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Drew Dowdell

Industry News: Could Pricing Finally Crack Truck Buyer Loyalty?

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Truck owner loyalty is legendary.  Buyers typically pick one brand and stick with that brand for as long as they buy trucks. Indeed my own father has owned only one brand of pickup, the Ford F-series, since before I arrived on earth.  In 2018, Ford moved more than 900,000 copies of its F-series pickups out of a total segment of 2,944,395. 

But have rising prices started to crack that loyalty?   CarGurus did a survey and found that 70% of truck owners would switch brands if their truck raised prices by $10,000, that is up from 64% last year. While $10,000 seems like a big jump, even an increase of $5,000 would cause 42% of owners to ditch their current brand.

Of those considering switching brands, 54% responded that it was due to price, and 47% cited fuel economy as a concern.

More concerning for manufacturers is that 17% of current truck owners say they are unlikely to buy another truck, with Toyota and Ford truck owners being 43% of that total. 

We may see some strong incentive competition in the market soon if these trends continue. 


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I have my doubts about this. Trucks have already shot up $5-10K with every redesign and truck buyers keep scooping them up. The manufacturers know this too which is why they can get away with it. All cars are pricey these days but trucks have taken it to a whole other level because of that loyalty from truck buyers. It will not stop until a sizable portion of them say “enough” and start buying used or CPO saving a ton of cash. 

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This makes sense to me. A lot of truck buyers are loyal but I also know a lot still want a truck and will look for a good price. If the numbers don't line up and they need to look at a different brand.. they seem to want a truck more than they NEED to have a specific brand. 

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Toyota should redo the Tundra and undercut the F150 by $5-10,000 and put that theory to the test.

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I can believe this, I also believe that with the quality of full size trucks and SUVs, that people are holding out till they see what full size EV pickups and SUVs are like. I know I am in no hurry to buy another ICE auto. For me, depending on features / functions an EV pickup or SUV will be my next auto purchase. Who it will be from could vary as right now Rivian is the leading option, but that could change in the next 12-18 months as more and more models come out.

I truly believe which ever OEM builds a Hybrid pickup that doubles gas mileage while maintaining feature / function fully with no increase in price could steal a ton of sales.

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I know it's anecdotal but I haven't heard a single person talk about or mention waiting for an EV full size truck outside of dfelt. 

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EV trucks are not nearly as conducive to regular ownership as EV cars/SUVs would be, for various reasons.
- - - - -
The theory that a loyal truck buyer would consider another make if his brand raised prices by $10K is logical & believable, but such includes the unspoken mandate that the competition would hold their prices in response. Not going to happen- so this is a nothingburger WRT the Big 3 (plus little 2). On another board one poster was repeatedly whining about the "premium" the Silverado was charging over the Ram, but then preceded to post a graphic showing the top starting MSRPs were $105 apart.

Where this spells out a HUGE concern is for EV trucks, which are poised to start at least $25K higher ($40K in some instances) than the Big 3 (+2). If 70% would consider bailing with a $10K increase, what is the percentage with a $25K increase???

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4 hours ago, dfelt said:

I can believe this, I also believe that with the quality of full size trucks and SUVs, that people are holding out till they see what full size EV pickups and SUVs are like. I know I am in no hurry to buy another ICE auto. For me, depending on features / functions an EV pickup or SUV will be my next auto purchase. Who it will be from could vary as right now Rivian is the leading option, but that could change in the next 12-18 months as more and more models come out.

I truly believe which ever OEM builds a Hybrid pickup that doubles gas mileage while maintaining feature / function fully with no increase in price could steal a ton of sales.

Tesla is going to turn the full size pickup market upside down.   This buyer loyalty thing exists because all these trucks are similar and differences in capability aren't that far off from each other.  But when someone new comes with significantly better product, at similar price, look out.  

Wouldn't surprise me if Musk's truck can pull 20,000 lbs and has a sub 5 second 0-60 time.

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1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

Tesla is going to turn the full size pickup market upside down.   This buyer loyalty thing exists because all these trucks are similar and differences in capability aren't that far off from each other.  But when someone new comes with significantly better product, at similar price, look out.  

Wouldn't surprise me if Musk's truck can pull 20,000 lbs and has a sub 5 second 0-60 time.

I agree with the thinking, while Musk's EGO is printing HUGE Fictional Checks, as @balthazar has clearly pointed out, the RAM, Ford and GM trucks have a very high bar with a diesel engine even in 1/2 ton configuration for Tesla to cover and Tesla HAS NOT done anything Full size unlike Rivian. I actually expect Rivian to deliver before Tesla will and that could really hurt Tesla.

