As the US agriculture industry improves, pickup sales are expected to also rise. The increasing farm incomes give automakers the extra momentum they need as they are recovering from the worst sales in nearly three decades.
Autodata Corp., a Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based researcher, said that pickup sales increased by 14% to 1.2 million during the first nine months of the year.
The gain outpaced the 10% increase in overall industry deliveries. Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.'s president of the Americas, said in an interview, “Agriculture is helping out.”
He explained that when there’s a good harvest, farmers are able to invest and are likely to consider the pickup as a primary tool. The prices of grain have risen sharply after crops were ruined worldwide because of droughts and flooding.
There were recent reports of ruined crops in Russia and Canada. The US Department of Agriculture data indicate that US agricultural exports increased to $69.8 billion from $61 billion during the first eight months of 2010.
“It makes intuitive sense that if the agricultural industry is rebounding that pickups would come along for the ride,” said Joe Barker, an industry analyst with IHS Automotive. [via autonews - sub. required]