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Light truck sales in the United States 1980-2020

Light truck retail sales in the United States decreased to 11 million units in 2020, the first drop in sales in a decade. Sales had been increasing since 2010, when the auto industry began recovering from low vehicle purchases after the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In 2018, sales of light trucks accounted for about 72 percent of the approximately 17 million light vehicles sold in the United States. Ford, with its signature truck, the Ford F-150, is the leading North American car brand in the United States.

Why are consumers buying trucks now?

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, the U.S. economy had largely recovered from the woes of the financial crisis and unemployment in the United States fell to 3.7 percent in 2019. This, meant that consumers were better able to purchase new vehicles. Similarly, due to lower gasoline and diesel fuel prices, motorists are more willing to buy trucks over smaller, more fuel-efficient sedans.

U.S. light truck retail sales from 1980 to 2020

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Release date

February 2021


United States

Survey time period

1980 to 2020

Supplementary notes

Monthly figures have been added up.
The values were not seasonally adjusted.

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Statistics on "Automotive industry in the United States"

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