My gut is telling me with GM's investment in Rivian, we could see some Hybrid / EV magic in the full size pickup truck from GM and that could lower costs enough to being a battery deciding difference on the pricing.

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Tesla's EV motors are going to pull more than any diesel or V8 the big 3 have.  They made a Model S faster than V12 Lamborghini, they have a semi that can pull 55,000 lbs.  Electric just has too much torque for an ICE to compete with.  And weight and packaging for batteries won't be too much of an issue on a full size truck.

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Posted (edited)

If Tesla's semi can only pull 55K lbs, what would a Tesla 1/2-ton pick-up do- 15K? Ram is currently rated to 35K.
Diesel just has too much torque for electric motor to compete with.

Quote

But when someone new comes with significantly better product, at similar price, look out.


tumblr_lwthrsNOPL1qeyoxro1_500.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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11 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

I have my doubts about this. Trucks have already shot up $5-10K with every redesign and truck buyers keep scooping them up. The manufacturers know this too which is why they can get away with it. All cars are pricey these days but trucks have taken it to a whole other level because of that loyalty from truck buyers. It will not stop until a sizable portion of them say “enough” and start buying used or CPO saving a ton of cash. 

As long as they can lease them-automakers can charge what they choose. Used on the other hand will burn them bad.....

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11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Tesla's EV motors are going to pull more than any diesel or V8 the big 3 have.  They made a Model S faster than V12 Lamborghini, they have a semi that can pull 55,000 lbs.  Electric just has too much torque for an ICE to compete with.  And weight and packaging for batteries won't be too much of an issue on a full size truck.

Actually the Tesla Semi is rated at 80,000 lbs

https://www.tesla.com/semi

As to what the actual torque is along with hp, who knows.

Just for Apple to Apple comparison, seems that most modern semi trucks come with a 38,000 to 40,000 lb differential system.

https://www.mylittlesalesman.com/sleeper-semi-trucks-for-sale-i2c55f0m0

Yet if we look at the Top of the line best Semi in the business, the Kenworth W990 system the transmission is good for 110,000 lbs but the dual axel system is only good for 80,000 lbs. So Tesla has spec'd Kenworths top of the line Custom Semi that starts at $100,000 and can top out north of $300,000 dollars. It is amazing to see them roll off the assembly plant in Renton Washington here. I have taken the tour many times, very cool to see these custom ordered babies.

https://www.kenworthsalesco.com/kenworth-trucks/kenworth-w990/

Yes, Tesla has built a car that is faster than an exotic sports car, yes they have built a CUV that is faster than just about any other CUV out there. This is great and as you know I am all about moving to EV's. Yet, the personal truck market is a very different beast and Musk has not fully delivered yet any full size auto at a profitable price let alone a mid size or compact auto at a consistent profitable point yet.

Just what he will deliver in an electric pickup truck that would attract a conventional truck buyer is anyones guess. We have Rivian which is fully focused on delivering a full size pickup but only a limited amount of specifications at this stage. Tesla which is anyone's guess.

We know this is disruptive and as such Ford has an Electric F150 as they do fear the loss in pickup truck sales, otherwise why would they invest R&D in the mules that have been captured so far. What is GM or Rams response, we do not know at this point.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-pickup-truck-rivian-r1t-vs-ford-f-150/

I will say that it is going to have to be equal to the ICE trucks and look like them.

ford-f-150-ev.jpg 

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Interesting is that Tesla has the highest resale value of any luxury auto in Germany.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-s-highest-resale-value-germany/

The list of highest resale value of luxury auto's is as follows:

  1. Tesla - Model S
  2. Porsche - Panamera
  3. Audi - A8
  4. Mercedes - S-class
  5. Luxus - LS
  6. BMW - 7 series
  7. Jaguar - XJ

tesla-model-s-resale-value-germany-1-102

Makes one rethink the marketing tag of "The best or nothing at all!" 

Tesla is going to go against the big 3 truck makers and will have to deliver bigger than any of their current auto's for them to sway the loyal masses.

This is going to be interesting to watch! :deathwatch:

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14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Tesla is going to turn the full size pickup market upside down.   This buyer loyalty thing exists because all these trucks are similar and differences in capability aren't that far off from each other.  But when someone new comes with significantly better product, at similar price, look out.  

Wouldn't surprise me if Musk's truck can pull 20,000 lbs and has a sub 5 second 0-60 time.

