In 2019, 70 percent of surveyed truck owners said they would switch brands if their preferred pickup truck brand increased its prices by $10,000. That number is up compared to 64 percent in 2018.
That is according to CarGurus’ 2019 Truck Sentiment Survey, which compared pickup truck owner brand sentiment to a similar survey the company conducted in 2018. The company also surveyed current and previous pickup truck owners’ perception of the vehicle category.
CarGurus said pickup trucks are having an impact on bottom lines across the automotive industry. Because of that, brand loyalty is becoming increasingly important to automakers.
Unfortunately for those automakers, brand loyalty among pickup truck owners is beginning to decrease compared to one year ago. That decrease in loyalty is even more pronounced when truck owners couple the brand loyalty question with increased prices.
Additional survey highlights:
—Toyota came out on top in the brand-loyalty category, as 41 percent of Toyota truck pickup truck owners were not willing to consider another brand.
—The least brand loyal? Current Chevrolet truck owners. Twenty-eight percent of them were not willing to consider another pickup truck brand, followed by Ford owners with 27 percent.
How do pickup truck owners feel about their vehicles? CarGurus also for their opinions on factors such as price and technology features, as well as their future plans for purchasing another pickup truck. The results:
— The vehicles are overpriced, according to 68 percent of truck owners.
— Fifty-four percent appreciate that their trucks have become more high-tech.
— Are trucks made as well as they used to be? Forty-eight percent of truck owners surveyed say no.
— Seventeen percent of truck owners surveyed will probably not buy another pickup truck.
For the survey, CarGurus surveyed 1,067 current and former pickup truck owners in February.
Among those participants, 581 currently own at least one pickup truck, while 486 had owned a truck previously, but no longer do. Among the current pickup truck owners, 195 own a Ford pickup truck, 154 own a Chevrolet pickup truck, 106 own a Toyota pickup truck, and 101 own a Dodge/Ram pickup truck.
Survey participants also included former pickup truck owners who have switched to another category, and 37 percent of them now own an SUV/crossover. Thirty-five percent now own a sedan.
“With pickup truck prices on the rise, many owners are reconsidering their current brand, or in some cases whether they will repurchase a pickup at all,” said Madison Gross, director of consumer insights at CarGurus. “While truck owners still have strong brand and category loyalty, the challenge for car manufacturers and dealerships is that loyalty is increasingly less reliable as a driver of sales.”
Other key takeaways:
Fifty-four percent state price and 47 percent say gas mileage as reasons for considering other brands. Also, truck shoppers may be more open to considering competitive brands than expected. For example, 35 percent of Ford owners planning to buy another pickup would consider a Chevrolet. And 37 percent of Chevrolet owners would consider a Ford.
The high costs of obtaining and maintaining a truck are leading some owners to switch to another vehicle category. Forty-two percent of former truck owners listed fuel efficiency and 24 percent selected costs as reasons they no longer own a truck. About 17 percent of current truck owners say they probably won’t buy another truck.
Among former truck owners, SUVs/crossovers and sedans are the most popular vehicles. Thirty-seven percent of previous truck owners now own a SUV/crossover. Thirty-five percent now own a sedan.
More information about the survey can be found here.