The automotive market will one day have to address the looming phantasm of escalating pricing pressure, but when it comes to the truck market, it’s still all about the upgrades. More to the point – millionaires in America drive more pickup trucks than any other vehicle. And when this demographic can afford to be in something with a more opulent or exotic badge, it says a lot when they’d rather be in a Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-Series, or Ram pickup.
This explains the constant move upmarket for trucks, with the refinement of higher-end trim levels, and the introduction of cutting-edge technology. Examples of this include the 11-inch touchscreen found in upmarket Ram trucks, and the new “transparent trailer” feature on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The camera-based system is mounted on a trailer, and projects images onto the center infotainment screen, providing a view that allows drivers to see through the trailer for a better rearward view.
The logical conclusion is that we’ll eventually see a market full of pickup trucks with an MSRP of $100,000 or more. The closest offering to that is the Ford F-450 Platinum, which is over $87,000. However, check all of the options, and with taxes, the F-450 Platinum cracks six figures.
Offering the first $100,000 truck on the market wouldn’t be a sign of ignorance to the times, as much is it would be a major accomplishment. The person with a $100,000 truck instantly has the status symbol, and neighbors would know it. That’s a big deal in a market full of millionaires. According to Chevrolet truck marketers, via CNBC, if buyers want a more expensive truck, they’ll answer the call.
Average transaction prices for full-size pickups have increased from $32,557 in 2010, to $45,260 for the first five months of 2019, according to JD Power. That’s an increase of over 70 percent in less than 10 years. With the added ATP, margins swell also. Analysts estimate that average pickup truck profit margins for the industry are at around $10,000, exponentially more than passenger cars.
A 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD High Country with all the bells and whistles comes in under $90,000. And considering criticisms of the interior from the automotive media at-large, the truck would need significant levels of luxurious enhancements to justify a sticker price of $100-grand. But should Chevy deliver, it would reap the reward of stratospherically high profit margins with each and every sale.