Little do you know the D3 already have trucks capable of towing north or 30,000lbs. I agree it'll be a little disturbing to the market but I don't think a full EV with a towing capacity of that much will really be all that sought after for the towing capability. Anybody towing that much has to be getting like 20% of range. They're definitely not towing their boat a few hours to their lake house. 

13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Tesla's EV motors are going to pull more than any diesel or V8 the big 3 have.  They made a Model S faster than V12 Lamborghini, they have a semi that can pull 55,000 lbs.  Electric just has too much torque for an ICE to compete with.  And weight and packaging for batteries won't be too much of an issue on a full size truck.

I don't think maximum capability will be the issue, it will be the range when you're towing. 

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Actually the Tesla Semi is rated at 80,000 lbs

https://www.tesla.com/semi

As to what the actual torque is along with hp, who knows.

Just for Apple to Apple comparison, seems that most modern semi trucks come with a 38,000 to 40,000 lb differential system.

https://www.mylittlesalesman.com/sleeper-semi-trucks-for-sale-i2c55f0m0

Yet if we look at the Top of the line best Semi in the business, the Kenworth W990 system the transmission is good for 110,000 lbs but the dual axel system is only good for 80,000 lbs. So Tesla has spec'd Kenworths top of the line Custom Semi that starts at $100,000 and can top out north of $300,000 dollars. It is amazing to see them roll off the assembly plant in Renton Washington here. I have taken the tour many times, very cool to see these custom ordered babies.

And they still cannot touch the range of the Kenworth. 100-177 gallon tanks getting 5mpg(per fuelly.com) = 500-885 miles. 

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36 minutes ago, balthazar said:

If a Tesla semi ever shows up, it'll cost $500,000.
And be useless in sub-freezing temps.

That's yet another major factor, temperature range drop. Their 300-500 mile range drops to 200-350 miles. 

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The Tesla semi can tow the max weight allowed on American roads, I thought it was 55,000 lbs but it must be 80,000 lbs as stated.

I think Tesla’s half ton trucks will tow as much as any other heavy duty.  There isn’t any reason Tesla couldn’t do a heavy duty pickup that can pull 50,000 lbs.

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2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

Their 300-500 mile range drops to 200-350 miles. 

That would be an absolute deal breaker for both trucking companies and independents right there.
Half the range at 3 times the price? Yep; gonna revolutionize the industry alright.

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It isn't half but when reading up on EVs a 30% drop in range isn't uncommon in 30 degrees F temps.It's pretty much the norm. I have no clue what it's like when you approach zero degrees F or below. 

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Safe bet it's more than the 30% drop, tho.
200-350 has a median of 275 miles. Median of 500-885 is 692 miles.
I realize these are only estimates, but even the estimates don't look good so far.

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8 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

It isn't half but when reading up on EVs a 30% drop in range isn't uncommon in 30 degrees F temps.It's pretty much the norm. I have no clue what it's like when you approach zero degrees F or below. 

Yet that info is also based on battery packs that had no environment control or insulation to moderate the affects on the battery packs. With the winter testing being done in Alaska by Tesla and other auto companies, I expect that 30% loss to drop over the next couple years. I have to think Ford with their EV F150 coming is looking at ways to minimize that kind of loss in cold temp climates.

Just as they have plug in heaters for the blocks on ICE auto's, we know that GM for the Bolt has a regulating heater / cooler for when it is plugged in to keep the battery pack from having drop off.

According to posts I have read this morning, folks that had Bolts in cold climate with below freezing had around a 7 to 8 % range drop off. Being plugged in over night helps minimize the cold affect on the battery.

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Posted (edited)

Whatever it is that is heating the batteries, is reducing range. 

EV semi trucks will not be parked inside at night to keep the battery nice and toasty. 

54 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

The Tesla semi can tow the max weight allowed on American roads, I thought it was 55,000 lbs but it must be 80,000 lbs as stated.

I think Tesla’s half ton trucks will tow as much as any other heavy duty.  There isn’t any reason Tesla couldn’t do a heavy duty pickup that can pull 50,000 lbs.

Pulling the weight is rarely the issue. It's actually handling and stopping that weight and that requires a truck with mass. It absolutely cannot be a half-ton-sized truck.

You just can't have a 5500lb truck pulling 35,000lbs. 

Edited by ccap41
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Perhaps not, but you can have a 6500-7000 lb truck pulling 35,000 lbs.

Think also of the weight disparity between a semi tractor and it's loaded trailer.

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