pickup owners (27%) fall in the 18-34 age range, while the 55-64 range was second at 20%. Somewhat surprisingly, consumers aged 35-44-and 65+ are buying the least amount of pickup trucks, both representing just 17% of current truck owners.
So how much do these owners love their trucks? Quite a lot, it would seem. Ford’s survey found that 25% of owners have given their truck an affectionate nickname like ‘Big Bertha’ or ‘Brutus’, while 15% have gotten a tattoo of their truck or a tattoo related to truck culture. The survey also asked participants to explain how their truck makes them feel, with the most common descriptors being: self-reliant, dependable, capable, accomplished, and proud.
Trucks aren’t an entirely self-indulgent purchase, either. The vast majority of survey participants (94%) said they have used their truck to help others, while a whopping 34% say they use it to help others on a weekly basis.
Ford’s survey provided some valuable insight into the demand and excitement over battery-electric trucks, as well. Nationwide, 40% of pickup owners are excited about the prospect of an electric truck, but that figure jumps to 62% in eco-conscious California. Many also said they would only buy an electric truck if it did not force them to compromise on capability and functionality. They also want to ensure there are enough places to charge the vehicle and would be more attracted to it if it offered lower maintenance costs. This will be valuable information to General Motors, which is planning on launching its GMC Hummer EV truck for the 2022 model year.
The full results from the 2020 Great American Truck Survey can be viewed at this link.