Bridging the Opportunity Divide

Bigger is Selling Better

June 2, 2014
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Bigger is Selling Better
Large truck sales are spurring the American economy. David Paul Morris/Getty Images
Increased spending on new and used trucks is helping the U.S. economy thrive.

In this post-recession world we’re now living in, one might assume that when it comes to purchasing a vehicle, most Americans would go for the smaller choice. After all, an economy-size car gets better gas mileage — meaning less money spent on costly fill-ups.

But recent statistics show that American families are trading in their cars for trucks. Even more interesting? This surprising move is helping the economy.

According to The Atlantic, the U.S. economy is moving forward at a snail’s pace, but if it wasn’t for the sale of new and used trucks, the economy would hardly be growing at all.

While the average household spent $51,400 last year, that was about $800 more than the previous year. Of that increase, 60 percent went towards transportation costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fueling this jump in spending? Large vehicles.

Domestic and imported truck sales increased by eight percent in the past year, while domestic car sales decreased by six percent. According to Motor Intelligence, in the past year, cross-overs, small SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks and large cars sold better than their inferior smaller competitors.

So what does this mean for the U.S. economy?

It is a step back for environmentalists who argue for a green and carless lifestyle. But if it weren’t for the increase in spending on new and used trucks, transportation sales would have decreased, leaving many other businesses (gas, insurance and repair) with less revenue.

Fortunately, for the economy, a decline in driving seems unlikely. In this country, most Americans would rather get behind the wheel than take public transportation, walk, or bike to work. Making it likely that the demand for new and used trucks is going to continue to speed up.

MORE: The Cars of the Future Might Be Powered by…Algae

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