Truck loyalty is soaring at an all-time high, and no brand commands better loyalty among truck owners than Toyota, according to a new analysis released today by Edmunds.com, ae leading car information and shopping network.
The findings, which come in the middle of October’s traditional “Truck Month,” shines a new light onto just how highly regarded trucks are among American owners and shoppers. According to Edmunds’ study, truck loyalty — which is defined as the rate of truck trade-ins that went toward the purchase of another truck – was at 74 percent through the first nine months of 2016.
By comparison, the next highest loyalty rates were vans at 52 percent and compact SUVs at 47.3 percent. This year’s truck loyalty rate is higher than at any other time since Edmunds started tracking trade-ins in 2005.
“Truck owners are especially passionate about their vehicles, most likely because trucks offer hauling and cargo capabilities that you just cannot find in any other vehicle segment,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds.com senior analyst. “Today’s trucks are particularly appealing because manufacturers pack them with more luxury and technology features than ever before. These options just weren’t available on trucks in years past. It also doesn’t hurt that today’s low gas prices make truck ownership much more economical than just a few years ago.”
A deeper analysis found that within this highly loyal truck segment, Toyota owners are the most faithful to their brand. About 70 percent of owners who have traded in their Toyota pickups for another truck this year opted for yet another Toyota. The rate squeaks past loyalty rates for Chevy truck owners (69.5 percent) and Ram owners (68.1 percent). Toyota’s strong loyalty is primarily attributed to its popular midsize Toyota Tacoma; Edmunds estimates that nearly 75 percent of Tacoma trade-ins this year have gone toward the purchase of another Tacoma.
Overall, truck popularity is at its highest level in the U.S. in nearly a decade. Trucks have accounted for 15.1 percent of all new sales this year through September, the highest share since 2007 (17 percent). The current draw of and loyalty to trucks is especially surprising given that their average transaction price ($43,277 in 2016) has climbed a remarkable 46 percent to since 2006. By comparison, industry-wide average transaction prices ($33,728 in 2016) are up just 23 percent over the same period.